We join with many around the world who reject both the premise and implementation of President Trumps executive order banning travel, refugee resettlement, and immigration from 7 predominantly Muslim countries. Here is the letter from the Willis D. Weatherford, Jr., Campus Christian Center of Berea College, issued this morning:
The Rev. John G. Fee, the founder of Berea College, argued that the Christian gospel could be described best as a gospel of “impartial love” and welcomed students and staff from “every clime and every nation” to study and work together. For Fee, the heart of the Christian gospel was summed up in the two great commandments enunciated by Jesus: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind…and you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-40). Fee was frequently accused of being revolutionary and dangerous, but he held strong to his belief in interracial education because of his conviction that the legal discrimination against and enslavement of Africans and African Americans was immoral and contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
With this history of abolition in mind, and a firm belief in a Christian Gospel of impartial love, the Campus Christian Center stands against the recent executive order which bans citizens from seven predominantly Muslim nations and which halts the entry of all refugees into the United States. This executive order directly impedes the work of our college and our witness to God’s vision of peace with justice. Our Christian commitment to love God and all our neighbors as well as our confidence that “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth” requires us to stand with Christians and people of faith across the world in opposition to all actions and attitudes that seek to discriminate against, harm, or remove Muslims on religious grounds.
To the Muslim students, faculty, and staff of Berea College, the Campus Christian Center affirms our commitment to support the flourishing of all faith and spiritual traditions at Berea and our rejection of legal discrimination as well as informal prejudice against the Islamic faith. We believe that our community is better for your presence, and that through dialogue, interreligious education, and mutual service we can all learn profound truths about our own faiths and the world around us. It is not in spite of our Christian faith, but because of it, that we offer our enduring support to you with the firm belief that living, working, and learning together in the midst of our differences helps us grow more faithful as individuals and stronger as a community.
The Staff of the Campus Christian Center
Rev. Loretta Reynolds, D. Theol.
Rev. Ben Groth