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With icy horrors still unfolding for thousands of immigrants trapped in an impossible plight – the Reptile-In-Chief’s new edict: Leave with or without your kids – an Indiana church has moved to denounce the “humanitarian atrocities” underway by incarcerating Mary, Joseph and Jesus on their front lawn. The two pastors of Indianapolis’ Episcopal Christ Church Cathedral put the Holy family behind a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire across from Monument Circle, likely the state’s most public space, to launch their “Every Family Is Holy” campaign as a furious protest against the reality of Trump’s zero-tolerance cruelty. For thousands of families as for Jesus et al, “It is a cage, it’s a detention center, its a concentration camp,” says the Rev. Stephen Carlsen, rector of the church. “It’s time to call this what it is.” “I know what the Bible said,” he adds. “We’re supposed to love our neighbors as ourselves.”
His colleague the Rev. Lee Curtis quotes Matthew 2:13-14 – “An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt” – to stress that, “This family is every family.” The church’s statement on the protest echoes him: “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.” Having taken other progressive stands – they joined March For Our Lives, marry same-sex couples, work with immigrant advocates – and with many immigrants in their congregation, “This is an easy one for us,” says Carlsen. “This is about people I know and love, and I’m going to stand with them,” he says. “As an American and a person of faith, we are called to much better.” Most viewers of the protest have been supportive, with some happily noting it helps make up for the evil of Mike Pence. As to the rest, says Carlsen, “If it offends people, I think it might be God trying to get their attention.”
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First published in Common Dreams.