Something Is Wrong

The Federal government has declared the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program unconstitutional.  Congress still has a brief window to save it.  I don’t think they will.  I’m more confident than ever that nearly 800,000 residents of the United States will be forced to leave our country because their parents brought them to America as children.

Why am I confident?  I have little faith in our government.  The same people who promise to help the hurricane victims also promised that North Korea wouldn’t develop a Hydrogen bomb.  Their compassion and credibility are shot.

Compassion isn’t in the nature of a large bureaucracy (even the church).  How many government or military helicopter flew to Houston without being asked?  Compassion was ordered.  The Redneck Navy, the Cajun Navy, the volunteers; they didn’t need an order.  Compassion is an instinct.  The Coast Guard and the Navy, while acting compassionately, were simply making good on the taxes we’ve already paid.  When the Customs and Border Agents who were saving people in Houston are ordered to round up the dreamers, who will be the first to ask them about their compassion?  When they came for the people on the roof, I said thank you.  When they came for the dreamer next door, I closed my curtain.

Many of these (now) young adults are our neighbors.  They go to the local school, hang out at our house, and one of my daughter’s friends calls me “dad”.  She doesn’t have a father.  They are as American as my daughters.  No matter how loudly we proclaim our colorblindness and love in the wake of a natural disaster, the United States is in the midst of a hospitality crisis.

At the same time, Mother Nature is trying to forcibly remove humanity from planet Earth.  The 100, 500, and 1000 year storms are coming every two weeks.  The end of school and the beginning of fall is marked each year by the arrival of one or two destructive hurricanes.  Our planet also has a hospitality crisis.

I didn’t mention the floods in Bangladesh or the genocide of the Rohingya in Burma.  That’s all been happening this week too.  You wouldn’t know it.  We’re too busy patting ourselves on the back for helping each other while we prepare to tear each other apart over DACA.  Something is wrong with how we respond to disasters if we can transition from destruction into deportation so easily.

But it’s all going to be OK, or so we’re told.  Despite ruining the lives of people who don’t deserve or need to be ruined (in both the former and latter), when there’s a natural disaster, people pull together.  The hard truth we refuse to admit is this:  it takes death and destruction for Americans to be convinced humanity’s best days are still ahead.  That’s not the way it ought to be.  We ought to get along on sunny afternoons when no one’s dead, it’s not been raining, and genocide’s not afoot.  Yes we should.  But we can’t.  We’re sinners and as I look east toward Irma, it looks like we’re in the hands of a very angry God.