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Faith Leaders Coalition and Allies Oppose Gov. Abbott's Stance on Immigration

February 28, 2017

 

 

Dear Governor Abbott:

We, the undersigned faith leaders in the Greater Houston area value the diversity of Houston and want all Houston residents to feel safe and free from fear. While we realize that it is popular in certain circles to seem “tough” on undocumented immigrants, the current efforts by your office are immoral and go against what we believe as people of faith and value as Americans.

 

As it is now, our city and county law enforcement personnel are doing all they can to prevent violent crime and to make our area safe. Diverting limited resources from these aims puts people at risk. The actions of your office foster a culture of fear. A simple, routine traffic stop could lead to separating families and deportation. Moreover, the threat of detention and deportation will make it less likely for people to come forward with evidence to prevent violent crime.

 

Our sacred texts are full of admonitions to protect the stranger and the immigrant. We are called on to look after the most vulnerable in society and to show them compassion. It is indisputable that our national immigration policies are in need of revision. The current situation is untenable. We rely on undocumented immigrants as a crucial labor source in our economy and they are an invaluable part of our community. While we wait for sensible immigration solutions, it makes no sense to terrorize our city and strong arm local authorities.

 

The threat of denying money for needed programs makes your office’s actions even more morally reprehensible. You will be punishing people who benefit from those programs even though they have done nothing to deserve it. That is the very definition of injustice. The money denied to these programs is our money, paid with our tax dollars and approved by our elected officials.

 

It is our hope and prayer that you and your office will relent from pursuing these efforts. In our traditions, mercy and compassion are our highest values. We trust that you share these values and implore you to do the right thing.

 

 

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

Rev. Jonathan C. Page

First Congregational Church of Houston

 

The Reverend Lisa Hunt

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Houston

 

Rev. William R. Taylor

United Methodist Church

 

Rev. Will Reed

First United Methodist Church, Pasadena

 

Rev. Keatan King

St. Philip Presbyterian Church, Houston

 

Rev. Vicki Gibbs

Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, Houston

 

Rev. Dr. Becky Edmiston-Lange

Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, Houston

 

Rev. Kelly Sullivan

First United Methodist Church, Pasadena

 

Rev. Beverly Snedeker

Presbyterian Church, USA

 

Rev. Carolyn Allen

Memorial Drive Christian Church, Houston

 

Rev. D. Darnell Fennell

Just Love Church (UCC/DOC), Houston

 

Rev. Troy Treash

Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, Houston

 

Rev. Jonathan Britt

St. Thomas Presbyterian Church, Houston

 

Larry E. Lutz

President, Dignity /Houston

 

Rabbi Steven M. Gross

Houston Congregation for Reformed Judaism

 

Rev. Dr. Jim Bankston

United Methodist Church

 

The Rev. Dr. Guinn Blackwell-Eagleson

Presbyterian Church, USA

 

Rev. Marty Troyer

Houston Mennonite Church

 

Myokei Caine-Barrett, Shonin

Myoken-ji Temple/Nichiren Buddhist Sangha of Texas

 

Rabbi Joshua Herman

Congregation Beth Israel, Houston

 

The Rev. Fred Clarkson

St. Timothy Episcopal Church, Houston

 

Rev. Troy Johnson

Fresh Start Community Church of Houston

 

Rev. Dr. T. Randall Smith

United Methodist Church

 

Rev. Donna Renfro

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church, Woodlands

 

Rev. J. Ernest Turney

Bering Memorial United Methodist Church, Houston

 

Rev. Matthew Hudman

Memorial Drive Christian Church, Houston

 

Rev. Stephanie Synder

Bering Memorial United Methodist Church, Houston

 

David Atwood

Pax Christi Houston

 

Rev. Jenni Martin Fairbanks

Just Love (UCC/DOC) Houston

 

Sister Ceil Roeger, OP

Dominican Sisters of Houston

 

Rabbi Gideon Estes

Congregation Or Ami, Houston

 

Rev. Mak Kneebone

Plymouth United Church of Christ, Spring

 

Yusuf Shere

Council on American Islamic Relations, Houston

 

Rev. Dr. Richard L. White

First United Methodist Church, Katy

 

Rev. Laura Mayo

Covenant Baptist Church, Houston

 

Rev. Emily Everett

First United Methodist Church, Pasadena

 

Rev. Steve Capper

Lord of the Streets, Houston

 

Rev. Gaelyn Godwin

Houston Zen Center/ Auspicious Cloud Temple

 

Rev. Lori Dirk Keaton

United Church of Christ

 

Dr. Sylvia Richards, Minister of Counseling and Community Life

First Congregational Church of Houston

 

The Rev. Helen M Havens

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Houston

 

Rev. Barbara Lewis

The Episcopal Church

 

Dr. B. Glenn Wilkerson

President, The ARK Group

 

Rev. Professor Les Switzer

United Church of Christ

 

Rev. Ashley Dellagiacoma

KINDRED Lutheran Church, Houston

 

The Rev. Dr. David Mason

Disciples of Christ/United Church of Christ

 

Rev. David Pantermuehl

Grace United Church of Christ, Houston

 

Rev. Joshua Lawrence

Friedens United Church of Christ, Beasley

 

Rev. W. Jeffrey Campbell

St. John United Methodist Church, Houston

 

Rev. Georgia Chambers

Chaplain, St. Mary’s Medical Center

 

Rev. Lynette Ross

Cathedral of Hope Houston (UCC)

 

Imam Daniel Abdullah Hernandez

ISGH Pearland Islamic Center

 

Saira Jilani

Chairwoman, An Nisa Hope Center

 

Rev. Susan Buchanan

United Methodist Church

 

Rev. Denise Junious

Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, Houston

 

Elder Shon D. Stewart

Freedom Church Houston

 

Rev. William C. Royster

United Church of Christ

 

Rev. Dr. Rashaan L. Nowell

Un-Orthodox

 

Rev. J. Michelle Mathis

Agape for All Ministries

 

Rev. Ruth Seeliger

Foundation for Contemporary Theology

 

Rev. Jim Herrington

Executive Director, Mission Houston

 

Rev. Tim Marquez

Pathways Church of Houston (PCUSA)

 

Rev. Scott Moore

Texas Annual Conference, United Methodist Church

 

Rev. Jane Wenninger

United Church of Christ

 

The Rev. Carissa Baldwin-McGinnis

St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Houston

 

Rev. Don A. Storey, Sr.

United Methodist Church

 

The Rev. Eileen O’Brien

Episcopal Chaplain, University of Houston

 

Mustafaa Carroll

Executive Director, Council on American Islamic Relations, Houston

 

Rev. Angela Anderson

First Unitarian Universalist Church, Houston

 

The Rev. Stacy Stringer

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Houston

 

Rev. Helen P. DeLeon

Webster Presbyterian Church, Webster

 

The Rev. Brandon Peete

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Houston

 

Imam Waleed Basyouni

Clear Lake Islamic Center, Clear Lake

 

Rev. Dr. C. Clay Pickens

Brentwood Baptist Church, Houston

 

Rev. Michael Dunn

First Christian Church, Houston

 

Rabbi Samantha Kahn

Congregation Emanu El, Houston

 

The Rev. James L. Grace

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Houston

 

 

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