Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
That quote, penned by Emma Lazarus, is famously etched on to the Statue of Liberty. But I’m not sure we deserve to have it there anymore. We have Governors of several states saying they will not allow any more Syrian refugees within their borders. We are afraid that their conflict, the thing they are fleeing from, risking their lives to possibly save their lives, might spread here. Might invade our soft, secluded, safe lives.
When we, as a people, tell starving children they can’t come into our country because they might be terrorists, we have lost all claim to the title “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave”. We are letting unreasonable fear and unthinking bigotry force our hands into cruelty.
If these were European Christians fleeing to our country, would our reaction be the same? Of course not. Because they look like us. They worship like us. We understand them.
But these brown people with their strange religions? These foreign talking Arabs and Muslims? These creatures that we don’t understand? We fear them. Here is another quote for you:
Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side
You have so much in common, if you could only see it. Both your religions preach the same thing. To love thy neighbor, be they near or far. To reach out your hand to those in need. To stand as a shield to protect the righteous from the monsters of this world. And yet, you turn your backs.
Hide away, you brave sons of liberty. Hide behind your crumbling walls, and pray that your god forgives you.