There’s always been a deep tension between those who believe the powerful words about freedom for all and those who believe that such freedom should be reserved to them alone. There have always been those who believe that their personal freedom is unbreakable but the freedom of others can be rationed.
We in the church have clung too tightly to our country’s myths of exceptionalism. We’ve been too slow to name the real “terror within” and unwilling to listen to those telling us of terror all around. We’ve been reluctant to own up to our history and speak out against unjust policies . We don’t like to think or talk about it, but most of us know that our quality of life here comes directly at the expense of everyone else on the planet (not to mention the planet itself), millions of ordinary folks whose countries have been ravaged by centuries of colonialism and persistent neocolonial structures, who make our clothes and gadgets, grow our food and coffee, and pay in countless other ways for all our out-of-control consumption and addictions. Their problems are our problems. So we can’t set them aside.
Last week, I joined a delegation of 14 women faith leaders, organized by Faith in Public Life, to speak with refugees and community activists about our government’s treatment of immigrants at the border. We went expecting to encounter a community’s pain, but I don’t think any of us were prepared for the trauma we found, nor the fierce resistance of those standing up for migrants’ humanity.
Fortified with fruitcake, I went in search of some way to live as a contemplative amid the world’s madness. Over the next few years, I read about the mystical stream that runs through all of the world’s wisdom traditions, and experimented with several popular contemplative practices. But, with the exception of the Quaker meeting for worship, I couldn’t find a practice compatible with my temperament, religious inclinations, and life situation.
More than 10,000 protesters gathered at Foley Square in downtown Manhattan Saturday morning to march against the Trump administration’s policy on immigration. The New York march was part of a nationwide series of rallies organized by advocacy groups, legal and immigrants’ rights organizations, trade unions, and concerned citizens.
Thousands of protesters clad in white and armed with signs denouncing President Donald Trump rallied Saturday in more than 90-degree heat against the Trump administration’s immigration policy and the “zero-tolerance” approach that has separated children from their parents after they crossed the border from Mexico to the U.S.
Tens of thousands gathered in Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C., Saturday to call for an end to family separation. Braving a scorching 95-degree heat, people had come from all over the country to attend the Families Belong Together event. Organizers had three demands for President Trump: Reunite families, end family detention, and reverse the “zero tolerance” policy.
Tens of thousands of protesters marched in cities across the United States on Saturday to demand the Trump administration reverse an immigration crackdown that has separated children from parents at the U.S-Mexico border and led to plans for military-run detention camps.
This is not a time for the marketplace of ideas. There are people who believe that immigrant children are criminals. There are people who act as though queer folks are an abomination. There are people who consider every black and brown person to be a threat. These ideas are not worth debating. Logical conversations will not dissuade oppressors. Civility has never transformed the reality of the marginalized and it never will.