Although Trump’s travel ban has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge, and some refugees and immigrants are legally landing on U.S. soil, many still question the ban’s necessity given the extensive vetting process already in place.
It’s hard not to see a hidden agenda in Trump’s actions.
I contacted Xavier University, the only historically black college that is also Catholic, to get the perspective of President C. Reynold Verret, who came to this country as a refugee from Haiti.
In a statement released to the National Catholic Reporter, Xavier emphasizes its founding as an act of Christian justice.
“Xavier University of Louisiana … was founded nearly a century ago to serve those who had been denied educational opportunities. This grounding in the Christian sense of justice has been at the core of Xavier throughout its history and remains in our mission to prepare students who serve and lead throughout society. In light of the President’s executive order, we will continue to advocate for our students and support them in accordance with Catholic Social Teachings and American law.”
‘You shall not oppress the stranger’
In an e-mail that Verret sent to the Xavier community, which comprises students and faculty members of many faiths, including Muslim, he alluded to Exodus 22:21 (and the many other Scriptures that speak to this theme): “Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (King James).
Verret wrote: “The scriptures teach us of a duty to widows, orphans, and strangers, for we were all once strangers. Since its founding, Xavier University has responded to oppression and discrimination with learning, faith, and an active commitment to a humane society. We are enriched by the diversity of our faculty, staff, and student body. Our Muslim students, faculty, and staff are integral members of this community that is historically black and Catholic, that is steeped in the American struggle for respect, equality, and dignity. International scholars on campus similarly are core to our global mission.”
American “Christianity” has become so identified with the American political right that it has really become its own religion, one that strikingly resembles the “faith” of the Pharisees and Sadducees, the religious leaders Christ routinely denounced and whose hypocrisy he continually exposed.
For more about Xavier University, visit its website.