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In a recent interview with Fox News, Senator Ted Cruz showed a display of false compassion for the refugee children at our border, stating that the more compassionate response is to send them back. He even accused Democrats of actually wanting them to be “maimed and brutalized.” Check out the video below:

At least Wallace questions the veracity of the argument before letting Cruz drone on. Does it get any lower than this?

In another Fox News interview, Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress from a megachurch in Dallas shared his opinion on the border crisis, going so far as to argue that one is being compassionate and imitating Jesus by building a fence to keep these children out. He compared it to building a fence around your pool so that your neighbor’s child doesn’t wander in, fall, and drown in your pool. Because apparently, letting children into the US for relief from the danger they are running from is even more dangerous than sending them back.

It is one thing to send children back out of blatantly selfish interest in protecting the border. It is quite another thing to call it “compassionate.”

b159f2c3387f4514ba61654e40559275-Photo-3-728x455The President has decided to bypass Congress in an effort to respond to the immigration crisis at the southern border but not in all the right ways. While the Border Patrol has failed in treating its detainees in a humanitarian manner–as seen here–no action has been taken in response either by the Obama administration or other government officials. Just as bad, a Border Patrol Agent has been able to deny any mistreatment of children without any threat of investigation. The ACLU has filed a complaint and is still waiting for a response.

Obama’s response to the crisis is neither deportation nor an open door to American freedom. Instead he is requesting $3.7 billion to delay deportations while keeping more than 50,000 children in detention. Some of that money is to go toward prosecuting drug smuggling networks–one group largely responsible for the influx of immigrant children. In all of this Obama hopes to deter draconian efforts to kick out and abandon these children to the violent and dangerous places they were running from.

The President has the opportunity, extended by Texas governor Rick Perry, to see the humanitarian crisis for himself but has declined. Yet he is still visiting Texas to raise funds and discuss the humanitarian crisis at a roundtable discussion in Dallas with Perry and other leaders and officials. As a result, both Republicans and Democrats will be disappointed with Obama’s actions.

A humanitarian crisis such as this constitutes a moral and ethical dilemma that calls for higher action beyond petty power politics. This is not simply a matter of homeland security but the valuable lives of suffering children who pose no real threat against the U.S. Let’s hope our government officials make the right decisions to respond to this humanitarian disaster in a humanitarian way. Delaying deportation is a good place to start, but preventing their abuse while in detention would be progress too.

image4Yesterday in Raleigh, El Pueblo, Inc. joined forces with several volunteers to hold a vigil for the approximately 60,000 children currently attempting to escape the poverty, violence, and fear of their hometowns in Central America to find relief, security, and freedom in the U.S. As Mike Figueras of El Pueblo informed me, for each child’s body found in the desert, there are about 10 more still lost. (A new report from the Immigration Policy Center shines more light on the dire situation).

Several people spoke at the vigil including staff members of El Pueblo, volunteers, and people representing We Are Raleigh. As Mike explained to me, they hope to do much more than the vigil. He stated that they don’t want this issue pushed to the wayside as these children’s lives are precious and in danger. El Pueblo will also be making efforts to inform and persuade those who are eligible for registration so they can vote. This effort needs all the help it can get.

One purpose of the vigil was prayer, practiced silently as everyone gathered in a circle for a “moment of silence.” One female speaker stated that faith in God and prayer are important to them as they no longer feel that can trust or rely on the government. It is a sad day when the leaders of the “free world” struggle to do the morally right thing by providing relief and help to thousands of poor and suffering children.

Another speaker made a great point when he informed the group that the Statue of Liberty itself has a plaque with the following words engraved: Read More

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Eva Justin from the Racial Hygiene and Demographic Biology Research Unit measures the skull of a Romani woman.

You would think that living in the twenty-first century, we would have progressed beyond the barbarity of eugenics programs in the U.S. in previous centuries. That assumption would be false.

Eugenics–the systematic implementation of social Darwinian procedures such as sterilization and segregation in order to “purify” the human gene pool–complemented the ideology behind the Nazi Holocaust. Meanwhile in the U.S., medical professionals were sterilizing those deemed genetically “inferior” while legislators and police were enforcing racial segregation. We have now moved forward to a point in which science, cultural consciousness, and law are in agreement that eugenics is destructive and ethically reprehensible.

Nevertheless, a recent investigation into California prisons reveals that some Americans remain behind the times. It has been confirmed that 39 female inmates were illegally sterilized over the last eight years at Folsom Women’s Facility, Central California Women’s Facility, Valley State Prison for Women, and the California Institution for Women. Such women were not given proper consent. The procedure, in effect, was coerced on them. Consequently, the health committee at the California legislature has moved to pass a bill banning all future sterilizations of inmates unless required in a medical emergency.

North Carolina isn’t faring much better. With a sketchy past regarding eugenics programs, the state has yet to compensate its past victims of sterilization despite promises. This past Monday was the deadline for victims to file claims and apply for compensation. The NAACP believes that the state is still doing an insufficient job, requesting that the deadline be extended as only 630 out of 1,800 victims who may still be alive have submitted proper claims and paperwork to the state Office of Justice for Sterilization Victims. Let’s hope this request meets with a favorable response and that our nation can move further forward and “not one step back” as the Moral Monday mantra states. Because in California and North Carolina, we remain more than one step back.

Hobby Lobby1. The unconstitutional application of religious liberty: The original purpose of religious liberty is defined as the separation of church and state, ensuring the protection of both through mutual autonomy. Health care coverage is an entity of the state. By permitting Hobby Lobby the refusal to cover certain forms of birth control on religious grounds in its female employees’ health care plans, the Supreme Court is essentially giving the same blessing of religious liberty to a corporate entity that the law permits for private faith. Based on such reasoning, a company run by Jehovah’s Witnesses could write blood transfusions out of their health care plans and companies run by fundamentalist Christians could write vaccines out of theirs.

2. Blatant hypocrisy: Hobby Lobby’s excuse to refuse coverage for certain forms of women’s birth control was framed as religious opposition to what they falsely named “abortion”–specific contraceptives and devices that prevent a zygote from being implanted in the uterine wall. However, as noted by Mother Jones in a recent investigation, Hobby Lobby has financial ties not only to the manufacturing of said forms of birth control but even to drugs used for inducing abortions. Hobby Lobby has stock holdings in companies that manufacture these products. This is blatant hypocrisy and reveals that the true motive wasn’t religious conviction at all but corporate greed.

3. It’s counterproductive: As noted by pro-life progressive and faith activist Brian McLaren in a recent article, the Hobby Lobby decision–while being hailed as a victory against abortion by many in conservative Christian faith communities–is actually counterproductive to such a cause in that it does nothing to reduce or prevent real abortions. In fact, by making it more financially difficult for female employees to acquire birth control that, scientifically, does not constitute abortion, Hobby Lobby is eliminating assistance that would actually reduce abortions. Hence, the decision is not in any way a victory against abortion. To the contrary, it deceives Hobby Lobby’s religious supporters into making abortion a more viable option through the withdrawal of financial support for significant forms of birth control such as emergency contraception.