The idea of the Holy Family statues kept inside cages was the idea of Reverend Lee Curtis.
Christ Church Cathedral, a church in Indianapolis, detained Nativity statues of Mary, baby Jesus, and Joseph inside a chain link fence on its grounds on July 3 as a mark of protest against the zero-tolerance immigration policy practiced by the Trump administration. The chain link fence is similar to the ones used to keep undocumented migrants inside the detention centers. This action is part of the church's #EveryFamilyIsHoly social media campaign.
Joseph Carlsen, the Rector and Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, issued a statement through a press release stating that the Holy Scripture spells in detail how Christians should treat people who want to take their families to safety. He pointed out the Holy Family were refugees themselves. They had no home and migrated to seek asylum. Families are presently being constrained in detention centers located along the border separating the United States and Mexico. Carlsen said he is aware of what is written in the Bible. According to the holy book, we should love our respective neighbors as we love ourselves.
This novel idea of the Holy Family statues kept inside cages was the idea of Reverend Lee Curtis. The Reverend also serves in the same Christ Church Cathedral, and he gave his congregation the idea of demonstrating against the present administration policy. The Revered said that there was not much difference between Joseph taking Jesus and Mary to safety and present-day refugees seeking safety in the United States of America.
Proud to live in the same community as Christ Church Cathedral, where they've "detained" the Holy Family on their lawn in protest of current immigration policies. https://t.co/OYkIqhTOYy
— Sarah Cannon (@Saille) July 5, 2018
Revered Curtis quoted Matthew 2:13-14 from the King James Version of the Bible. The pastor reminded the audience that as per the Holy Book, an angel came to Joseph while he dreamed, urging him to take baby Jesus and wife Mary to Egypt. This is required as Herod wants to kill the baby. Joseph left with his family the next day. Curtis said that every family is a holy family. The church subsequently set up the caged Nativity scene.
Carlsen hopes Americans will fight against the Trump administration's immigration enforcement policies. He said Americans must help their neighbors as every family should be considered sacred. Culture, race, and language do not matter in such a case.
For the Indianapolis located Episcopal Diocese, activism related to social issues is common. The diocese has 9,000 members distributed across 50 churches all over Indiana. The church prides itself to be a progressive institution, with pastors marrying same-sex couples from 2014, the year Indiana legalized same-sex marriages.