The cries of “Fake News” about children being taken from their parents at the U.S. / Mexico border have been promoted throughout Republican media circles this week as the terrible optics associated with separating families have been causing political damage. As has been covered extensively on this website, the Trump administration has authorized removing children from parents and there have been hundreds of the children who have been handed over to the United States social services networks as their parents await a hearing. In some cases, the parents have already been deported but the children have been kept.
This is not terrible enough. There are those whose political opposition to the some of the groups supporting the President have encouraged them to come up with what they believe the true reason for the deportations is:
It’s all a plan to sell babies to Evangelicals.
For many of the immigrant children separated from their parents at the border, their nightmare is only beginning. Many of these children will never see their parents again. Many are already being shipped out to Christian adoption agencies across the country where they will be be trafficked, and placed with conservative Christian parents eager to brainwash the innocent children in the grotesque attempt to create “warriors for Christ,” soldiers in the never-ending culture wars.
Indeed, there is no doubt that many of these immigrant children separated from their parents at the border will be “lost” in the system, and eventually they will be sent to Christian adoption agencies where they will be trafficked for profit, brainwashed, and used as cannon fodder in the ongoing assault on the secular values upon with the United States was founded.
This argument is only developing, but it’s already getting promotion on Twitter and Facebook. There, the argument isn’t merely that this is going to happen with the blessing of the Evangelical community, but rather that the Evangelical community has somehow convinced Trump to implement the policy specifically to create opportunities for adoptions.
Taking in kidnapped children is not the noble thing that people think it is. This is how they will justify selling the kids through evangelical adoption agencies and make the case that the kids are "better off." https://t.co/ConShtT7xY
— Captain Awkward (@CAwkward) June 20, 2018
I hope some reporters are paying attention to the white evangelical adoption machine gearing up in the background to make sure a bunch of these kids never make it home
— molly (@quityourlife) June 20, 2018
The main promoter of this theory is Christopher Stroop, a freelance writer for venues such as Playboy. While not saying that the Evangelicals are behind the situation, he has been actively pushing on his concerns about Christian adoption agencies and their efforts to adopt children into Christian families. Those concerns, once extrapolated to include manipulation by many of his Twitter followers, are not corrected by him. Rather, he continues to push his slanted view of the story that lends itself to the extrapolation:
Crucially, Bethany Christian Services are also not the good guys. They are a patriarchal, anti-LGBTQ evangelical adoption agency with a record of deception and abuse, and they will be adopting out these trafficked children to other radical Christians.https://t.co/ejqTbOPozB https://t.co/5TL4ISPzjC
— Christopher Stroop (@C_Stroop) June 20, 2018
The easily verifiable fact that it’s not merely the Evangelical adoption charities but also groups like the Catholic church (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) who are helping house the children is ignored. Instead, the notable lack of key Evangelical leaders in protests against the border policy by faith leaders (Haaretz) is being taken to mean that the Evangelicals are behind it all.
There’s a big problem with this theory: the majority of children being seized are not infants. Some are, granted, but the majority are old enough to remember their parents and are unlikely to be easily “brainwashed” into forgetting them and their prior lives. In association to this point, the dearth of adoptive children for Evangelical couples (and people throughout the country) is for infants only. There is already a significant surplus of pre-teen and teenaged children available for adoption in the United States.
There’s another big problem with this theory: there’s no proof. This is a classic example of a group using someone else’s bad political decision to ascribe dehumanizing motives.
Many Evangelical leaders have put their reputations on the line with their followers by continuing to defend President Trump after repeated moral failings. Knowing he was a flawed person but hoping he would enact an agenda in keeping with their desires, they gambled on his willingness to curb his reprehensible and sociopathic tendencies while he was in the office of the Presidency. That gamble was a failure. Rather than admit their mistake, they have excused more terrible behavior.
Now, if they condemn him, they run the risk of exposing their poor judgement to their flocks… and these are leaders who are raised up based only on two factors: their devotion to scripture and their perceived good judgement. Admitting Trump’s flaws is a potentially devastating blow for them, especially as they have seen political leaders destroyed by taking similar actions.
If any evidence arises to indicate that the Evangelical leaders secretly manipulated Trump to get more adoptive babies, I’ll be interested in seeing it. Reason speaks against it on every level, though…. from the question of taking in dozens of older children for every baby seized, to the uncertainty of Evangelical organizations getting the infants (or even toddlers) to transfer, to the willingness of a narcissistic personality to severely damage his political capital toward getting his signature policy item (The Wall!) constructed in exchange for a few dozen infant adoptions.
This is merely hatred toward a religious opposition on display.