I frequently come across white evangelical Christians who are ardent proponents of international adoption and also strong Trump supporters. And the data seems to back up this personal experience: nearly 80 percent of evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump for President and numbers show that large segments of the evangelical Christian population support foreign adoption.
Many of these individuals feel that they have a special calling for foreign adoption, believing they need to “rescue” babies across the globe.
They push this narrative, raising money for campaigns to create “forever families” with children from other nations through adoption. These endeavors tug at heartstrings with poignant stories of their infertility and their desire to make a difference. But, some continually, and wholeheartedly support or minimize the everyday vitriol this presidential administration spews about immigrants, legal or otherwise.
That is top-rate hypocrisy. And I am sick of it.
Trumpers tout their Bible bona fides, while also backing Trump’s caustic rhetoric about immigrants and the stranger. The two are incompatible. When Trump calls Mexicans racists and worse, your defense should not be “he got Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court…I do not like him personally, but that seat was crucial.” Nor is it an acceptable response to say “well I don’t agree with many of his stands morally, but he’s a true conservative and has our interests at heart.”
They talk a big game about all-encompassing love, yet at the same time, they will not welcome the outsider. While they believe it’s their God-given mandate to build a family through foreign adoption. That mindset makes no sense to me.
They must not see the disconnect between the words “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. (Leviticus 19:33-34)” and Trump’s or Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ language used to describe poor, desperate asylum seekers from the Middle East or Central and Latin America. Yet for me, this contrast is glaring.
Those escaping Libya, Syria, Somalia, Honduras, Guatemala, and other areas mired in war, famine, natural disaster, and/or poverty are leaving some of the most dangerous environments on earth. They have already experienced nearly unimaginable suffering.
The Christian right waxes glowingly about love, yet has no problem with kids languishing in border detention facilities, ripped from their parents whose only crime was seeking a better future for themselves and their families.
This is all fine, as long as we “own the libs,” they say. What a twisted way to think.
Then they turn around and pen a blog-post about how thrilled they are to adopt a child from overseas and are fervently praying for God to smooth the paperwork process so he/she can be added to their family.
What happened to biblical compassion and empathy?
We can and should debate immigration policy, but there should be absolutely 100 percent revulsion and disgust, especially amongst “Christians” about how Trump talks about immigration.
I wonder if they realize that through adoption, they are bringing a legal immigrant into the US to be a citizen. Yet they vigorously defend Trump’s arbitrary ending of DACA and remain silent as he uses kids’ lives as bargaining tools, pushing false accounts about crime and immigration.
If they cannot love someone different from them – in language, dress, culture or other variations – they should not adopt a child internationally.
The zealot’s absolute refusal to repudiate Trump means they tacitly agree with a racist President, and his Attorney General and closest advisors. Nevertheless, they plan to bring a non-white baby into their family. Newsflash: if you adopt internationally, then you are increasing your family through legal immigration.
They remain silent about racist and xenophobic policies deliberately targeting those who look different from them, yet desire a multi-racial family.
How will they teach their children about race and adoption? I do not believe it is fair to an adopted child to remove them from their birth culture and then further strip them of any chance to learn about their origins. Many evangelical adopters believe they need to “save” foreign babies not only physically, but spiritually and show them Christianity.
But how multi-cultural will that family be? It would be quite sanctimonious to celebrate their child’s non-American culture while holding opinions about “other” cultures and their inferiority. So, I am guessing that will not happen in their family. How does a fervent Trump supporter square their immigration policies and views about people who look different from them with having a family member who does not resemble them at all?
When someone says something offensive to them or to their child, how will they react?
Maybe the comments will be words they themselves said or supported others uttering. Being a part of a mixed race family brings specific challenges and yet it is an opportunity to build bridges and explore racial issues like white privilege.
If the adoptive family raises their family in a healthy way, adoption can assist families to embrace tangible multi-culturalism. In my own family, we have a beautiful blend of different cultures and a richer overall experience.
I believe in second chances and that we are all flawed humans. But if one consistently supports the vile anti-diversity talk arising from this administration’s policies, while also maintaining deeply held beliefs about the “justness” of foreign adoption, then you have not really changed.
The Apostle Paul said to obey the laws, but Jesus said to love the stranger because whatever you do “to the least of these, you do to me.”
The pro-Trump evangelical community supporting foreign adoption would do well to remember that.