This church wanted to make a bold point about family separation. It succeeded.
Image courtesy the Christ Church Cathedral.

They wanted to make a statement about separating families. The message is clear.

The Trump administration's family separation policy has stirred unity and outrage over protecting the most vulnerable among us.

Not everyone was moved by images and stories of families torn apart. Some have even cited the Bible to justify the policy. A church in Indianapolis decided to make a statement by putting figures of Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus inside a cage as part of their #EveryFamilyIsHoly campaign.


The images are startling.

"Holy Scripture is clear about how we are to treat people trying to find safety for their families — we are to show mercy and welcome them," Stephen Carlsen, dean and rector of the the Christ Church Cathedral said in a statement. "People of good will and faith must not allow this to continue."

Photos of the display were quickly picked up by local media and began to go viral. A post of the church's Facebook page is also drawing attention from both sides of the immigration debate.

Religious groups have been speaking out more about civil rights.

The display in Indiana is part of a larger pattern unfolding in the Trump presidency where religious groups are speaking out over civil rights.

After the Supreme Court ruled in late June to uphold the White House "travel ban," most of the focus was understandably on Muslims. But a number of groups from other faiths, and even atheist organizations, spoke out to oppose the decision, saying it infringed upon civil liberties.

In a statement similar to that of the Christ Church Cathedral, American Jewish Committee general counsel Marc D. Stern said, "The ban is repugnant to bedrock American values of religious equality and openness to immigrants from around the world."

There are plenty of issues that religious groups disagree on, but one thing most seem to agree on is that treating the most vulnerable populations inhumanely in unacceptable.

Image courtesy the Christ Church Cathedral.

After all, millions throughout history were vulnerable refugees seeking asylum.

When asked about his church's display, Carlsen pointed out that Joseph and Mary were once refugees seeking asylum. It's in the very cornerstone of the Christian faith to observe the plight they went through to protect the baby Jesus.

"The fact that it's controversial isn't because I want to be controversial," he said. "What's controversial is that we're turning away from the values that should be guiding us."

Maybe it takes a shocking display to be reminded of those values. If so, it's a small price to pay when weighed against the very real people — families and children — suffering from the family separation policy today.

True

Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less

Empathy. Compassion. Heart-to-heart human connection. These qualities of leadership may not be flashy or loud, but they speak volumes when we see them in action.

A clip of Joe Biden is going viral because it reminds us what that kind of leadership looks like. The video shows a key moment at a memorial service for Chris Hixon, the athletic director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. Hixon had attempted to disarm the gunman who went on a shooting spree at the school, killing 17 people—including Hixon—and injuring 17 more.

Biden asked who Hixon's parents were as the clip begins, and is directed to his right. Hixon's wife introduces herself, and Biden says, "God love you." As he starts to walk away, a voice off-camera says something and Biden immediately turns around. The voice came from Hixon's son, Corey, and the moments that followed are what have people feeling all their feelings.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less
via Witty Buttons / Twitter

Back in 2017, when white supremacist Richard Spencer was socked in the face by someone wearing all black at Trump's inauguration, it launched an online debate, "Is it OK to punch a Nazi?"

The essential nature of the debate was whether it was acceptable for people to act violently towards someone with repugnant reviews, even if they were being peaceful. Some suggested people should confront them peacefully by engaging in a debate or at least make them feel uncomfortable being Nazi in public.

Keep Reading Show less

The English language is constantly evolving, and the faster the world changes, the faster our vocabulary changes. Some of us grew up in an age when a "wireless router" would have been assumed to be a power tool, not a way to get your laptop (which wasn't a thing when I was a kid) connected to the internet (which also wasn't a thing when I was a kid, at least not in people's homes).

It's interesting to step back and look at how much has changed just in our own lifetimes, which is why Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler tool is so fun to play with. All you do is choose a year, and it tells you what words first appeared in print that year.

For my birth year, the words "adult-onset diabetes," "playdate," and "ATM" showed up in print for the first time, and yes, that makes me feel ridiculously old.

It's also fun to plug in the years of different people's births to see how their generational differences might impact their perspectives. For example, let's take the birth years of the oldest and youngest members of Congress:

Keep Reading Show less