Religion always played a major role in people’s lives. It reinforces the faith of believers and gives them hope despite the many problems plaguing mankind. The church that we now know of is separate from the state but it was not always that way. Ancient religions — especially the early Christians — actually governed the land and enforce laws that the people must obey at all cost.
The people of today believe in different religions just like in the past. They take their faith seriously. Some will even give up their lives to prove how devoted they are to their faith. Muslims are known for that practice.Unfortunately, others have taken advantage of it and used religious extremism to cause chaos in the world through terroristic activities. And America has witnessed and became a victim to this extremist cause and lives were lost along the way.
Unfortunately, others have taken advantaged of it and used religious extremism to cause chaos in the world through terroristic activities. And America has witnessed and became a victim to this extremist cause and many lives were lost over the years.
Liberal churches and synagogues — and all other religious institutions that share our ideals — must step up at this time of crisis for our country. America is in peril, and we must take the lead in saving it, preaching a message of justice and compassion. But we must do more than preach. We must offer an action agenda that is also a moral agenda, rooted in Biblical teachings and religious precepts — an agenda that will lift our nation’s sights and challenge our nation’s conscience.
There is no one else to play this role. If we fail to rise to the challenge, the result will be catastrophic. American values will be undermined in a profound way. And not only that; the religious congregations that we serve will be seen by our members and by all Americans as irrelevant at precisely the time when they are needed most.
Religious congregations are essential right now because the problems that America faces are without precedent in our country’s history. Following the election, Americans looked around and what they saw everywhere was incivility, division, and bigotry. The campaign of President-elect Trump incited people to hate, and hate they did. Hatred is infectious, and the result is that the fires of intolerance are roaring unconstrained.
Wars have been fought and people displaced as their hometowns get ravaged by shootings and explosions. Many of them are seeking refuge in various countries including the United States in the hope of finding a new home and being able to start their lives anew. But the idea of accepting refugees is also a cause of many heated arguments among ordinary American citizens and even leaders of the state.
Hundreds of houses of worship are offering sanctuary to people who could face deportation if President-elect Donald Trump follows through on his campaign pledge to remove millions of immigrants living in the country illegally.
To some churches, sanctuary means spiritual support or legal assistance to fight deportation. Others promise or already are extending physical sanctuary by housing immigrants.
In Brockton, a poor city of about 95,000 people south of Boston, four churches have pledged to take in immigrants fearful of being deported.
“If you need a safe place, once you enter the doors of this building, you are safe,” said the Rev. Abraham Waya, pastor of Central United Methodist Church, who said his church can shelter as many as 100 people. “We will host you and take care of you for as long as it takes.”
Both sides have valid arguments. One fears the safety and security of the people and the thought of having an additional burden to feed, shelter and care for are not appealing when the country’s homeless population are actually increasing without a promising solution from the government. But then, there are those who believe in the innate goodness of humans. Charity begins at home and they believe offering their homes to those in need are the moral obligation of everybody especially that it was the U.S. who initiated war in their countries in the first place.
As more countries still suffer from endless wars that seem to have no end, the issue of refugees will likely stay for a while. But it is unlikely that the government will have their hand on it or will even approve it considering how vocal President Trump is against non-Americans. It is evident in the first few policies he has signed since assuming office. Now, it will be a tough battle for the various churches to extend their help to the homeless when the administration is clearly opposing their efforts right from the start.
The following blog post The Relevance Of Today’s Religions is available on Keating Economics Blog