>I agree in principle with this UMC Church and Society article on Dr. James Dobson, the Nazarene psychologist (my former denomination) who “champions” family values, which usually means he champions republicanism uncritically with more of an American narrative informing his views than a Christian one. The problem with the article above is that it is so vague and general that it comes off as more of a rant and an argument from Dobson’s silence than a researched and nuanced critique of what Dobson DOES say. There is so much to critique, where does one begin? The author of the article could have started just about anywhere.

Still, I have to admit that I recalled the C&S article I had chanced upon earlier this week when a friend sent me this horrid story in the News and Observer. Whose family values was this particular deputy protecting? Not mine. I am aware that our immigration policy is broken and in need of an overhaul, but this kind of careless negligence attacks every “family value” and Christian sensibility I have. I guess I am supposed to thank God that we are getting the mothers off our of streets and throwing the kids into the middle of the same. Sorry if I am less then enthusiastic.

I am sure there are those out there that might argue this episode was an exception to the rule, but I have heard to many stories just like it to believe such blind platitudes. It is reminiscent of the current debate over terrorism in our country. For some reason, we are living amidst a generation that seeks to protect one ideal while dismantling four others at the same time. To protect American ideals of freedom and due process, we have to trample over both and violate a few other tenets of our constitution. To safeguard “American family values” we have to lock up parents and leave kids to fend for themselves. God help us, because no one else will. And we actually have the gall to wonder why anti-American sentiment is so high in the rest of the world?

I for one am getting sick of it. Does Obama represent change for all of this? That is hoping for too much, but I am willing to give him a chance to make good on a few promises – and if he “flip flops” a little more on immigration – I will praise God for it (as an aside on the “flip-flop” stuff going around – all I can say is “whatever” … nuance a position these days and everyone screams foul). What is more important, however, is where is the church on all of this? If I have any family values at all, they are hidden with Christ behind a cross and not hidden behind a flag or even a constitution. How is that for family values?

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