The Montgomery Advertiser, the newspaper of record in Alabama’s capital, on Sunday ran a guest column by Rev. H. Julian Gordy, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Southeastern Synod and chair of the Immigration Ready Bench of the ELCA Conference of Bishops.
An exodus fueled by fear and persecution has been on my mind for months. This is not the Exodus of the Hebrew scriptures. But it is appropriate for the church, which counts migrants like Moses and Miriam and the wandering Hebrews as its spiritual ancestors, to remember its roots and speak out whenever people are put to flight.
Today’s exodus is of Latinos. Since the passage of anti-immigration legislation in Alabama and Georgia, two of the states in the synod I serve, undocumented migrants have been leaving our communities and congregations to move to more friendly states. The short-sighted and misguided laws they’re fleeing make the world a hostile, harassing place for anyone without papers, including children.
Bishop Gordy goes on to address the policies that have put “our neighbors in flight and in shackles” and created “a spirit of hostility, suspicion and ethnic discrimination in our communities.” He calls for comprehensive federal immigration reform in order to end these injustices and counter laws such as Alabama’s HB 56.
“Extreme Laws Causing Latino Exodus” lends itself to spreading this important message. Wherever you live, please take a moment to read Bishop Gordy’s guest column, Like it on Facebook, repost the link to blogs, forums, and websites of which you’re part, tweet the link, and leave a positive comment for the bishop. The more we can support leaders who Stand for Welcome, the stronger our efforts will be.
Please also visit the LIRS Action Center and raise your own voice against punitive state immigration laws.
Thank you, Bishop Gordy, for speaking out against unjust state laws and for immigration reform!