A Letter from Our Moderator, Elder Linda Rutkosky

My brothers and sisters in Christ,

Silence is not always golden. To refrain from commenting and speaking up for victims and against atrocity is to be complicit. Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

As Christians we are instructed in the book of John to “love one another as God so loved us.” This great commandment is all we need for our compass of morality to function with the needle pointing us in the correct direction. It is with a heavy heart that I read and listen to the stories of children being ripped from their parents at our southern border. Most of these children have already come from frightening circumstances and now we are adding to their misery by detaining them in a separate far-away space, alienating them from their parents. Forcibly taking children from their parents goes directly against the fundamental Christian value of loving one another and the sanctity of the family. I write these reflections aware of the executive order signed this week – but I caution us to consider the traumatic impact to children that are still being detained in isolation from their parents in conditions not unlike those of history’s concentration camps.

Those of us called by God to be servant leaders are perplexed and discouraged by the lack of mercy and grace shown to mothers, fathers and their children by our own country. Silence is not golden. We cannot be neutral. We are on the side of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. I am putting a pen to paper, decrying loudly with a forceful energy and spirit, that this practice of separating families is horrific on virtually every Christian moral level and directly opposes the teachings of Christ. We may be divided on our perspective of how we got to this place, but we need to be united in how we respond as a people of faith. May we be vigilant until every one of these children is returned to their family. May we be alert and attentive that this absolutely unequivocally never happens again to innocent children.

I pray that hearts will soften, eyes will see, and minds will be enlightened with different ways to resolve problems and that the love of Christ will triumph. I pray that we stop this madness and keep these children where they belong … with their mothers and fathers. Silence is not golden! May we lift up our voices – God, hear our prayers!

In peace, love and with hope …

Read about an approved resolution by the 223rd General Assembly that condemns the separation of children from their families at the border: https://pres-outlook.org/2018/06/general-assembly-condemns-the-government-for-separating-children-from-their-families/