Sojourners is encouraging more communities of faith to hold vigils around the country. We are calling on clergy, faith-based organizations, and Christians everywhere to lift up prayers and candles as a recommitment to the light that can hold back these dark times.
Many of Christianity’s tenets are inherently illogical and absurd — a person being fully man and fully God; a person rising from the dead; miracles (like being swallowed alive by a fish); angels and supernatural beings; an afterlife … If Christians can accept these things as true, the basic themes of the gospel: love, joy, peace, kindness, forgiveness, and hope can hardly be questioned. Yet many Christians are failing to abide by these fundamental truths, refusing to follow God’s greatest command. For people claiming the faith of Christ, showing love and compassion to immigrants, no matter their status, is a requirement of following Jesus — there is no alternative.
The current outrage around families being detained and separated is important, but we must bear in mind that it aligns with a national history. Our Native siblings had their land taken from them, their families wiped out so the U.S. could be “founded.” My own ancestors had their children ripped away from them during slavery sales. Our Japanese siblings were placed in armed internment camps during the second World War — a history that this nation has often tried to avoid as much as possible. Last year, we saw an attempt to block immigrants and refugees from primarily Muslim nations, commonly known as the “Muslim Ban.”
I do not know how to measure the efficacy of prayer. And I know that prayer is not all that’s needed to respond to the concerns of the day. But I also know that my response to the moment we’re living in will be more substantial, more focused and certain, if I tune out the distracting din and choose to attend to the world in prayer instead.
What is the fear that drives the leaders of the United States to tear children from their parents and put them in places of horror and despair? For both Pharaoh and Herod, the destruction of children had nothing to do with “safety” and everything to do with insecurity, a pathological hatred of the other, and a fanatical desire to hold on to power at all costs. It is hard to see any other motives for rulers who target children today.
Jim Wallis recorded this episode of his podcast Soul of the Nation live from The Summit, Sojourners’ annual gathering of leaders and change makers. Here, he talks with some of those leaders to discuss what the word “evangelical” means in our present context.
It takes physically showing up.
The deep moral collision over ripping children out of their families has been a lightning flash in the dark, lighting up the deeper issues beneath. But like a lightning flash, it may vanish before we can attune our eyes to see the deeper truths and questions.
The Vatican has decided to remove Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick from ministry after finding allegations that he sexually abused a minor to be “credible and substantiated.” Cardinal McCarrick is one of the most prominent Catholic leaders to ever face such accusations. He is the former Archbishop of Washington, but the abuse in question occurred during his time as a priest in New York 47 years ago.
Let’s be clear: All Trump did was decide to detain families together in prison camps going forward, and there is no clear plan yet to re-unify the more than 2,300 children who have already been orphaned and sent away from their parents under his administration’s cruel policy. Those separations could be forever if the enormous task of reunification is not carefully undertaken.
Pence’s speech turned the SBC annual meeting into a Trump rally. According to Eastern Illinois University political scientist Ryan Burge, the Vice President used the word “president” 61 times in his speech and “Trump” 12 times. He used the word “God” 9 times and “Christ” only twice.
In this violent crisis, not significantly mitigated by President Trump’s recent executive order,every Catholic bishop becomes a “border bishop.” The tools of active nonviolence offer a way forward. In the first World Day of Peace message, Blessed Pope Paul VI said, “Peace is the only true direction of human progress — and not the tensions caused by ambitious nationalisms, nor conquests by violence, nor repressions which serve as mainstay for a false civil order.” He warned of “the danger of believing that international controversies cannot be resolved by the ways of reason, that is, by negotiations founded on law, justice, and equity, but only by means of deterrent and murderous forces.”
People of all religions and political leanings are speaking up against the administration’s policy of taking children from parents — but that’s not enough. We also must challenge the ideology that produces these human indignities, the mindset that supports them, and the perverted theology that blesses them. Those things have been around from our country’s beginning.
“In my 20 years here being engaged in frontline immigration work, this was probably my most difficult and hopeless day. There were probably 120 migrants looking for support. Most were coming from Guatemala and Honduras and wanting to seek asylum. There were alot [sic] of women with children who were fleeing horrible domestic violence situations where their ex-husbands are trying to kill them. They had no idea that Attorney General Sessions has changed the laws and that they can't even apply, or if they do, they will be separated from their kids. It was so painful to see them process this news and they are so far from home.”
Tonight at 6:30 EDT, we will be kicking off the first of four live-streamed “Core Conversations” for The Summit 2018: Radically Rooted, and we warmly invite you to tune in on our Facebook page. (RSVP here to be alerted on Facebook when it begins.)
Yesterday Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a legal decision that has fatal implications for our neighbors fleeing abuse around the world. Sessions has decided to deny asylum to everyone coming to the U.S. to escape domestic violence, overturning a precedent set by the Obama administration in 2009.
Rogers believed that the need to love and be loved was universal, and he sought to cultivate these capacities through every program, saying in a 2004 documentary hosted by actor Michael Keaton, one of his former stagehands, "You know, I think everybody longs to be loved, and longs to know that he or she is lovable. And consequently, the greatest thing we can do is to help somebody know they’re loved and capable of loving."
By defining Muslims as future citizens in the 18th century, in conjunction with a resident Jewish minority, Jefferson expanded his “universal” legislative scope to include every one of every faith.
“Focus of resettlement of Syrian refugees has been on immediate minimum housing and financial and physical health care needs. Mental health, which requires greater language and cultural familiarity, has typically not been a priority before and after arrival in the U.S.”
“These women are not loudmouth, promiscuous, or asexual stereotypes. These are shows in which I am affirmed, in which Black women, Black people—Blackness—are affirmed.”