Day 6 – Stranger Love

Isaiah 10:1-3

Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees,
to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.
What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar?
To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches?

Yesterday, the president signed an Executive Order revising the travel restrictions that were struck down by the courts in January.  The new Executive Order removes the nation of Iraq from the list of 7 nations with restrictions–something those in the intelligence and military communities wanted to see, but maintains the 90-day ban on travel from the remaining six.  Refugees, on the other hand, got a mixture of good and bad news.  The good news: The new law removes the “indefinite” ban on Syrian Refugees.  The bad news: the new law reduces the total number of refugees that will be admitted (from all parts of the world) to the U.S. by 55% (50,000 refugees will be admitted in FY 2017–down from 110,000 last year).  Read the entire Executive Order HERE.

When the first Executive Order was issued in January, leaders from across the U.S. representing every faith tradition and denomination, immediately responded to the president’s action decrying the refugee ban as unjust and oppressive. The response thus far to the new order has been equally critical.   Tim Breene, CEO of World Relief, a Evangelical Christian refugee resettlement agency that works closely with the government was quoted in Christianity Today“The issuance of a new executive order on refugees and immigrants acknowledges that there were significant problems with the first executive order that caught up green card holders and others as they tried to enter to the United States. However, this new executive order does not solve the root problems with the initial order—the cutting of refugee admissions by 55 percent and the inability for some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees to come to the United States. It is more of the same.”  Church World Services (CWS) issued a strongly worded statement condemning the rewritten order, saying, “Make no mistake: this rewritten version will have the same impact.”

Question for Reflection

According to PRRI, a nonprofit, nonpartisan polling organization, support for the temporary ban on Muslims has declined among all all groups except one–white Evangelical Protestants.  In February 2017, 61% favored the ban (compared to 55% in May 2016). Why do you think Evangelical Protestants continue to support the ban?

Take Action

Consider traveling to Springfield, IL, with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights on Wednesday, March 15, to push legislators at the State Capital to make Illinois a Sanctuary State.  Message the church via Facebook for information.

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2 comments

  1. I want to answer your question about white evangelical Protestants, but I’m afraid of what I might say. I think it all comes down to fear. And lack of interaction with people of different faith and cultural backgrounds. The people I know who support such travel restrictions are super patriotic and I believe misinformed about the Muslim faith. I think that’s all I better say because this is the group of people I am most angry with right now, and as a lifelong evangelical, I am rethinking what sort of faith community I want to be a part of.

    Side note: I read these words yesterday in Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis:

    “Many Christians feel torn between the natural desire to protect themselves and their families and the desire to minister compassionately to the vulnerable. Given the scope of this crisis, how Christ followers respond to this tension could define the church for a generation or more.” from Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis by Stephan Bauman, Matthew Soerens and Dr. Issam Smear

    How sad if our lack of compassion for refugees is what the church is known for in future generations.

  2. Thank you, Lisa B, for the quote from “Seeking Refuge.” I am really concerned about the credibility of the Church with the next generations. As I read the PRRI poll results, I was most disturbed by the finding that only 20% of young adults support the ban. The Church’s increasing support for the ban will ostracize upcoming generations.

    I have also struggled with being part of a faith tradition that is aligning itself with walls and bans and alternate facts. I find it ironic that a group that upholds the inerrancy of Scripture and prides itself in being “Bible-believing” and frequently uses the Law to support it’s positions (such as opposition to same sex relationships), seems to ignore what the Bible says about how we treat the immigrant. It is this kind of selective application that drives people crazy and ultimately drives them away.

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