Within minutes of last week’s attacks on Paris, U.S. politicians were starting to turn their backs on Syrian refugees. Since then, governors from Texas to Massachusetts have announced they won’t allow any Syrian families into their states. Our own Governor, Chris Christie, has vowed to refuse entry of any refugees, “I don’t think that orphans under 5 should be admitted to the United States at this point.” We’ve heard calls to close mosques, to exclude all Muslim refugees.
As Unitarian Universalists the inherent worth and dignity of every person is at the core of our faith. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations are an important part of our principles. As Americans our faith is reflected in our Pledge of Allegiance: “liberty and justice for all”. The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee is calling for UUs across the country to contact their national representative and urge them to welcome our Syrian brothers and sisters. We call you to action by writing Governor Christie and asking him to show the world that we are a just and caring New Jersey.
Let yUUr voice be heard and together we will create a more just world. With Thanksgiving upon, let us all remember that our ancestors once came to this land seeking asylum, too.
On November 19, 2015 Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, issued this statement in response to the recent Syrian refugee backlash:
“After the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut, I had hoped that our elected leaders would act with love and courage for all victims of terrorism. But unfortunately, they have not.
I am dismayed that over 30 U.S. governors have publicly proclaimed that they will not admit Syrian refugees into their states. And now, today, the House of Representatives will vote on a bill to hinder the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the United States. These are cowardly and fearful acts.
Syrian refugee families fled their homes to escape the terror of both the Bashar al Assad regime and the ISIS militants. After their harrowing escapes into safer territories, these families are now facing more persecution and suffering as our nation turns its back on them and their plight. It is unconscionable.
We must not face terrorism with fear; love is the only thing that I know that can truly conquer hate. I call on our elected officials to lead on the side of love for refugees.”