First They Came for the Migrants ...

The Trump administration's border policies targeting migrants and Muslims is a test for religious leaders to stand and take action for the beliefs they profess.

The recently upheld travel ban is motivated by religious animus and racial bigotry: The Muslims being banned by this order are primarily people of color; and their targeting is directly related to the white nationalist ideology that has now taken up office in the White House, which is a great danger to America’s future. The use of religion and race for political purposes undermines the United States’ fundamental commitment to being a pluralist and democratic society.

We also see this abhorrent ideology being activated at our borders where the Trump government cruelly and inhumanely separated thousands of children, toddlers, and infants from their families. As the most vulnerable among us are being strategically targeted and denied basic human rights, these cruel practices bring to mind a quotation from Rev. Martin Niemoller when he spoke about his time in a World War II Concentration Camp:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Religious leaders must speak up against the immoral choices of this president and his administration, as well as those in Congress and the courts who should know better but choose loyalty to a man, a party, or an ideology over the good of the country, the best principles of the Constitution, and true religious liberty for all religions. There is more than politics at stake here; at stake is the soul of our nation and the integrity of our faith.

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