Tuesday, September 23, 2014

...for yourselves also were strangers...

For those who use the common lectionary, the thirtieth week in common time this year will encounter a reading from the twenty second chapter of Exodus, "Thou shalt not molest a stranger, nor afflict him: for yourselves also were strangers in the land of Egypt.  You shall not hurt a widow or an orphan. If you hurt them they will cry out to me, and I will hear their cry: And my rage shall be enkindled, and I will strike you with the sword, and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless." [DRC translation]

Across from the Federal Building in Cleveland there is a park next to the City Hall. There ironically contained is a sculpture of a 'Free Stamp' (currently it is going through restoration, the letters 'FREE' are missing). This has often supplanted Public Square as a place of protest and demonstration. The thirty-two storey Federal Building has been going through a few years of remodeling, some for 'security', it contains offices for immigration, and formerly the FBI.

Here again, people came to try to save a family from forced separation. The father, Pedro Hernandez Ramirez, is listed for deportation. Of course, this would cause hardship. The government is a bureaucracy that places value in prosecution above mercy, even where mercy is permitted.

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