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Faces on Faith: A shared humanity

June 27, 2018
By JUNE SIEBER , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Christian Science Monitor writer John Yemma recently reported that the world is experiencing the "biggest human migration since the end of World War II - millions of people displaced from their homes by politics, persecutions and violence. Tens of thousands of tired and poor people yearning to be free are embarking on hazardous journeys out of the middle east and Africa."

Christians and Jews are reminded of the Biblical Exodus in which Moses directed the Israelites to flee their Egyptian taskmasters into the desert in a hazardous forty year journey to the "promised land." As people of faith, this leads us to ask, what is our responsibility for these modern "foreigners and strangers"? The King James version of the Bible speaks directly to this issue in Deuteronomy 24:l4: "Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of the strangers that are in thy land within thy gates. A later verse: "Love ye therefore the stranger, for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."

E.J. Dionne, columnist for The Washington Post, spoke on the subject: "Millions of Americans face poverty, violence, unemployment and a shortage of opportunity in our own country. So why should we take in refugees? Simply because it is the right thing to do, and because we are a wealthy nation and can afford it."

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June Sieber

In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy reminds us: "The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle or Father, and blessed is that man who seeth his brother's need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another's good."

Attorney Jeff Sessions recently used a Bible quote from Paul to justify seizing desperate families at the border, and separating very young children from their parents. People of both parties have watched in horror. Even the Pope weighed in by reminding us that we are all children of immigrants. But it is Emma Lazarus' poem that speaks most honestly to America's promise and obligation.

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.

I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

June Sieber is affiliated with the Sanibel Christian Science Church.



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