Misinformation abounds. It has turned into a futile “war” out there: an “us versus them”; a “my belief is true versus your belief is fake news”. That’s the current climate on every topic imaginable. God knows how it came to this, but to me it seems everywhere I turn there is a deep pit of opinion with slimy, slippery slopes. I sense I may not get out of some of the pits if I fall in.
And so I step aside from those deep pits and search out truths.
Here is an example. Tonight I saw a meme — a deep pit of opinion with slimy, slippery slopes — saying that Clinton enacted and enforced a child separation policy regarding immigrants, Obama continued it, and Trump is now being falsely accused by “the Dems” for doing what those before him did, too.
But it’s not true. Did I decide it’s untrue because another meme or article told me so? Do I believe it’s untrue because I’m in a political, religious, or social group that tells me what to believe, and I complied with their Group Think?
No, I know it is untrue because I searched for the truth myself. Over the past few years, I’ve spent a lot of time reading immigration law and timeframes of enactment, in response to the conflicting claims on the topic. I went straight to the legal documents, because they are without political bias, they are the facts. Dry and factual and opinionless … those are the sources I trust.
I’ve learned that it was during Clinton’s administration that immigration laws were tightened in response to the influx of people from Haiti. All administrations since have enforced those policies, both Republican and Democratic. They did not, however, enact or enforce laws to separate children from their parents.
It was only Trump who has separated children from their parents and put them in holding facilities with other children. I hate the policy, and did from the second the truth was exposed. So, in our current climate, many people will then conclude I am pro-Obama, that I defend everything he did.
But that would be untrue. I am also aware of, and critical of immigration practices that were inhumane during the Obama administration. It is possible to stay in truth and out of “us versus them”. Let me prove it by listing some truths from our recent past:
Obama was tough on illegal immigration — memes now tell us this, as if we were all misinformed about it at the time, or as if it was information withheld from us — but it was well-known by those who were paying attention. I was interested because my oldest son was volunteering at Dilley Detention Center in Texas during Obama’s second term.
As it was for decades, during Obama’s administration families were detained together, or, at some facilities (including Dilley), teen and adult males were in one building, mothers and children in another. Children and mothers didn’t get to see or communicate with their fathers and teen sons for long periods of time. Obama’s “get tough” policies caused increased arrests and detentions, and therefore increased backlog of judicial hearings. With the severe shortage of immigration judges, cases were delayed for months, even years; files were lost; cases were bungled; countless migrants finally got their hearings but were not given a chance to speak; many didn’t have representation; cases were swiftly decided in mere minutes by overworked judges who had piles of files to get through every day.
For all, the conditions were little better than a prison. When people were deported, they were often dropped off in the desert without water or means of contacting assistance, and many many people died that way.
Separations before Trump’s administration occurred only in rare conditions: when family connections were unproven, or when there was suspicion of trafficking. Those separations were to protect the children. The separations that began with Trump are reportedly to deter migration and asylum seekers. He said so himself. They are unprecedented, and widely criticized, even by his inner circle and many in his party, which caused him to revoke his new policy. In June of 2018, the child separation practice was legally banned.
Yet the practice continues.
Those are the truths. Those truths keep me from falling into slimey, slippery pits.
People like my son aren’t political, they only hope for and expect that life, human and legal rights, and dignity should not be denied any person. It was already being pushed into a very gray zone during past administrations — during this one it has been pushed significantly further with the separation of children from their parents or guardians.
For me, too, it’s not about politics or parties. I’m not taking the bait of inciteful falsehoods; I”m not falling into the trap of “us” versus “them”. It’s not about Democrats versus Republicans …
It’s about what is true. It’s about doing the right thing.
It is likely that people will read this and say it is a political post; that’s how entangled views and statements of facts have become. Where there are the buzzwords (like “child separation”) within statements, there comes from many the automatic assumptions, categorizing, and accusations to dismiss or bury the truths. So let me say it again … It’s not about Democrats versus Republicans …
It’s about what is true. It’s about doing the right thing.
Can you read or hear facts on an issue without putting the writer or speaker into one of two categories? Must we all be categorized when in reality we don’t fit the criteria of those slots? Can you allow a person to stay outside of “us” or “them”? Can YOU stay outside of “us” or “them”?
Truths on nearly any controversy and issue are available online to anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort to research the facts.
There is an even better source … a perfect source: our God. Truths on every single issue that we are up against are available to anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort to inquire of Him.
God is Truth, and truth is a beacon in the dark night. I am determined to put in the time and effort to find His beacon of truth in all things.
It’s possible. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort.
I have given up trying to get anywhere with people who hold tight to lies — as long as they want mendacity, they shall have mendacity.
But as for me and my house … we will serve the Lord.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, You would have known my Father also. From now on you know him and have seen him.” (John 14:6-7)
“We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” (1 John 4:6)
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (1 John 1:14)