I had no intent to post today; it promises to be a busy week ahead. Focused as I am on the upcoming election, and as numb as I have apparently become to the endless stream of unfeeling actions perpetrated by Mr. Trump and his cohort, the instance of Trump Administration callousness revealed this week almost failed to embed with me: that in 2017, in a brutal attempt to discourage Latinos from seeking to immigrate to our country, our government forcibly separated over 500 children from their parents at our southern border – and failed to keep records which would enable it to reunite the families. The Administration is now unable to locate the parents. The children remain in cages that during last week’s debate, President Trump grotesquely defended – really – as “so clean.”
Many that follow these pages are parents. I suspect that all that read these posts cherish the love they received from their parents. These people, who came seeking refuge from us, were and are being treated like animals.
What brought me back was the first reading in today’s Mass, a familiar one:
“Thus says the Lord:
‘You shall not molest or oppress an alien, for you were once aliens yourself in the land of Egypt. You shall not wrong any widow or orphan. If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry. My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword; then your own wives will be widows, and your children orphans.’”
Exodus 22: 20 – 23
Not long ago, Rev. James Altman, a pastor in La Crosse, Wisconsin, released a viral video in which he declared, “You cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat,” and has reportedly called liberals “fascist bullies” acting “just like Hitler’s Nazis did.” He believes that Catholics must support Republicans and Mr. Trump because of their opposition to abortion.
I’m confident that Fr. Altman has reconciled today’s Exodus passage with his vehement support of Mr. Trump. I cannot. That said, I cannot presume to judge; he is responsible to the Almighty for his soul, as I am for mine.
Today’s Exodus passage brought other Scripture verses to mind for me:
“How long, O Lord? Will you utterly forget me? How long will you hide your face from me? How long shall I harbor sorrow in my soul, grief in my heart day after day? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look, answer me, O Lord, my God!”
Psalms 13: 1-2
May we receive the means to aid those now suffering at our hands.