It strikes me as both incredibly cruel and perfectly predictable that Donald Trump moved closer to ending DACA on the same day he declared to be the National Day of Prayer.
He gave thanks to God by putting fear in the hearts of children of immigrants who, through no fault of their own, may soon be deported to a country they’ve never called home. He honored his faith by threatening to tear apart thousands upon thousands of families.
As a reader named Conor wrote to me, “if only there was a remarkably apropos metaphor of a child being told there was no room at the inn.”
Repealing DACA seems like a easy thing for evangelicals to oppose… but they have no claim to moral authority at this point. They’ve (for the most part) stood by Trump despite all the awful things he’s done and said so far. Even if they don’t endorse what he says or does, they’re certainly not bothered enough by it all to walk away from him and the GOP. Why would they suddenly come to their senses now?
Even a member of Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board is fully behind his predicted action on DACA:
#DACA is unconstitutional. American citizens should be 1st
— Pastor Mark Burns (@pastormarkburns) September 4, 2017
A couple of other board members urged Congress to take action (without saying anything critical of Trump):
— Ralph Reed (@ralphreed) September 1, 2017
…while I disagree with rescinding #DACA I do wholeheartedly agree that Congress MUST act and give us a permanent solution.
— Tony Suarez-NHCLC VP (@revtonysuarez) September 4, 2017
Maybe some people sleep better at night thinking Congress will save these children, but we’re talking about a Republican majority that voted to take away health care from millions of Americans. Their platform is cruelty, and their base is overrun with bigots. I have no confidence in their ability to preserve DACA and help the people affected by it when they’ve shown virtually no signs of standing up to Trump so far.
I’ve said this before about Trump’s evangelical advisors, but I still think about it all the time: If he’s listening to them, what sort of horrible advice are they giving him? And if he’s not listening to them, why are they wasting their time?
For everyone else, remember this: We already knew the consequences of the Religious Right obtaining power. LGBTQ people, women, people of color: They all suffer when evangelicals are elected. Their rights are stripped away. It’s happened too many times that this comes as no surprise. We didn’t do enough to stop them in 2016 and we’ll be paying the price for that for decades to come.
Reading these gut-wrenching stories of deportations and how they’re already tearing apart families and communities should put to rest any belief that the Republican Party — and their evangelical base — gives a damn about “family values.” They never have before. They don’t care now. And you’re a fool if you think that’s going to change.
We have to remember that every time there’s a local, state, or national election. We have to mobilize and vote for candidates who will put a stop to this madness. If we don’t, these Republicans, with a sizable religious base that’s motivated by bigotry, will keep doing this.
(Image via Shutterstock)