Above: Italian immigrants on Mulberry St. in lower Manhattan circa 1900 (image via the Wikipedia entry for “Italian-Americans”).
G-d said to Moses:
“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien… you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19).
Jesus makes reference to this passage from Leviticus when he recounts the parable of the (Good) Samaritan, the priest, and the Levite:
“‘Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ [The Lawyer] said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise'” (Luke 10).
Today, I ask my Christian and Jewish sisters and brothers to rise up and speak out against the President’s immigration ban. No matter how you parse the President’s executive order, it clearly targets migrants based on their religious beliefs and ethnicity.
Please see this post published Friday by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It quotes Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin:
“We strongly disagree with the Executive Order’s halting refugee admissions. We believe that now more than ever, welcoming newcomers and refugees is an act of love and hope… We need to protect all our brothers and sisters of all faiths, including Muslims, who have lost family, home, and country. They are children of God and are entitled to be treated with human dignity. We believe that by helping to resettle the most vulnerable, we are living out our Christian faith as Jesus has challenged us to do.”
If you are a Christian, please live out your faith as Jesus challenged you to do.
If you are a Jew, please remember that it was only a generation ago when Jews (in many cases, people you and I are directly related to) were subjected to religious and ethnic profiling.
President Trump campaigned on a platform of hate, bigotry, and fear. No matter how you parse the President’s words (“textbook racism,” as Speaker Ryan once called it), the policies he is implementing are rooted in racism and religious intolerance.
Attend a rally, attend a town hall meeting, take part in a march, call your U.S. congressperson’s and senator’s office, write a blog post, write a note on your social media: let your community know that you will not stand for this un-Christian, un-Jewish, and un-American policy.