Oblate School of Theology supports and endorses the following statement of faith leaders to Donald Trump concerning his recent statements about Muslims. It was endorsed by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, United States Province’s Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation team and signed by the Provincial Superior of the U.S. Province, Fr. William Antone, OMI.
As leaders in America’s faith community, our institutions do not engage in partisan politics. We do, however, speak to important moral and ethical issues facing our nation.
In this spirit, we write to express in the strongest possible terms our deep disappointment and even disgust with the proposal made by you to stop allowing Muslims to enter the United States.
Our faith traditions demand that we extend a welcoming hand to those in need. America is an immigrant nation. We know that many have come to our country, and continue to do so, seeking religious freedom and an end to persecution. This is true for Syrian refugees fleeing ISIL today, and many others displaced by war, conflict and disaster.
We remember that too many religious leaders stood silent as Jews fled Germany during Hitler’s rise to power. In fact, some religious leaders and politicians argued that Jews should not be allowed into the United States during that period.
In that same timeframe, too many religious leaders stood silent as Japanese-Americans were interned into camps as their patriotism was questioned. Bigotry and discrimination prevailed.
Muslims serve this nation in offices of public service, in our Armed Forces, in law-enforcement, and as community builders. These are our neighbors, our friends, and children of God.
We cannot remain silent as political leaders seek to divide Americans along religious lines for partisan gain. Your language and proposals serve only to divide our nation and to bring comfort to ISIS and their allies.
Mr. Trump, we ask in this holy season that you reflect on your proposals and repudiate those that you have made, that our country may be a beacon of hope and not fear.