First They Came ... A blog by Susan Smith-Allen

How appalling to read that ICE has again scheduled plans to raid selected immigrant homes across this country. Evidently, these Trump –ordered raids were scheduled for several weeks ago, but due to a nation-wide outcry against such disgraceful proceedings, the original plan was postponed. How appalling, and how heart-breaking to learn that this continued persecution is evidently supported by prominent members of the so-called “religious right.” One leader is quoted as saying that helping immigrants “is not a Bible issue.” Evidently this particular leader is unfamiliar with the Hebrew Scripture, and the many times the Lord our God commands the people of God to treat ‘the alien among them’ with as much care and consideration as they would expect for themselves and show to one another.

Have we not seen enough of the absolutely unjustifiable treatment of children of asylum seekers, as well as adults? Do we think we can tell ourselves that this is no concern of ours? If we can stand by and tell ourselves that physical abuse of children and adults, including sexual assault, withholding of food and water, denial of shelter and protection from exposure and from governments who cannot protect their people and who categorically refuse to try, and say to ourselves that this is no concern of ours; and answer the pleas for help by telling ourselves that somehow, those who suffer must blame themselves for their plight; and thinking that in any case, these things cannot touch us, we probably need to re-read Dietrich Bonhoffer, who said: "First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me."

Even if we convince ourselves that this disgraceful treatment of other human beings, children and/or adults is something we can justify for any conceivable reason, I remain certain that we will not be able to explain such reasoning to the Lord our God.

Last modified on Thursday, 18 July 2019 16:47

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