Skip to main content

Ecumenical vigil opposes Trump immigration policy Ecumenical vigil opposes Trump immigration policy
by Vera Chinese @VeraChinese
Updated June 24, 2018 8:46 PM

 Worshippers of varied faiths came together in Port Jefferson Station on Sunday to speak against the practice of separating children from their families during border-crossing arrests, decrying the policy as inhumane. 

Rabbi Aaron Benson of the North Shore Jewish Center, the site of the ecumenical one-hour vigil of prayer and unity attended by more than 100 people, said the issue transcends politics and is one of human rights.

 “Our nation can do better than enact policy that insults and injures the humanity of all involved,” he said, adding that the United States is a nation of laws, but should not be “a nation of cruelty.”

 “That should not be a controversial notion.”

 Those who spoke also rejected the notion that a Bible passage could be used in support of the policy, citing Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ comments in a news conference earlier this month.

 “We link arms . . . objecting when scripture is used to justify an abuse rather than claim love,” said the Rev. Kate Jones Calone of Setauket Presbyterian and president of the Three Village Interfaith Clergy Association.

 Congregants sang John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” and several prayers were offered for children at the border, including “Plegarias” by Luis Angel Castro, which was read in Spanish and English.

 President Donald Trump reversed the policy of separating children from parents who cross illegally at the Mexico border on Wednesday, though many migrant children, including 116 children housed at the MercyFirst shelter in Syosset, remain apart from their parents.

 Those at Sunday’s vigil said they remained outraged over the policy and felt it important to show support for immigrants.

 “I’m heartbroken about what’s happening to these children and it’s beyond belief that the president of the United States is trying to justify it,” said Jerry Fine of Setauket, a member of Temple Isaiah in Stony Brook.

 By Vera Chinese Vera Chinese joined Newsday in 2017 and covers the towns of Southampton, East Hampton and Shelter Island. A Long Island native, she has reported on East End issues for 10 years.


Popular posts from this blog

Next steps?

At last night's community forum, Belief and Truth from a Multifaith Perspective: Finding Unity in Diversity, many expressed a desire to continue these kinds of conversations and to take action together for building bridges in our community. These are some of the ideas that were shared for next steps:

Find something concrete that we can work on together in our communityCome out with a statement to the community about this gatheringHave clergy visit other houses of worship for teaching and conversation Invite people of other faiths or no faith traditions into our houses of worshipBring younger people into our interfaith programsAsk elected officials to talk about this kind of workIdentify root causes of hatred and address themEncourage media coverage of our programs What other ideas do you have for next steps? Please share them in the comments.

I am a Friend ...

I am a Friend, a member of the Religious Society of Friends, known as Quakers.I hope you are not surprised to know that Quakers are still around, but I will not be surprised if you are.
Beginning in England in the 1650s, Quakerism grew out of the Protestant Christian tradition, and spread to the American colonies soon after. Known for our testimonies of pacifism, equality, and simple living, we are sometimes considered to have a contrarian point of view on matters of foreign policy and social justice issues.When I was growing up, we were sometimes confused with Amish, Puritans, Shakers, and oatmeal makers and I thought that we were an odd group far out of the mainstream.
What I have learned as I have gotten older and more deeply confirmed in my faith is the many ways that we are similar to other religions, in our beliefs and in what we value.
I think you will find that some Quaker beliefs will resonate with you, whatever your spiritual language or orientation: - We believe that there is …