Canadian Clergy unite in an effort to avoid repeating the tragic failures of our past

There is no doubt, when it was time to speak in the past (https://inaspaciousplace.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/canadas-shame/) , clergy in the church often failed to raise our voices. We  lacked the courage to speak  against some of the most egregious actions, or lack of action, by governments around the world and at home.

Silence is complicity. In the internet age, there are no bystanders.

We know what is happening. We share responsibility for the world we are creating together. We are all implicated in the unjust aggression of governments. We are all culpable when anyone who simply seeks a safe haven is turned away.

There is no such thing as isolation. We belong together. We are one human family. We are all neighbours. Those who seek refuge within our borders are not other. They only want what we all want – the freedom to live their lives in safety in a society where their choices are respected and their value honoured.

We are all diminished when we allow our choices to be controlled by fear and distrust.

To ignore the needs of the brother and sister wherever they may be, is to fail to heed the challenge to practice basic human decency and to abide by the deepest call of our true human nature to live as people of love and compassion.

May the vicious voice of ‘none is too many’ never again prevail in our land. May we raise our voices loudly and clearly to say that those who legitimately seek shelter and safety among us and who desire to contribute to the well-being of our community, are welcome.

There is room in our land for all people of good will. There are no reasons other than clear evidence that they intend harm, to exclude anyone who seeks refuge in our midst. We are only enriched and ennobled by the gifts those who choose to live peaceably among us bring to our community.

A society that does not seek to demonstrate the deepest respect for all people is a society in which the contagion of disrespect breeds its evil offspring of violence. This is not a political issue. It is a human issue. It is an issue of dignity and peaceableness for all people.

This morning at Canada Place in Vancouver, a gathering will be held that aims to speak with a common voice in support of people who, through no fault of their own, risk finding themselves stranded and homeless. May the voice of this day be heard by the Government of Canada.

May the voices of human decency raised this morning be heard clearly by all people throughout this land.

JANUARY 29, 2017 – IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

MULTI-FAITH CLERGY PRESS CONFERENCE SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2017 AT 9:30 AM

AT JACK POOLE PLAZA 1085 Canada Place Vancouver, BC (in front of 2010 Olympic Flame)

CLERGY ACROSS CANADA CALL ON PM TRUDEAU AND CANADIAN GOVERNMENT TO IMMEDIATELY EXTEND TEMPORARY RESIDENT VISAS OR PERMITS FOR CANADA FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE AMERICAN VISA IN HAND, HAVING PASSED AMERICAN SECURITY CLEARANCE, AND WHO ARE STRANDED AT AMERICAN PORTS OF ENTRY ONLY BECAUSE
OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER

Concerned Canadian Clergy for Refugees call upon the Canadian Government and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to immediately extend temporary resident visas or permits for individuals who have American visa in hand, having passed American security clearance, and who are stranded at American ports of entry only because of the Executive Order.

Canada should favourably consider temporary resident visas or permits to Canada for individuals within this group who have been recognized as refugees by the United States, these individuals, who have passed American security and background checks, should be allowed entry to Canada.

Canada and the USA have agreed to protect refugees. Given that these security screened refugees would have been able to disembark their flight for new lives in the USA, and are not considered security risks, Canada should help and help now.

A small number of cases are affected. We should take them in NOW!

We are reminded of our nation’s history when ‘none is too many’ was our response to Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. Since those dark days following World War II, Canada has made great strides to be a beacon of hope to refugees seeking safety from around the world.

As America’s light of Lady Liberty has dimmed with the closing of US borders to Muslim refugees we call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and our national government to immediately grant temporary resident visas or permits to those with American visa in hand but have now been turned away by the Executive
Order of US President Donald Trump. In this moment of humanitarian urgency Canada must shine our light brighter and be a beacon of hope to the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

Contact Rabbi Dan Moskovitz 604-401-5153

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