A couple of decades ago the US Bishops wrote a pastoral letter for parents of gay children. It was entitled Always Our Children.
In the flurry of US political conversations and polarization in this upcoming election season there seems to be a disconnect in how we talk about different categories of people in our country. As a nation we seem to make categories of people as “other” – as the undeserving, the illegal, the wrong color or sexual orientation, the wrong gender.
So many of us are working in areas of justice for which we have passion: ending human trafficking, immigration reform, care of the earth, etc. It is impossible for all of us to be actively involved in every area, but we know in our hearts that all of the work we do for justice is for all of God’s children and God’s creation.
I think the title of the bishops’ letter is a phrase we can use in our thinking and conversations to remind us all that indeed we are all God’s children: black lives matter; immigrants need justice; enslaved peoples need liberation, gay people need civil rights; women need freedom from violence and equal pay; children need food; Earth needs healing; the sick need health care.
No one fleeing violence is illegal; no one in love is disordered; no one hungry is undeserving; no one deserves violence. In the framework of the phrase, “Always our Children,” we send an inclusive message in fractious times. Perhaps it is a phrase we can use in the 16 long months till election. We are all God’s children and thus we are all brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers to each other.