Tikkun Magazine



No Hate, No Fear

“NO HATE, NO FEAR! Refugees are welcome here,” chanted the growing crowd at JFK Airport on Saturday, January 28. They gathered—“out of nowhere” according to a New York Times report—in support of refugees and others detained at the airport as they sought to enter the country in the hours following President Donald Trump’s executive order the day before.

No fear . . . Encounters between humans and the divine in sacred texts often begin with precisely those words, “do not fear.” That is the heart of the good news. It is the message proclaimed by the angels at the moment God broke into the world in the form of a child. “Perfect love casts out fear,” says the author of 1 John.

We are at our best when we embody this message of love and resist fear. By contrast, governing by fear is deeply antithetical to our sacred call.

Through his barrage of executive orders, impacting thousands of immigrants and refugees, President Donald Trump has framed his leadership of the world’s most powerful nation by means of fear. He has amplified the fear of those who, believing our claims to be the land of the free and the brave, desperately seek refuge in our land. He has manipulated the fear of our citizenry by legitimizing the false claims that refuge-seekers, particularly those who follow the traditions of Islam, are a threat to our wellbeing. With his Islamophobia and his call to build a border wall, President Trump has portrayed us as a nation fearful of the world.

 

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Tikkun 2017 Volume 32, Number 3:12

Rev. Dr. David Vásquez-Levy is President of Pacific School of Religion.
 
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