The Common Good

This Thanksgiving Remember the Immigrant, Pilgrim

Sojomail - November 26, 2009


One of the problems in the past with interfaith dialogue is we’ve been too unwilling to upset each other.

- Rabbi Ted Falcon, who with Rev. Don Mackenzie and Sheik Jamal Rahman are known as the "interfaith amigos" as they speak around the country on what they call "the spirituality of interfaith relations." (Source: The New York Times)

+ Sign up to receive "Verse and Voice" - our daily quote and Bible verse e-mail

Hearts & Minds by Jim Wallis

This Thanksgiving, Remember the Immigrant, Pilgrim

Get a free trial issue of Sojourners Get a free issue of Sojourners
Become a Facebook Fan of Sojourners
Become a Facebook fan
of Sojourners

Follow Sojourners on Twitter
Follow Sojourners
on Twitter

As I take time to reflect on what I am truly thankful for, my family certainly tops the list. I've just been out of the country for a week, so I will cherish the time sitting around the table with my kids, asking one another to share what we are most thankful for. And this year, my wife, Joy, will celebrate her first Thanksgiving as a U.S. citizen.

I am painfully aware that not every family is as fortunate as mine. The broken nature of America’s immigration system is deeply felt during the holidays by millions in the United States who long to be reunited with their loved ones.

Long backlogs in our nation’s family immigration system have kept families apart for years -- even decades, in some instances. I also was shocked to learn that over the past 10 years, more than 100,000 parents of U.S. citizen children have been deported by our government. Four million U.S. citizen kids live in “mixed-status families” -- families comprised of both legal and undocumented residents who are fighting to stay together in the face of deportation and permanent separation. For us in the faith community who value and cherish families, this should not be acceptable.

In the coming months, you’ll be hearing a lot more from us about the broken U.S. immigration system and how you can advocate for just and humane immigration reform that builds up families. Sign up for our Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform newsletter, and we promise to keep you up to date on ways you can advocate and engage in our work.

When you gather around the table with friends, family, and loved ones this Thanksgiving, remember the immigrant. Think of the empty seats at the tables of households across this nation. And join with me in imagining what next year’s Thanksgiving might look like if we are successful in reforming our nation’s immigration system with strong measures that reunite families. Now that would be something to be grateful for.

E-mail E-mail this article to friends
Facebook Share this article on Facebook
Comment Comment on this article on the God's Politics Blog


AUDIO: Poet Scott Cairns

scott-cairnsPoet Scott Cairns is the director of the creative writing program at the University of Missouri. His newest book is The End of Suffering (Paraclete Press, 2009). Here, he reads his poem "This the Morning" from the December 2009 issue of Sojourners.

+Click here to listen


Eliminating Violence Against Women

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. In his address marking the occasion, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that up to 70 percent of women experience physical or sexual violence by men.

As Christians, we believe that men and women are created equal before God (Genesis 1:27), and that the dignity of every person that comes from being made in the image of God is worth defending and standing up for.

Earlier this month, the U.N. launched a global initiative: Say NO–UNiTE to End Violence against Women. Join with us in taking action to end violence against women.


Zondervan Retracts Deadly Viper Materials, and the Conversation Continues

Since our round-up of coverage of the Deadly Viper controversy two weeks ago, much has happened. Here are our recent posts on Zondervan's decision to pull the book and curriculum after Asian-American leaders raised serious concerns about racial insensitivity and stereotypes in the materials, and some further concerns about the gender dimension of the conversation.

Tremendous Act of Repentance by Zondervan by Soong-Chan Rah

An Open Letter from Sojourners to Zondervan by Jim Wallis

Joint Response to Zondervan and Deadly Viper Authors from Asian American Leaders


+ See what's new on the blog of Jim Wallis and friends

What Do Health-Care Reform, the 40-Hour Work Week, Unemployment Insurance, the Minimum Wage, etc., Have in Common?
by Chuck Gutenson

Well, they were all brought to you by political progressives, they were all opposed by political conservatives, and they all are now viewed as fundamental presuppositions of a healthy society by virtually everyone. Okay, all but health-care reform, but trust me, if it passes, in no time at all it will be viewed so positively that we will no longer be able to remember why it took us so long to implement it.
+ Click to continue

'The Three Most Important Issues'?: What the Manhattan Declaration Gets Wrong
by Brian McLaren

I don't think Chuck Colson got it quite right when he spoke about the statement to The New York Times: "We argue that there is a hierarchy of issues. A lot of younger evangelicals say they're all alike. We're hoping to educate them that these are the three most important issues."
+ Click to continue

A Thanksgiving Reflection on Food
by Valerie Elverton Dixon

The United States is a country that is at once overweight and hungry. There are those among us who are overweight and obese. There are those among us who live with food insecurity. There are those among us who are both overweight and food insecure. How can this be?
+ Click to continue

Affirming the Footnotes: What the Manhattan Declaration Gets Right
by Brian McLaren

Although there are several points I find troubling, inaccurate, or misleading in the recent Manhattan Declaration, and although I noticed the relative homogeneity of age, race, and gender of its signors, I want to focus on a section of the document I find positive and helpful ...
+ Click to continue

A Modern Underground Railroad for North Korean Refugees
by Justin Wheeler

Mary is 27 years old. It has only been a few months since she escaped from North Korea, as food shortages in her village claimed the lives of her entire family. Unsure about how to cross the river that divides North Korea and China, she hired the services of a broker to escort her across. When she reached China, a peculiar exchange took place.
+ Click to continue

'Breaking Bread and Barriers': Storytelling Connects Personal Immigration Experiences with Scripture
by Allison Johnson

Here's a glimpse into what's happening around the country on immigration reform.
+ Click to continue

When Everything Changed: 50 Years of Women's Progress
by LaVonne Neff

American women may not have achieved equality yet, and a lot of changes remain to be made. But my daughters and granddaughters have choices that were not even considered 50 years ago.
+ Click to continue

Reduce the Danger of Nuclear War and Help Feed Hungry Kids
by Multiple Authors

Nowadays everyone's talking about nuclear disarmament. The queen of England, George Shultz, President Obama, Dwight from The Office ...
+ Click to continue

How I Came to Write an Apostolic Letter to Non-Christians in Esquire
by Shane Claiborne

As some of you know (though I know not many of you keep up with the latest men's magazines) -- Esquire magazine's end of the year "Best and Brightest" edition named me one of the "Radicals and Rebels Who Are Changing the World"... but I wanted you to know the story behind the hype.
+ Click to continue

Can You Hear Them Now?
by Elizabeth Palmberg

When I went to hear a staged reading of Lynn Nottage's play "Ruined," about the price of the ongoing war in Congo, last week, I had a stronger than usual motive to be sure to turn off my cell phone.
+ Click to continue

Human Trafficking, Justice, and CSI
by Julie Clawson

I was intrigued recently when the CSI franchise did a story-arc across all three shows that focused on the issue of human trafficking. It pulled no punches.
+ Click to continue

A Tale of Two Hospitals: How Sugar Water Helps Make Christmas Sad
by Ernesto Tinajero

This year we were planning to see my folks for Christmas. It won't happen. The bills for our son's medical issues are killing us. In the whole affair, we have experienced the devil and angel of health care. There have been posts here calling out the insurance companies, but it is time to hold the hospitals and clinics to the same fire.
+ Click to continue

Tim Burton and Belief
by Becky Garrison

While touring the press preview for the Tim Burton exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), I felt transported to a mythical land of whimsical horror and fantasy. This exhibit brought up memories of my Wittenburg Door interview with Daniel Wallace, the novelist whose book Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions was transformed into a movie by Tim Burton.
+ Click to continue

Dinesh D’Souza, the New Atheism, and Constantinian Christianity
by Aaron Taylor

Jesus -- not historic Christianity -- should be the object of our apologetics. It seems to me that in his counter-arguments to the New Atheists' moral objections to religious faith, what Dinesh defended wasn't so much Christianity, but Constantinian Christianity -- the kind of Christianity that's very comfortable fusing faith with earthly power.
+ Click to continue


+ Sign up to receive our "Daily Digest" e-mail - the latest headlines on critical issues

Top Stories:

The Right War Gone Wrong
An open letter from a range of progressive religious leaders led by evangelical Christian activist and Sojourners magazine editor Jim Wallis called for a “humanitarian and development surge” in Afghanistan and exhorted the president to “let the nonmilitary strategies lead the way.”+Click to continue

Soul Search, Part One
The Texas Tribune
After four days of the Justice Revival, and more than a year of wrangling city pastors into an unprecedented multi-racial coalition, Rev. Jim Wallis finally took the stage at Dallas Market Hall. He aimed to ignite a movement. All great achievements in social justice — abolition, women's suffrage, civil rights — have come through church leadership, he would tell them. "And we are being so bold as to say it can happen again — even here in Dallas." +Click to continue

"Sojourners in the news" articles are the most recent news clippings that mention Sojourners in any way - whether favorably or unfavorably. Though we provide the text on our site for your convenience, we do not necessarily endorse the views of these articles or their source publications.


Click Here!

Click Here!

Click Here!

Click Here!

Click Here!

Click Here!

Click Here!

Click Here!

Finding More Ways to GIVE
Maryknoll Sisters
Making God's Love Visible

Gift subscriptions for Sojourners magazine: Buy one subscription, get the second one free. Plus, we’ll send your recipients a hand-signed holiday card announcing your gift!

Scared of being "left behind"? What does Revelation really teach us? Explore this question with Sojourners’ four-part study guide, Christians and the Apocalypse. Use it this Sunday with your small group - available online. Click here.

Wisdom for your commute: Download audio talks by Shane Claiborne, Brian McLaren, Lucy Winkett, and more. Shop the SojoStore.

Stickers! Magnets! Buttons! Show your stuff with pithy statements from Sojourners. Order yours today.

Preaching the Word is Sojourners’ Web-based Bible study and sermon prep service. Let leading voices on faith and social justice inspire you: Walter Brueggemann, Jim Wallis, Richard Rohr, Julie Polter, Ched Myers, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Paula Gooder, and more.

Click Here!

GIVE TO SOJOURNERS: Donate now to support this voice for justice and peace.

GET THE MAGAZINE: Subscribe today

CONTACT US: General inquiries: | Advertising: | About Us

PRIVACY NOTICE: Sojourners won't trade, sell, or give away your e-mail address. Read our privacy policy.