Migrants and the Faithlessness of Wall Building

Welcome to Roger’s Take On Religion: An Inclusive Perspective

 Here’s a question for you: Would you rather build a wall or build a bridge?

I personally find bridge building a more hopeful endeavor but wall building dominates the news.

Israel, for example, is building a fence along the country’s eastern border with Jordan to keep out Syrian refugees. The AP quotes Prime Minister Netanyahu as saying: “We see today what happens when countries lose control of their borders,” referring to the massive influx into Europe of Middle Eastern refugees fleeing war and poverty.

Perhaps the most famous wall builder is our own Donald Trump, who gained early prominence in his presidential bid by promising to stop illegal immigration with additional walls along the U.S./Mexican border.

There are also bridge builders. Pope Francis’ call for “every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe, to take one family,” is an example. Other examples include the thousands of volunteers who have provided food and water to migrants arriving in Europe and religious groups, like Church World Service, working to increase the refugee quota in the U.S.

Here’s My Take: Ever since God led the Israelites into the Promised Land by destroying the City of Jericho, faithfulness has involved removing walls (often with disastrous results for the wall builders).

Faithfulness uses the hands of compassion to build bridges, even if those bridges include welcoming refugees who do not speak “American,” as Sarah Palin would require.

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