Barbed wire fence at U.S. border
Vice President Pence visited the U.S./Mexico border this past weekend, and toured two detention centers where migrants are being held.

Vice President Mike Pence's weekend tour of the McAllen, Texas border detention center produced plenty of headlines - but perhaps not for the reasons the Trump administration wanted. His face observant, stoic, and unmoved as he bore witness to the squalor around him, VP Pence spent last Friday touring the crowded confines where thousands of migrants are left - sometimes for weeks at a time - to learn their immigration fate.

Following his visit, the hashtag #FakeChristian began trending on social media as users blasted Pence for his apparent lack of empathy and perceived role in causing the crisis in the first place.

If the attack seems personal, it's because it is. Pence prides himself on his Christian faith and considers it a core part of his identity. At the Vice Presidential Debate in 2016, Pence said "my Christian faith is at the very heart of who I am. I was also raised in a wonderful family of faith. It was a church on Sunday morning and grace before dinner. But my Christian faith became real for me when I made a personal decision for Christ when I was a freshman in college. And I've tried to live that out however imperfectly every day of my life since."

Crowded Conditions

At the McAllen detention center, conditions were bleak. Hundreds of adult men, crammed into a single cell that was so overcrowded there was not a single cot to sleep in. The men, instead, sleep on the concrete floor. The room was sweltering and the stench was unbearable, according to reporters who accompanied the Vice President to the detention center.

Some of the men claimed they'd been in custody for 40 days - an assertion border agents dispute. They told reporters, the Vice President, and anyone else that would listen, that they're hungry, some of them hadn't showered in 20 days, and they didn't have access to toothbrushes. And one man even said they had to ask permission from guards to get a drink of water.

However, one border agent disputed the claims of the migrants in custody. Apparently, a portable shower had arrived the day before, although he contended that it is possible some of the men had not had the chance to shower. He also said that every person in custody got three meals a day from local restaurants and that there are nearly 100,000 disposable toothbrushes on-site. He said that they clean the space three times a day and that the building, despite the heat, is air-conditioned.

Who's to Blame?

CNN asked Pence if the conditions are acceptable: he said they were not. But when pressed on what, exactly, to do, Pence deferred to Congress: "The McAllen station, where our cells are overflowing ought to be a very clear message to every American that the time for action is now and the time for Congress to act to end the flow of families that are coming north from Central America to our border is now." Pence pointed the finger at Democrats for dragging their feet on approving a $4.6 billion border aid package.

But this response didn't sit well with many on social media, who lambasted the Vice President for what they perceived as a lack of Christ-like compassion. Many even directly quoted Leviticus 19: 33-34 in response.

Where Do We Go from Here?

All rhetoric aside, the crisis at the border continues to prove an impossible situation. Politicians appear eager to assign blame to the other side, but reluctant to act. Meanwhile, nothing gets done to solve the problem. We recently published a piece featuring two ULC ministers with opposing viewpoints on the issue which elicited strong reactions from readers. Some agreed that moral and religious standards require the United States to help migrants seeking asylum, while others argued such an approach was neither practical nor likely to solve the root cause of the problem.

What was your reaction to Pence's border visit? Were critics right to question his faith, or was that a step too far?

35 comments

  1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

    Faith has nothing to do with it. If they hadn't invaded the border they wouldn't have put us in a situation needing to handle them. Go home.

    1. John Smithkey lll's Avatar John Smithkey lll

      They illegally came and crossed our borders. While I understand some are suffering from no job, as well as poverty. But these reasons do NOT qualify for asylum!

      1. Reverend Krystina S.'s Avatar Reverend Krystina S.

        No invasion. That is inflammatory and false rhetoric, Kim. Smithkey, it is their right to seek asylum under international and U.S. laws. And the people seeking asylum are from countries and situations which are, by all estimations, valid. The economic migrants are of the past.

        1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

          Nonsense. They passed through numerous countries and were schooled in bypassing the law once they got caught illegally entering the country. Anyone who has lived on the border including me will tell you the truth of the situation if you are willing to listen but you are not.

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    Yes, it's been a problem ever since Obama caged them, and possibly before that. Hopefully they will get their hearing very soon to weed out those who are in serious need to claim asylum, and for the others who don't qualify to be sent back with our best wishes.

    Don't you just love that Latino female officer making sure they don't get in?

    ?♥️

    1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

      Many of the border patrol are Latino. Haven't you ever lived on the border Lion? I hzve.

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        That's very nice and refreshing to know Kim. At least politicians can't throw the race card at Border Control agents. I bet AOC was so disappointed to see that.

        ?♥️

        1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

          Yeah...That's my guess too. lol

  1. William Waugh's Avatar William Waugh

    Right. I dont care how many "bandaids" it takes or the cost to accommodate our "guests" at at least the equal to our finest white collar prisons. As long as it is clear the bottom line is there's only 3 exits, a path to citizenship for those qualified, prison for criminals and EVERYBODY else goes back where they came from and everybody back there knows it upfront. So they understand that their luck will be better there. The current approach is typically Trumpian. Squeeze in every person using the least dollars possible. Bad optics! Complete idiocy! ..........what we have come to expect from this illegitament president.

  1. Dr. Daniel R. Thomas. Ph.D. D.D's Avatar Dr. Daniel R. Thomas. Ph.D. D.D

    Jesus promoted local control and local responsibility. A local church where authority was established and responsibility was assigned solved local problems. He also recognized civil authority, as did Paul. But both pointed to God and what He required each bb5 of us to do. So, if each of us loved and saw to the needs of his neighbor, then these problems would not be manifested. There were local churches that were better off then others. But even then, if famine took place, all pooled their resources and sent help to the Church in need. In a perfect world, there would be no government assistance as we would truly share and care for each other. Politics, greed, corruption have made this very difficult. Perhaps it is a lack of faith that is the root cause. Faith that recognizes our answering for our actions that is missing. So I try to care for my brother. I try to meet his needs. I try to live up to the standards Christ set for me. Love. Peace. Faith. Compassion. The qualities that Christ displayed. Yet He also was zealous for His Father's House and His Father's Law. Our world today is a long way from that. Perhaps we need to turn back that way? Establish the power of local Churches and local congregations that see to the needs of its own members. Perhaps then people would not need to run away anymore as corruption and evil would not be tolerated. Probably just dreaming here. It is just that my brother is before me now, here, and needs my help. So I will help him, all the while praying that this will inspire others to help those before them. And this will cascade down to everyone, everywhere. And all those that need help, will finally have it.

    Dr. Daniel R. Thomas

    1. Reverend Krystina S.'s Avatar Reverend Krystina S.

      Dr. Thomas, from your mouth to God's ear, for sure!

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        God has ears? Can someone please whisper in his little ear about those suffering and starving in Africa.

        Nah....forget it. He's deaf, dumb, and blind to those matters. However, he does help soccer players score goals. Seriously! I've seen soccer players give thanks to him for helping them score. Now there's a god worthy of worshipping! A soccer friendly god.

        ?♥️

  1. Professor Albert Logjes's Avatar Professor Albert Logjes

    There is a lack of humanity

    1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

      Nonsense. There is too much "humanity" and it is contrived for political reasons. There is a lack of objectivity.

      1. Reverend Krystina S.'s Avatar Reverend Krystina S.

        There is both lack of compassionate objectivity (because "objectivity" can be used to justify Hitler's genocide or other Malthusian "fixes") and lack of Humanity-Morality-Decency-Compassion. Don't use "objective" as the way to justify evil, either.

        1. Professor Albert Logjes's Avatar Professor Albert Logjes

          Reverend Krystina: I agree

          1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

            Hitler was anything but objective. Like you socialists of today, he had an agenda.

      2. Professor Albert Logjes's Avatar Professor Albert Logjes

        Are cages objective?

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          No more so than jails, but until government provides money for something better, which could have happened under the last administration, and this one, it is what it is.

          ?❤️

          1. Professor Albert Logjes's Avatar Professor Albert Logjes

            There is Always a choice. Read Sartre.

          2. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

            And some choices are, among others:

            Provide money to improve those conditions.

            Try entering legally.

            Apply for asylum in Mexico.

            Go to an American Embassy in Mexico.

            ?❤️

          3. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

            The choice is STAY HOME.

        2. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

          of course. They are a tool like guns are a tool. They are an OBJECT silly.

          1. Professor Albert Logjes's Avatar Professor Albert Logjes

            Kimberly, cages are Always subjective. By the way your comment is not really respectful.. Be happy that you are not my student.

          2. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

            Professor....I meant no respect. I haven't been a grad student for many a year. Yet...surprisingly I'm happy.

  1. Carrie's Avatar Carrie

    99% of Christians are those from the "Front Row". They dress the best, go to church every week, scream the loudest, pray the loudest and then spend the rest of the week screwing everyone around them! "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing."

    1. Reverend Krystina S.'s Avatar Reverend Krystina S.

      THUS #FakeChristian. Shakespeare knew!!

  1. directortice's Avatar directortice

    The question is.... What was your reaction to Pence's border visit? Were critics right to question his faith, or was that a step too far?

    My reaction.... Mr. Pence must have more information than I do. He is doing his job. He has to go where he is sent.

    Mr. Pence ran on the "fact" he is Christian. So since he declared his faith.... and stood on faith.... then he should expect to have his faith questioned when people of a different opinion need something to point at. Some of the stuff he has been assigned hasn't been easy to deal with.

    Just this morning.... in Ecclesiastes 8.... people like Pence are told to "obey the king".

    I don't like having a president who has a sunshine clause on his marriage. But he is the president. He has a lot more information about what is going on than I do. He sent his Vice President to do a little propaganda bit. Mr. Pence did his best.

    Mr. Pence's naive smile is gone.... he looks sad now.... but I'm sure he's hitting his knees every night and praying that God will use him.... and I'm sure he really believes that God is in control.

    Before someone chirps in "there is no god".... the man has faith... that's what the question is about.... Vice President Pence believes there is one God..... that's what he told us..... and I don't think he lied about that. So it's not important if someone else thinks God is in control.... Pence still believes it.... and that is quite admirable.... considering his circumstances....

    He put the question on the table... and now it's up to him to see it through in a Christian manner.

    That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it... God willing....

    https://forums.somd.com/forums/religion.30/

    1. Reverend Krystina S.'s Avatar Reverend Krystina S.

      Well, Being Christian demands action. ("Faith without Works is Dead.") We no longer have the naive belief that those in power by virtue of their power, who have "a lot more information about what is going on than I do" will USE THAT INFORMATION in any way, much less in a positive, constructive manner. Because STUPID. If you claim to Follow the Jesus Way, then it is incumbent upon you to see suffering through Jesus' Eyes. I will not continue to play the out of context Biblical quotation game. It is less useful than the Shakespearean quotation game, for sure. Beware of False Prophets, directortice.

      1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

        And to think, it's all just a thought in the mind of The All.

  1. Alicia's Avatar Alicia

    So sick of hearing about "kids in cages". That was Obama who came up with this. Now, what is ICE supposed to do? Keep the kids in adult detention centers? How can anyone even be sue that the people the kids crossed the border illegally with are the actual parents?

    Criminals are separated from their kids. Ask anyone in any jail in this country. Crossing the border illegally makes these people criminals.

    We, as Americans, welcome immigrants. We DO NOT welcome invaders, which is what these people are at this point. Don't hold them...send them packing IMMEDIATELY!

  1. Rev. Brien's Avatar Rev. Brien

    I wish to address this topic, but I will try not to use religions to argue a political problem. I am glad, that even with our huge bucket list of problems people still view this country as better than their own. Having said that, I need to remind everyone why. Freedoms that we take for granted here came at a very high cost. The ancestors that settled this country fought and DIED for many years for the rights that all humans should have. If you want your home country to have the rights and freedoms that we have, you will have to stand up and fight for them. You must not stop no matter what the cost, until you win. It will take years, it will cost lives. Running from your own home to go somewhere else solves nothing. You want freedom, but you do not want to pay the price for it. Freedom is not free. You need to stand up and fight for it.

    1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

      Fighting against with masks on is NOT fighting for. Big diff. Kudos Brien

  1. Ed's Avatar Ed

    Blame the Obama admin, who set up the cages, encouraged illegals to come in, used tear gas on them, separated families, and in all the chaos, allowed for (indirectly, at least) for a large trafficking of minors.

    We have drug cartels coming through the borders. There's private ranchers, whose property is along the border, who have taken videos of these men crossing the border. In one video, these men are coming across with large backpacks, dressed in cameos, and some carrying so-called "assault rifles," which some commenters ID'd as AKs.

    Those are very good reasons to shut the borders down. I hope more Americans patrol the border, and stop these invaders.

    1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

      Mr Ed.......exactly. I'm with you on that

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Don't have an account yet? Create Account