Fear is an insidious thing that entraps the mind and intellect. It blinds us to the values that have guided our lives and causes us to make irrational statements and decisions.
The recent spate of declarations by more than half of the nation’s governors that they would not accept Syrian refugees in their states is a troubling example of xenophobia that is antithetical to American values and the teaching of Jesus Christ.
America has been the hope of refuge from Puritans fleeing religious oppression to those fleeing war and religious intolerance today. Sadly, there have always been those who choose to see immigrants as a threat to our way of life instead of enriching our diversity,
Our memories are short and our vision myopic. We are prone to choose to diminish our values and freedom in the name of protecting them.
Mercy is the hallmark of the papacy of Pope Francis who said shortly after his election, “I think we too are the people who, on the one hand, want to listen to Jesus, but on the other hand, at times, like to find a stick to beat others with, to condemn others. And Jesus has this message for us: mercy. I think — and I say it with humility — that this is the Lord’s most powerful message: mercy.”
The words of Christ in the book of Matthew are a pertinent reminder – “When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? — And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Governor Cuomo of New York put it well. “The day America says, ‘Close the gates, build the wall,’ then I say take down the Statue of Liberty, because you’ve gone to a different place.”
This post is also available in/Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish