‘We are the No,’ Cardinal Tobin says as faith leaders vow to support immigrants

At the end of the program the Rev. John Mennell, center, invites clergy and others to come to the pulpit and stand for immigrants and to resist the deportations. More than 100 other clergy leaders stand up for immigrant rights as part of Faith in New Jersey program at Bethany Baptist Church, on May 4, 2017, in Newark, N.J. Photo courtesy of NJ Advance Media/Aristide Economopoulos

NEWARK, N.J. (Star-Ledger) Beneath the curved wooden ceiling at Bethany Baptist Church, New Jersey’s faith leaders vowed to stand alongside those targeted under the White House agenda — and build their own wall of resistance to President Trump’s policies.

“Not on our watch will anyone have to stand or fight alone,” said the church’s pastor, Timothy Jones on Thursday (May 4). “Now more than ever is the time for people of all faiths to get together to work for the joint goal of building community.”

Faith in New Jersey, an interfaith coalition advocating for social justice, convened imams pastors, priests and rabbis to urge action amid swift changes to immigration enforcement and health care.

“We cannot stand idly by. We cannot stay on the sidelines,” said the Rev. John Mennell before more than 150 clergy members as Trump made his first presidential visit across the Hudson River before heading to his Bedminster golf course.


The Archbishop of Newark, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, also addressed the interfaith gathering, sharing a poignant scene from a novel about Italian fascism.

“What keeps despots, dictators awake at night, what topples evil empires is the little person who goes into the square in the middle of town in the dark of the night and scrawls on the wall, ‘No.’ And I want to say to you, we are the ‘No’ that God scrawls on the wall,” Tobin said. “We are the ‘no’ to a nation who is heartless, who would deport people, separating them from their families and their loved ones simply because they are victims of a broken system.”

Catalino Guerrero, an undocumented immigrant from Union City, met with immigration officials Friday. Guerrero has an order of deportation but the community has fought to keep him in the U.S.

Tobin and U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., helped advocate for Guerrero, a Union City grandfather who was facing deportation earlier this year.

Menendez, too, spoke briefly after arriving from Washington, D.C.

“Indeed we practice different faiths … but there is far more that unites us than divides us,” he said after railing against the U.S. House passing “cruel” legislation to repeal Obamacare on Thursday.


First posted on http://religionnews.com

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