An Indianapolis Episcopal cathedral’s use of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph statues to make a point about immigration policy and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is causing controversy. It is a response to the Trump Administration’s controversial policy separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Christ Church Cathedral Twitter account showed off the display, saying “On our lawn tonight we placed the Holy Family…in #ICE detention. #Immigration.”
— CCC Indy (@CCCathedralIndy) July 3, 2018
The Rev. Lee Curtis said he put up the display because the Holy Family were refugees who sought asylum in Egypt, the Indy Star reported.
“An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him,'” he quoted Matthew 2:13-14. “When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt.”
“This holy family is every family, and every family is holy,” he added.
Holy Family #Detention: Indy's @CCCathedralIndy puts Joseph, Mary & Jesus inside a fence on its lawn. When asked how long the display will remain, Dean @Steve_Carlsen said "My greatest hope would be that we, our nation, will search its heart & say this is not who we want to be." pic.twitter.com/AgcOZv4xSz
— Michael R. Hartz (@MikeThePhotog) July 3, 2018
Dean Steve Carlsen would add, “the powers of the day were threatening and indeed killing people in Jesus’s day. They were a homeless family with nowhere to stay. I think our faith tells us where we need to be.”
“The fact that it’s controversial isn’t because I want to be controversial,” he added. “What’s controversial is that we are turning away from the values that should be guiding us. The point of a religious icon is to move our hearts, and if at first people are upset by it, that might just be God trying to move their heart. And I hope their hearts soften.”
There’s been a lot of positive reaction to the church statement.
Lawn of Monument Circle's Christ Church Cathedral. Indianapolis, Indiana. pic.twitter.com/flBETm5rQ2
— Isaac Fitzgerald (@IsaacFitzgerald) July 3, 2018
Others hailed it as “very cool,” “well played,” and “bold.”
[Image via Indy Star screengrab]