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Our Shining City on a Hill

Our state politicians here in Tennessee are spreading hate and lies on the topic of accepting refugees.

I think Fox’s Shep Smith put it best:

“Our shining city on a hill is vulnerable. We’ve always known that. If we change it to accommodate the savages, have they won? And what then would be left to protect? We profess to stand as an example for all the world. Our unique experiment in freedom, tolerance, openness, and equality is our gift to societies and peoples everywhere. Come, join us. Enjoy a chance at the American dream.”

After World War II, our city on a hill embraced more than 650,000 European refugees. Between 1979 and 1980, we welcomed nearly 320,000 Vietnamese refugees. After passing the Refugee Act in 1980, we took in another 3 million refugees. For most of our history, people fleeing from war, strife, and death have seen our shining city and found a warm embrace in our open arms.

We must not build a wall at the bottom of our hill.

For those folks like myself that have found a home in the Church, I’d only point out this:

“Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

I can only hope that the racism, fear, xenophobia, and hate that has taken hold in the recent months will be pushed aside in favor of love, compassion, empathy, and humanity. If only our leaders could be more like these mayors:

“We have taken in refugees, and will help make room for thousands more.”

Published in Essays

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