Hashtag Humanitarians: Pro-Life Christians Don’t Care About Undocumented Children
Today, as I opened up my Twitter account I came across a tweet that honestly hit a nerve.
A woman had spent an hour trying to find out if anyone using the hashtag #prolife or #christian also simultaneously used the hashtag #wherearethechildren. She then mentioned how upsetting it was that prolifers and christians were silent on the subject. An hour…
She complained that pro-life christians were not engaging in advocating for the 1500 children that are unaccounted for after crossing the US/Mexican border. And her proof was via her one hour search for evidentiary hashtags. I call her a ‘hashtag humanitarian.”
I am so tired of hashtag humanitarianism and Americanized versions of advocacy with the consistent criticism toward people who are actively in the trenches of actually being humanitarians. It’s so easy to use texting fingers to point in disgust when sipping on a frappuccino.
Too many people in westernized society consider using hashtags, posting on social media from their smart phones or iPads and marching on paved roads down 3rd Avenue as true humanitarianism. Hashtags will never help you to find advocates and will never qualify you for the title of ‘humanitarian.’ Marching in the streets while holding grande coffee cups with handmade signs on sharpied up posterboards purchased at CVS is not true humanitarian work and does not qualify you for the title of altruistic, good citizen or world changers. You may be a demonstrator but what you are demonstrating is just how far out of touch you really are from the causes you pretend to be fighting for as you make luncheon plans to meet at TGIF or Sarabeth’s along Central Park West after the protest. The very fact that you have the means and freedom to drive into Manhattan from Queens, pay for parking, use your metro card for a subway on a Saturday to march at all, proves that these first world protests are actually marches of entitlement.
Mother Teresa could save at least one life in the hour this hashtag humanitarian spent nitpicking on her phone. In one hour, Mother Teresa could pick a few kids off of the street, place them in an orphanage, give them a bath and feed them lentils and a chipati. If Mother Teresa were alive today I seriously doubt she would spend her quality time scouring Twitter for hashtags of her favorite causes. She would not spend her time assuming that she could gauge advocacy for a specific topic based on how often the subject is mentioned in Google searches either. Her minutes and hours would be better spent feeding the poor and praying over dying AIDS patients in Bangladesh. She wouldn’t have time to spend 60 minutes browsing hashtags in hopes of proving that pro-lifers and christians were NOT advocating for the undocumented children of the world. I suspect the best child advocates and best humanitarians may never be heard of because they are too busy getting their pointy fingers dirty from actually picking up people out of the dust, shielding them from gunfire, cleaning up their diarrhea and trying to save their lives by marching miles on hot unpaved roads for medicine in order to actually save a life.
If the hashtag humanitarians haven’t heard from some of us christians and pro-lifers regarding the undocumented children as much as they would want it is because the subject of undocumented children is something we have been advocating for for years. The hashtag humanitarians are just now deciding to add it to their search field. The very fact that they are looking to christians and pro-lifers to step up proves that they have an expectation for us to do the heavy lifting which is what we always do. The truth is that we are active and have no time for hashtag humanitarianism. Undocumented children are sent to America every day and undocumented children exist in the millions globally. Is it a problem, ‘yes’. Is it something christians have been working on for years, ‘yes?’ Is it new to us ‘no?’ Do we give a squat to see how many hashtags there are, ‘no?’
I have 7 kids. Five of my kids are internationally adopted and lived in areas with no vital records system. So they spent part of their lives ‘undocumented.’ The documentation process to adopt from Ethiopia or Guatemala included a back tracking of interviews by neighbors and distant relatives in order to figure out a birth date. “She was born during rain season in the year we had the monsoon that flooded the river…” This is an example of how social workers in these countries sometimes have to create birth certificates even when children are 17 years old. This is how they figure out a birth date when paperwork is needed for these foreign children who will be immigrating legally to the United States for the first time to become citizens. In Guatemala, blood tests were required by birth mothers who relinquished their children for adoption for DNA matches with the babies. This helped to avoid trafficking. But actual dates and a full record system with paper work, just doesn’t exist in most countries with the unpaved roads and no technology.
I responded to the tweet. “Sometimes advocacy can’t be found in hashtags on twitter because real advocates are too busy getting their hands dirty in areas without internet.” These Hashtag Humanitarians are so determined to point their fingers in the wrong direction that they continue to insinuate the current administration is caging children by using old photos from the previous Presidency under Obama and claiming it was caused by President Trump (of course where was the outrage and hashtag search in 2014?).
Here’s the thing. There are over 50 million undocumented refugee children globally. Yes pro-life christians care about them. But most of us who have been involved in humanitarian work are sadly not surprised by news of undocumented children. Children are unfortunately abandoned everyday. Children are abused everyday. And babies are ripped out and killed by the hundreds of thousands every year via abortion. In the hour this hashtag humanitarian was sitting exasperated in her climate controlled coffee shop looking on the sidelines for hashtags so she could tweet her disgust regarding prolife christians, my christian prolife friends were busy getting paperwork together for adoptions, taking the kids they’ve adopted to therapies, having meetings to catch traffickers, feeding children in refugee camps in Kenya and the Sudan, setting up safe houses, ministering to single mothers and fighting to stop late term abortion where undocumented children are having their brains vacuumed out at 37 weeks gestation.
I am disturbed and deeply worried for the 1500 children as I am for all of the children dealing with abuse throughout the world. My life is committed to finding homes for children, making sure children are kept together with their families and keeping children alive in the first place. But I find the twitter finger pointing and hashtag obsession to be ironic. There are over 12million undocumented people in the US, most are from Mexico and other Central American Countries. There are 163million orphans globally (most undocumented). Children are being trafficked for their organs out of orphanages. The atrocities regarding children is the worst. Most of the time we hear ZERO concern from pro-choice hashtag humanitarians regarding the atrocities toward children globally. The main focus is on women’s rights first and this always comes before children but at the expense of the welfare of children. If you can’t find our proper hashtag combinations while you sip on your mocha, maybe it’s because our hashtags are the last thing on our minds because we are actually doing what we always do – true humanitarian work. Our texting fingers are too busy actually wiping a tear or helping these children learn how to write their names.
You won’t be seeing me marching. I find the time I would spend to make a sign or knit a hat too valuable and better spent on real humanitarian issues. Hashtag humanitarianism isn’t going to find the 1500 lost kids or help the 163 million orphans find a home. But to save your pointy fingers some time here are some links that may help you to feel better as you account for the activities of pro-life christians while you browse your newsfeeds on your smart phones and order another latte from your app.
Deanna Falchook writes about Pro-Life, Adoption and Christian Topics. She is highly focused on fairy tales and their impact on politics, faith and culture. She is the author of a book called TO BE A MOTHER and the soon to be released book called THE CINDERELLA MINDSET. Deanna’s work has been featured in THE FEDERALIST, Charisma, Breitbart, 700Club, EWTN, Faithwire to name a few. Deanna is the mom of 7 children (5 internationally adopted) and lives near Disneyworld in Orlando. You can contact Deanna on FACEBOOK or twitter @deannafalchook.