Letter to the editor: Discrimination will not be condoned

Published 2:30 pm Monday, April 11, 2016

To the Editor,

Judaism, Christianity and Islam, among almost all other world faiths, call upon believers to receive the stranger with hospitality and compassion, to welcome the immigrant and foreigner with open arms.
Some American politicians, however, for reasons of their own, promote the opposite. The worst among them appeal to base tribal instincts and stoke fears of the “other” for the sole purpose of gaining and exploiting political and economic power over peoples of all races and faiths. They take great delight in demeaning and disempowering those whose only “sin” is to have been born in a country other than America and pray to a God with a different name.
When Donald Trump and others of his ilk, for example, say that they want to “make America great again,” I fear that what they really desire is an America made great again but only for white American-born Christians like themselves.
Their appeals have gained traction only because their supporters refuse to consult their own national and religious heritages. A close examination of scripture and American history make it clear that xenophobia and prejudice contradict not only the Bible but the founding values of the nation they purport to love as well. In the process, their Christian brothers and sisters who migrate from the Middle East, LGBTQ fellow citizens, and assertive white, brown, or black women willing to fight for their rights and not be treated like objects are relegated to the back of the bus.
There have been other Trumps in America. Racism, bigotry and xenophobia have long histories in the United States. Fear mongering and discrimination against non-white Christians, Jews, and Muslims and those from other countries were widespread before politicians like Trump came on the scene. But then, as now, it is up to the rest of us — Jews, Muslims and Christians faithful to their religious and national traditions of inclusivity and hospitality — to proclaim loudly that discrimination of any kind will not be condoned in our names or in the name of our Gods.


Polk Culpepper