Must Read Monday: Immigration, Father’s Day, Incredibles 2 and Tech-addictionJune 18, 2018
Immigration, the southern border, the forced separation of families and the power of First Ladies
First Lady Melania Trump and former First Lady Laura Bush have spoken out against the current “zero tolerance” policy being employed against families arriving at the U.S. southern border. According to the spokeswoman for Melania Trump, “Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform….She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.” Former First Lady Laura Bush wrote an op-ed in this morning’s Washington Post: “I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.” Family separations produce pictures and trending social media stories to which the President is particularly sensitive. He is expected to hear about it from GOP lawmakers tonight when he meets with them. For our part, let us pray for a resolution that both honors the need for secure borders AND the need for compassion toward the sojourner.
While separations are not new, they have become more prevalent because the current administration has declared a zero tolerance policy for those crossing illegally – even those claiming to be asylum seekers.
Best analysis I’ve read from a Christian worldview is by Bruce Ashford: http://bruceashford.net/2018/immigration-was-a-g-sessions-right-to-quote-the-bible-in-defense-of-family-separation/
Albert Mohler also addresses this issue in today’s Briefing. Listen here: https://albertmohler.com/2018/06/18/briefing-6-18-18/
Roundup of responses by Christian leaders and organizations continues to grow: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/14/us/trump-immigration-religion.html
Making sense of Father’s Day in a world gone mad
Yesterday was Father’s Day. CNN’s Father’s day lead? “He gave birth. He breastfed. Now he wants his son to see him as a man.” Yes, you read that right and no, it doesn’t make any logical sense. Add to that the news from Canada that a judge rules having 2 dads and 1 mom is in the best interest of the child. But when single men want a baby, the best interests of the child are supplanted by adult autonomous desire. And, dads still have no say when the woman carrying their baby wants to abort for any reason at virtually any time.
As Christians we can readily see the confusion about fatherhood and while we know there’s a desperate need for dads, we also know the father wound with which many people struggle in our society. Into all this we bring the redemptive witness of God, our Father. We testify to the reality of a restored relationship with the God and Father of us all who is above all and through all and in all. We introduce others to Abba, Daddy, and we share with them what life is like secure in His love. In the midst of a world gone mad, let us offer the redemption of a Father who never fails and goes to incredible lengths to demonstrate His love.
Speaking of Incredible dads, check out Incredibles 2!
“Incredibles 2,” Pixar’s spirited sequel about a family of superheroes (with a dad whose kids say he’s not just good, he’s super!), had the biggest domestic debut ever for an animated movie with an $180 million opening weekend, Entertainment Weekly reports:
- “The previous record holder was Pixar’s ‘Finding Dory,’ which bowed to $135.1 million in 2016.”
- “‘Incredibles 2’ also marks the eighth-best domestic opening all time for any film (animated or otherwise, not adjusted for inflation), and the third-best opening of 2018, behind Marvel Studios’ ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ ($257.7 million) and ‘Black Panther’ ($202 million).”
Incredibles 2 is family-friendly and family-focused. Here’s an intact family with very counter-cultural talents who just want to do good and live joyfully. Yes, they deal with adolescence and temper-tantrums (born of sin personified as a fully-expressed demon), but they do so with the full recognition that every person is unique and learning. For a Christian review of Incredibles 2, check out Plugged In.
And while we’re talking about media, if you’re trying to find ways to deal with tech-addiction, there’s now an app for that!
“A small but growing number of behavioral scientists and former Silicon Valley developers have begun trying to counterprogram those news alerts, friend requests and updates crowding our waking hours,” the WashPost’s William Wan reports:
- “[T]he rebel developers are … creating apps that try to put users back in control.”
- “They call their movement ‘digital wellness,’ and in recent weeks, they scored two huge victories when Google and Apple announced plans to incorporate some aspects of digital-wellness apps — like allowing users to track their screen time — into upcoming Android and iPhone operating systems.”
The article notes, “In the modern economy of tablets and apps, our attention has become the most valuable commodity. Tech companies have armies of behavioral researchers whose sole job is to apply principles like Skinner’s variable rewards to grab and hold our focus as often and long as possible.” Here the Christian recognizes all the times God says “pay attention,” “remember,” or “be alert,” in the Bible. Truth is, if we are distracted by many things or if we are focused on the wrong things, we will not only fail to give God the honor He is due in every given moment but we fail to see what we are meant to see and do as agents of His grace in the world that He so loves.