People of Faith United For Immigrants- The Unitarian Universalist Church

Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood. But somehow, and in some way, we have got to do this. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the way God’s universe is made; this is the way it is structured.

John Donne caught it years ago and placed it in graphic terms: “No man is an island entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” And he goes on toward the end to say, “Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind; therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” We must see this, believe this, and live by it if we are to remain awake through a great revolution. (Martin Luther King, Jr. Remaining Awake Through A Great Revolution)

And there is no doubt that a great revolution is going on. The world is globalizing, and part of that is a movement of workers. It is counterintuitive to think that goods and technology can cross borders much easier than people endowed with souls, but it is true. We do have a neighborhood – the Net – but we must still strive for brotherhood, for the Beloved Community which Dr. King envisioned.

Because of the “inescapable network of mutuality,” we must be who we ought to be and support the human rights of extralegal residents within our borders and campaign for immigration reform which will allow more qualified people and family members to enter through a less dehumanizing method than the lottery. The Unitarian Universalist is just one of the many faith denominations which is actively working for the continental immigrant as well as the off-shore would-be citizen. Their ecumenical philosophy has linked them with many other denominations in interfaith statements for immigrants and against border wall legislation. A 2006 web publication entitled the “Unitarian Universalist Association Supports Immigrant Rights,” states that,

the Unitarian Universalist Association has issued a statement in support of immigrant rights. The UUA’s statement, made by the Rev. William G. Sinkford, President, is grounded in the Association’s commitment to immigrant rights and justice and equality for all persons and is directly tied to four of the Association’s seven principles:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;

  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

(http://www.uua.org/news/newssubmissions/13954.shtml)

Recognizing that spark of human soul is key in any civil rights movement. The United States must stop seeking diversionary measures and instead confront the idea of comprehensive, compassionate immigration reform. Let’s pray that the Unitarian Universalist Church, as well as all the other faith groups who seek to protect the dignity of the immigrant, is successful in its call for social justice. The Beloved Community begins when all people within a country have the same, inalienable human rights – especially illegal “aliens.”

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