Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Every once in a while
In this so-called Christian nation of ours, we actually hear of the efforts of people who do honestly believe in the teachings of Jesus.
America’s response to the arrival of tens of thousands of migrant children, many of them fleeing violence and exploitation in Central America, has been symbolized by an angry pushback from citizens and local officials who have channeled their outrage over illegal immigration into opposition to proposed shelter sites. But around the nation an array of religious leaders are trying to mobilize support for the children, saying the nation can and should welcome them...There are still too many people who get off on the smiting parts of the bible. And too many alleged leaders who incite them.
“We’re talking about whether we’re going to stand at the border and tell children who are fleeing a burning building to go back inside,” said Rabbi Asher Knight, of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, who said leaders of more than 100 faith organizations in his city met last week to discuss how to help. He said that in his own congregation some are comparing the flow of immigrant children to the Kindertransport, a rescue mission in the late 1930s that sent Jewish children from Nazi Germany to Britain for safekeeping.
“The question for us is: how do we want to be remembered, as yelling and screaming to go back, or as using the teachings of our traditions to have compassion and love and grace for the lives of God’s children?” Rabbi Knight said.
The backlash to the backlash is broad — from Unitarian Universalists and Quakers to evangelical Protestants. Among the most agitated are Catholic bishops, who have long allied with Republican politicians against abortion and same-sex marriage, and leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, whose adherents tend to lean right.
“This is a crisis, and not simply a political crisis, but a moral one,” said Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. On Tuesday, Mr. Moore led a delegation of Southern Baptist officials to visit refugee children at detention centers in San Antonio and McAllen, Tex. In an interview after the visit, Mr. Moore said that “the anger directed toward vulnerable children is deplorable and disgusting” and added, “The first thing is to make sure we understand these are not issues, these are persons — these children are made in the image of God, and we ought to respond to them with compassion, not with fear.”
Cherry picking the Bible does seem to be the national Christian sport. Even ahead of Sunday football.
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