Monday, February 04, 2008

Brethren Minister Challenges County Immigration Policies

From the Washington Post:

More than 50 religious leaders have sent a letter to Prince William County's elected officials saying the county's illegal-immigration crackdown has divided the community and created an "unwelcoming spirit."

The 58 leaders of Prince William congregations who signed the letter offered to "work constructively" with county officials and urged them to respond to public concern with legislation that upholds "the dignity and rights of all people."

"It's an invitation to elected officials to be part of a greater conversation," said the Rev. Jeff Carter of the Manassas Church of the Brethren. "It's an offer for some help in mediating and moderating this dialogue."

Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large), chairman of the board of county supervisors, called the group illegitimate and misguided.

"We don't need them as an intermediary," he said. "They need to do what they do best: serve their congregants and attend to their denominations and not get involved in partisan politics."

The religious leaders have been meeting since September, a month before supervisors approved a resolution to increase police enforcement of immigration laws and deny some services to undocumented immigrants. The group, which represents 25 houses of worship and 10 denominations, spent several months crafting a collaborative response.

There is nothing that unjust rulers want more than churches to close their eyes and pray and ignore the injustice going on in their communities. In the sweet, by and by...

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