Faith Leaders React to Trump’s Policy Platform on Immigration with Moral Outrage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Michael Mershon, Director of Advocacy and Communications

Phone: 202-745-4654

Email: mmershon@sojo.net 

September 2, 2016

Faith leaders from different traditions condemn Trump’s immigration platform as immoral and an affront to the values of sacred texts

Faith leaders from various traditions feel they have a moral responsibility to speak out against the hard line immigration policy platform laid out by Trump’s campaign as inhumane, immoral and disrespectful to religious tradition in this country. Biblical texts are extremely clear on commanding followers to welcome the immigrant in their midst and to love their neighbor. Faith leaders have a responsibility of reminding the broader public of the moral values that call us to serve one another, not fear one another, as the xenophobic rhetoric of Trump’s policy speech in Phoenix suggested. This is why faith leaders are coming together to sound the alarm that these type of anti-immigrant policies could tremendously divide our country, hurt our economy and separate families.

 

“As the Hispanic evangelical pastors we at the National Latino Evangelical Coalition have continuously called for bipartisan immigration reform solutions. Any rhetoric focused on enforcement-only immigration policies is a huge step backwards in this conversation. We can and must balance security and humane integration policies. Our congregations need real bipartisan leadership not unrealistic rhetoric.”

Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition

 

“Intolerant, heartless immigration policies that tear families apart and victimize children are an affront to fundamental American and Jewish values. Immigration is at the heart of the Jewish story from the call of Abraham to move to another land, to the Exodus from Egypt, to millennia of migration across the globe. Jews know all too well how it feels to be excluded, targeted and scapegoated simply because of who we are.  And that is why we will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our immigrant brothers and sisters to reject such hatred.”

Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Director, Bend the Arc Jewish Action

 

"Mr. Trump continues to foment hatred of our immigrant population. On the very day he visited Mexico and talked about how beautiful their people were and how devoted they were to their families, he flies to Arizona and once again has a crowd chant ‘Build that wall!’ Since my ordination in 1988, I have taught children about Christ’s call for us to care for the poor and the stranger among us. Now our children listen to a presidential candidate demonize immigrants. I can only hope that now that they are old enough to vote, what they were taught in their Sunday Schools means more to them than the venomous vitriol they hear coming from his lips.”

Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ

 

“In this campaign we are hearing the pure demagoguery of a racial fear and hatred applied to those the Bible calls ‘the stranger.’ If we as evangelicals are to take the scriptures seriously, Matthew 25 tells us that how we treat the strangers in our midst is how we treat Christ himself. That’s what the text says. Imagine all those ugly words being applied to the strangers among us, and realize these are words against Jesus Christ himself, which are antithetical to the Gospel. Fear, hate, division, and walls instead of bridges, are anti-Gospel, and anti-Christian.”

Rev. Jim Wallis, President and Founder, Sojourners

 

“In a country that sings ‘God Shed His Grace on Thee,’ the dehumanizing and divisive nature of Trump’s immigration speech and policy platform must be seen as an attempt to play on fear mongering and a violation of our deepest religious values that calls on us to show grace to the immigrant among us.”

Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Pres. of the NC NAACP and architect of the Moral Monday Movement




 

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