Saint Mark Presbyterian Church seeks to be an open and inclusive community of Christian faith pursuing the love of God and neighbor. Our neighbor includes the men, women, and children who are desperately fleeing their countries for the chance of a better life in the United States. When the government establishes a policy that conflicts with God’s call to love our neighbor, as the zero tolerance policy of President Trump’s immigration policy does, we must respond with fierce opposition.
We reject the interpretation that the Bible and the Christian faith defends any policy that forcibly separates families and dehumanizes them. The Bible is clear that we are required to care for the vulnerable stranger. Who is more vulnerable than a child trying to escape violence and poverty? Jesus, who was taken as a child across borders in search of safety, calls us to love the suffering stranger.
We call upon the government to end the zero tolerance policy that has torn apart thousands of families in recent weeks, to act quickly to reunite parents and children that have been separated, and to facilitate communication between parents in custody and their children until they are reunited.
In Leviticus 19: 33-34, it is written, “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, you must not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners…” We commit ourselves to fight for humane and sensible laws and policies that provide respect for all immigrant communities, grounded in the principles of Christian faith.