Maine Council of Churches Stands in Solidarity With Our Muslim Sisters and Brothers
As people of faith, we condemn the Supreme Court decision to uphold the administration’s travel ban on people from several mostly Muslim countries (including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen). As Justice Sotomayor stated in her dissent, “History will not look kindly on the court’s misguided decision today, nor should it. …a reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus.” Reminiscent of other shameful chapters in this country’s past, the travel ban echoes the bigotry and ignorance of our policies to inter Japanese citizens in prison camps during World War II, to turn away Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany aboard the SS St. Louis in 1939 (227 of whom were ultimately murdered in concentration camps), and to prohibit all immigration of Chinese laborers to the U.S. (Chinese Exclusion Act, 1882-1943).
The Council’s member denominations are rooted in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, sacred texts that demand God’s faithful people welcome the stranger, show hospitality to immigrants in their midst, and protect our persecuted and vulnerable neighbors. What’s more, the “sacred text” of our nation, the Constitution of the United States, prohibits discrimination against people based on their religion.
Along with “Shoulder to Shoulder” (a national interfaith organization supported by all seven of MCC’s member denominations and dedicated to ending anti-Muslim sentiment by strengthening the voice of freedom and peace), we oppose targeting our Muslim neighbors on the basis of their religious affiliation. “Targeting people based on their faith is not in keeping with the American ideals that we as American faith communities seek to uphold and advance. Today’s ruling will long be a stain on our country’s moral conscience…” (www.shouldertoshouldercampaign.org)
We encourage all people of faith and good conscience to speak up against bias and bigotry, and to reach out to our Muslim neighbors here in Maine to express support and concern at this troubling time.
Click here to read an excellent op-ed about the Supreme Court decision, written by long-time friend and supporter of MCC, the Rev. Richard Killmer. It will appear in the June 28 edition of the Bangor Daily News: https://bangordailynews.com/2018/06/27/opinion/contributors/upholding-trumps-travel-ban-is-another-stain-on-americas-moral-conscience/