Yesterday President Trump signed an Executive Order that is intended to protect America from terrorists entering the United States. I applaud the President’s intent to protect America. But I have to express grave concern at the heavy handed way he is achieving it.
The United States has a long history of welcoming those from around the world who are escaping persecution ‘due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.’ (USCIS website) Following World War II, we led the effort to help refugees, welcoming 250,000 persecuted and displaced people. In the 80s and 90s we welcomed sudanese, Syrian and Afghan refugees fleeing genocide, war and violence.
We are known as a welcoming country to those who are persecuted and in fear of their lives.
And yesterday that changed. For the next 120 days, there is a complete ban on all refugees entering the United States. There is also a ban on all refugees from Syria indefinitely.
This is a paranoid overreaction that goes against our Christian heritage and values.
We are called to love those who are persecuted, the displaced and fearful. We love them for God loves them.
We cannot allow fear to rule us, to guide our actions. We must be a people of love. We must remain generous and welcoming in the face of hatred and fear.
As Matthew 25:35-36 states,
‘for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’
President Trump, greatness isn’t simply economic power, but of caring for the stranger, the hungry, the sick and the persecuted in their darkest moment.