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)
This Thanksgiving, Remember the Immigrant, Pilgrim
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.
AUDIO: Poet Scott Cairns
Poet 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.
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
Some Final Reflections on Deadly Viper and Zondervan by Soong-Chan Rah
Deadly Viper Backlash: Doing the Right Thing is Only the First Step by Edward Gilbreath
Walking, Chewing Gum, and Confronting Racism and Sexism at the Same Time by Ryan Rodrick Beiler
What Do Health-Care Reform, the 40-Hour Work Week, Unemployment Insurance, the Minimum Wage, etc., Have in Common?
'The Three Most Important Issues'?: What the Manhattan Declaration Gets Wrong
A Thanksgiving Reflection on Food
Affirming the Footnotes: What the Manhattan Declaration Gets Right
A Modern Underground Railroad for North Korean Refugees
'Breaking Bread and Barriers': Storytelling Connects Personal Immigration Experiences with Scripture
When Everything Changed: 50 Years of Women's Progress
Reduce the Danger of Nuclear War and Help Feed Hungry Kids
How I Came to Write an Apostolic Letter to Non-Christians in Esquire
Can You Hear Them Now?
Human Trafficking, Justice, and CSI
A Tale of Two Hospitals: How Sugar Water Helps Make Christmas Sad
Tim Burton and Belief
Dinesh D’Souza, the New Atheism, and Constantinian Christianity
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