The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

I.C.E. raids Postville meat-packer; United Methodist Bishop responds

with 6 comments

From the Des Moines Register:

Agriprocessors plantPostville, Ia. – The phone calls started at 5 a.m. They carried the same message: Immigration was coming.[…] Twelve hours later, Hispanic businesses in downtown Postville were shuttered.[…]

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid at the Agriprocessors Inc. plant scattered the Hispanics of Postville. About 400 found their way to St. Bridget’s Catholic Church, waiting for information. Some filled out G-28 forms that allow a lawyer to represent their detained children or minors in their care.

A woman who would identify herself only as Judy said she and her husband work at Agriprocessors. The last time she saw him was before his shift Monday, about 5:30 a.m. “No, I don’t know where he is,” she said in Spanish.

Judy said she and her husband came from Mexico illegally. Like many others at St. Bridget’s, they regard the church as a haven from law enforcement. Asked whether the church would indeed be a safe place, Sister Mary McCauley of St. Bridget’s said, “That is our belief and hope.” […]

And from Bishop Palmer of the Iowa United Methodist Church, this rather brave——and certainly Christlike—statement:

As the Bishop of the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and as a person of faith, I believe we are called as a community to speak about the immigration raid that took place Monday at Agriprocessors, Inc. in Postville, Iowa. […]

Throughout both the Hebrew Bible and the Christian scriptures, there is a calling to connection and community with the strangers in our midst—to treat them “as the citizens among you” and love them as we do ourselves (Leviticus 19:33-34). In the Christian scripture, Jesus continually manifests compassion for the vulnerable and the poor. Jesus’ life on earth initiated the Kingdom reality of a social order based on love, grace, justice, inclusion, mercy, and egalitarianism […]

I believe that people of faith and all persons of good will should join together to embody the new
social order of God’s transforming love, power, and justice, which breaks the chains of fear,
injustice, racism, xenophobia, and violence. […]

We are called to stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers […] whose lives were disrupted today […] and who are facing […] likely separation from their […] loved ones. It is our belief that we are all deeply connected to one another through Christ without regard to one’s nationality or legal status. […]

[W]e urge the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers […] to cease these raids, release those who have been detained today, and work with our elected officials to create a just and comprehensive immigration policy […] Our prayers are with all affected by today’s raid.

Bishop Gregory V. Palmer
Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

Written by Monte

May 15, 2008 at 3:46 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Ah, DG, my friend:

    This idiot should concern himself with preaching about obeying the law instead of sympathizing with people who break the law.

    Marx is often misquoted as saying “Religion is the opiate of the people.” While that isn’t quite what he said, there’s truth in it.

    Jesus was always at odds with the powerful over their treatment of those poorer than themselves. Few things are Genesis to Revelation clearer than that God expects those who follow him to welcome people of other lands, who are almost always at a disadvantage.

    But the “Christian nation” myth has so gutted Christian faith, that (I agree) it seems natural that Christians should be “preaching about obeying the law rather than sympathizing with those who break the law.” We have become Stepford wives, opiated yes-people, taught that our mission is so purely spiritual that our only concern is safely removed from real life, confined to getting people ready to “know where you’d go if you died tonight.”

    Jesus is not the example of that castrated faith. His good news is “for the poor.” Those who truly follow him are profoundly at odds with government on this one. Asking us to be good and go back to sleep is asking us to say “Caesar is Lord, Jesus is for Sundays.”

    Naa. This is exactly the kind of issue that cost him his life – valuing people, despising privilege – and it still really does turn the world upside down.

    I’ll side with the idiot. Thanks for writing – always good to hear from you!


    May 22, 2008 at 12:00 am

  2. First there is no morality in the law, second, what is this intolerance you speak off? Is disagreing with someone now considered “intolerance”?

    Third, explain to me why someone from Western Europe, let say England or from Cuba, gets a free pass, but someone who risks their lives crossing deserts and rivers gets punished for committing the same act. You should read up on the history of immigration (and the laws their in). Why is immigration from Mexico so strictly controlled?

    Your comments have the air of ignorance and insult.

    Don’t hide behind the law, tell us why you don’t want these immigrants here. Please tell the truth.


    May 16, 2008 at 6:51 pm

  3. Ralfast, your comments are full of intolerance. Who says the law is immoral? It’s immoral IN YOUR OPINION. Your comments have an air of moral superiority. Sad


    May 16, 2008 at 5:04 pm

  4. The law of God is not the same as the law of Man. When the law is immoral (and racist) as it was in the time of Christ, should we not follow his example and stand with those that can not stand for themselves. I don’t know what Gospel DG was taught but it is surely not based on the Bible.

    “Do onto others….”


    May 16, 2008 at 12:00 pm

  5. Some believe obeying God’s wishes are above obeying man’s law.

    Rick Reiley

    May 16, 2008 at 7:15 am

  6. No wonder the mainline churches are declining. This idiot should concern himself with preaching about obeying the law instead of sympathizing with people who break the law.
    Good job ICE.


    May 16, 2008 at 5:34 am

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