Immigrants: The Christian thing to do | Arkansas Blog

Monday, July 5, 2010

Immigrants: The Christian thing to do

Posted By on Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 6:37 AM

Somebody asked the other day if churches had taken a role in the Secure Arkansas campaign to put an immigrant-punishing constitutional amendment on the November ballot. I'm not aware of any concerted effort by churches, such as you see when the Family Council rallies the right-wing churches on social issue campaigns.

There is, after all, some counsel in general religious teaching against giving a rude welcome to those who appear on your doorstep seeking food, shelter and honest work.

In that vein, Houston clergy joined in a broad, ecumenical effort to promote the cause of immigrants on Independence Day Sunday.

“All 13 colonies were made up of illegal aliens because they had not gotten permission from the residents here, who were the Indians,” hev[Rev. John Bowie] said. “Then a few years later, they brought us here and made us illegal, too. These immigrants, we immigrants, have built the greatest nation in the world, coming from everywhere, all over, because, you see, nobody owns this world except God.”

All over Houston, in an unusual display of ecumenical solidarity on an explosive issue, scores of pastors, priests, rabbis and ministers used their sermons on Independence Day to promote the cause of fixing a broken immigration system.

The coordinated effort was part of a broad-based campaign begun in January by an interfaith group, the Metropolitan Organization, to lobby Congress to pass an immigration overhaul package this year. The group has collected 12,000 signatures to be sent to lawmakers and has organized workshops to persuade churchgoers to support their effort.

Can Arkansas match Texas in generosity of spirit?

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