Ann Voskamp has been a Christian author for the past decade, with a largely conservative evangelical audience. On Thursday morning, she stood outside the National Prayer Breakfast to protest President Trump’s order containing entry into the U.S. by people from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY
“I just think we’re called as the church right now to stand up and to be on the right side of history that says, ‘We will risk, we will open the doors for children who are starving,’” Voskamp said, holding a sign and standing outside the Washington Hilton as Trump spoke to religious leaders inside. “If we as Christians say we are pro-life, that means we have to be pro-refugee.”
WE WELCOME REFUGEES
Voskamp and her friend Vickie Reddy co-founded a group called We Welcome Refugees after a trip to Iraq in 2015.
“I sat in a shipping container with Yazidi women who had fled ISIS up Mount Sinjar. They had two arms and they had to decide which of their little children they could grab and take with them and which of their children they would lose. And sitting there, listening to their stories, stewarding their stories, I realized it could be me,” Voskamp said. “I think once you look into the eyes of people who have fled war, who have left home because home has become the mouth of a monster, you realize that national security can’t ever negate compassion for people who need refuge. Jesus was a refugee. We’re called to love our neighbor without exception.”
Reddy also attended the protest Thursday morning, which drew about 150 members of local churches, many of which have been working to help refugee families find housing as well as jobs. Both Voskamp and Reddy said they had never taken part in any kind of political protest before.
“We just wanted this to be a prayerful witness … to give moral courage to people walking in the room,” Reddy said.
“I think compassion and security don’t have to be mutually exclusive. I know how the refugee resettlement program works. I know how thorough the vetting is,” she said. “There’s always room for security to be relooked at and reconsidered, and absolutely we should be doing that, but I think that the shutting down of the program for any period of time and preventing Syrian refugees from coming here is not necessary. … The reality is that being a refugee is one of the hardest ways to get into this country. It’s not an easy way for terrorists to infiltrate or anything like that, because the vetting is so thorough.”
Michael Wear, who was a top White House faith issues adviser to President Obama during his first term, and who oversaw faith outreach in Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, took part in the protest as well.
“Especially as Donald Trump is receiving a lot of acclaim from some portions of the religious community for his Supreme Court nomination, it was important that the message was sent that we’re not forgetting about this [executive order],” Wear said. “We’re going to affirm when he does good and we’re going to stand up when he does wrong. … I’m glad to be outside the breakfast this year.”
It is time for the church in the United States all faiths to use its money for many of the problems that face the world today. Especially those very rich Christians who use their wealth for political issues instead of the issues that Jesus would teach us to take care of – those that are abundantly wealthy and have just finished giving millions to the political arena need to put just as much money into our world today that have so many problems that money would solve.
- Catholic Social Teaching – usccb.org
- Bible Questions for the Church of Christ – Faith Facts
- Church Teachings on Controversial Topics