Today, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Trump Administration in Donald J. Trump, President of the United States v. State of Hawaii, upholding a de facto Muslim ban that targets our Muslim neighbors on the basis of their religious affiliation. As we have said time and time again, targeting people based on their faith is not in keeping with the American ideals that we as American faith communities seek to uphold and advance. Today’s ruling will long be a stain on our country’s moral conscience, joining the woeful ranks of the Korematsu and Dred Scott rulings. This decision continues the abhorrent impacts that the Ban has already had on individuals, families and communities.
Let us be clear that in this decision, the Court’s ruling does not speak for American faith communities. We reject exclusionary policies that discriminate on the basis of religion, race, culture, or country of origin, including this Muslim Ban. The rights of all faith communities are put in jeopardy when one faith community is attacked, and we will continue to stand alongside our Muslim and refugee neighbors and to work for a country that upholds its own highest ideals.
Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, Director of The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness, and Steering Committee Member of Shoulder to Shoulder writes, “We are a nation of immigrants and a nation which claims values that call us to welcome the immigrant, refugee and alien fleeing persecution and praying for a better life. Scripture demands that we open the doors of our hearts and our homeland to provide a safe haven for those who seek it. Today’s ruling is discouraging but we must continue to say no to hateful and harmful policies which discriminate against families and especially children.”
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and member of Shoulder to Shoulder’s Steering Committee writes, With this court decision, we are again reaching a point where the assertion of “national security” by the executive branch of government results in the rejection of all other considerations in national policy discussions. Our social statement also reminds us: “In bondage to sin, we fall captive to fear.” Jesus taught us to love one another. The social statement calls us to “a dynamic vision of difference in unity.” Her full statement can be found here.
Rev. Ron Stief, Executive Director of National Religious Campaign Against Torture and Co-Chair of Shoulder to Shoulder’s Executive Committee states, “It is constitutionally dangerous, and morally wrong, for this hyper-partisan Supreme Court to back President Trump’s full frontal attack on religious freedom when it comes to Muslims and refugees.”
The Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign’s 35 national denominational and faith-based partners know from past experience that the people of the United States, when working together, are able to overcome and overturn discriminatory laws and policies. The road to justice for all is a long one, and we are in it for the long haul.
Founded in November 2010, Shoulder-to-Shoulder is an interfaith organization dedicated to ending anti-Muslim sentiment by strengthening the voice of freedom and peace.