BREAKING... Eleven faith leaders have been arrested at the White House. Here is our statement from today's witness.
Those arrested were: Rev. William Barber, Shane Claiborne, Don Golden, executive director of Red Letter Christians; Rev. Adam Taylor, Executive Director of Sojourners; Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, Rev. Alex Dyer; Rev. Chaz Howard, UPenn Chaplain; Rev. Doug Pagitt, Vote Common Good; Noel Castellanos, executive director, Christian Community Development Association; Rev. William Gipson; and Jane Saari.
WE WILL NOT COOPERATE WITH POLICIES THAT SEPARATE FAMILIES
As members of the clergy, we have made vows to proclaim the truth of Scripture and lead people of faith in making sound moral choices in their private and public lives. Today we joined together in a prayer of defiance outside the White House to demonstrate that we will not cooperate with policies that separate families. We invite others to join us by taking direct action at places in our communities where the policy violence of this administration is being executed.
We believe such public actions by clergy and people of faith are especially important in this moment because Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other representatives of this administration have recently misused Scripture to defend against a moral critique of their “zero tolerance” policy at the border. But this recent policy decision is not the only way our government is violently separating families, and the President’s Executive Order in response to the nation’s moral outrage does nothing to rescind this administration’s expressed commitment to an “America First” agenda. The preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that this agenda criminalizes non-white immigrants and separates parents from children, children from healthcare, clear water and food (SNAP), and government from its moral obligation to equal protection under the law.
Jesus said that nations will be judged by how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the incarcerated and the immigrant. “Woe unto you who legislate evil,” the prophet Isaiah declares, “and rob the poor of their right.” President Trump and the members of his administration and of the US Congress who enable his agenda have abandoned both God’s call to love and justice and the Constitution’s commitment to establish justice for every person.
We pray with genuine love and concern for the souls every person in government. Our grievance is not personal and we know from experience that people can change. But when those who have been elected or appointed to legislate and execute policy are acting to harm others and separate families, we are morally obligated to resist. In the long tradition of nonviolent civil disobedience, we willingly accept the consequences for our actions and refuse to demonize those who are sent to arrest us. But as citizens of this country, we cannot cooperate when we know acts of violence are being executed in our name. We will not cooperate with policies that separate families.