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

At a time when politics and religion are often found in bed together, domestic spats become news worthy. Consider the case of Roanoke, VA Mayor David A. Bowers. Mayor Bowers, a Democrat, recently said that Syrian refugees would not be welcomed in his town. As justification, he cited President Roosevelt’s sequestering of Japanese Americans following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, one of the more shameful acts in American history.

Why pick on Mr. Bowers when more prominent politicians have said much worse? Because he is facing a petition drive to oust him from office.

In attacking relocation of Syrian refugees, politicians, expecting support from their religious partners, are finding themselves sleeping alone. Finally, the faith community is waking up and saying “no more.”

There are two reasons for this rejection. Scriptures like “You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deut. 10:19) can’t be ignored, strengthening groups like Episcopal Migration Services in promoting refugee support within local Episcopal churches.

There’s also the matter of religious freedom. Russell Moore, a Southern Baptist Convention spokes person, has confronted the abusive Donald Trump by stating that “Evangelicals should recognize that any president … who would call for shutting down houses of worship … is the sort of political power that can ultimately shut down evangelical churches.”

Here’s My Take: Divorces are messy but infidelity can’t be ignored. Mayor Bowers has gotten down on his knees and begged forgiveness. Such prostration may be the only avenue for reconciliation. The faith community is a most forgiving bunch.


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