As a pastor, I am called to love my neighbor as I love myself, no matter their race, color, creed, or religious background. My faith doesn’t discriminate against any particular group. And I am proud to be a citizen of a nation whose Constitution protects against racial and religious discrimination.
But Trump’s immoral Muslim ban is based in exactly that kind of discrimination. This violates not only my own values, but those to which our country aspires.
On April 25, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Hawaii v. Trump, the case that will decide whether President Trump’s latest Muslim ban — which bans nationals from Muslim-majority countries, indefinitely — violates our country’s treasured belief in religious freedom. If maintained by the Supreme Court, this ban would communicate to our Muslim, immigrant, and refugee neighbors that our doors are permanently closed to them. This is not only shameful — it’s fundamentally wrong.
In a Dec. 4, 2017, ruling, the Supreme Court allowed the Muslim ban to be implemented while challenges to its constitutionality make their way through the lower courts. Unlike earlier versions of the ban, which initially imposed 90-day restrictions on seven Muslim-majority countries, the current iteration indefinitely targets nearly all travel for nationals from eight countries: Syria, Somalia, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Chad, Venezuela, and North Korea.
As a nation, we must remember the perils that come with demonizing an entire group because of the actions of a few people who look like them. When profiling is used to make policy, it compromises the integrity of a nation whose creed is liberty and justice for all; it dims the light of a country seen as a beacon of hope for those fleeing violence and persecution; and it pits neighbor against neighbor.
My religion places great value on welcoming and loving thy neighbor, just as a plethora of religions do worldwide — including Islam. This ban communicates to the world that the U.S. is no longer an inclusive nation, and as an American citizen and a Christian, I will not stand for it.
When the first version of Trump’s Muslim ban went into effect last year, thousands of people flooded the airports and streets to protest. On April 25, people of faith will flood the steps of the Supreme Court to demonstrate that discrimination is immoral and unjust. I invite you to join us and lay out your welcome mats for our neighbors. Let’s tell Trump, and the world, what our country stands for.