Quakers Worship in Protest at U.S. Supreme Court
By Melanie Fox on 04/24/2012 @ 05:07 PM
The 48 Hour Prayer Vigil to bear witness to the injustice of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law began on Monday outside of the U.S. Supreme Court with a press conference. In front of the media and a group of faithful witnesses, faith leaders prophetically called on the Supreme Court Justices to rule the Arizona anti immigration law SB1070 as unconstitutional. They referenced Micah’s call to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God” and Matthew’s call to “welcome the stranger.”
Those present carried signs and banners declaring:
"Together, Not Torn: Families Can’t Wait for Immigration Reform"
"Standing on the Side of Love with Immigrant Families"
"Soy Testigo de Justicia (I am a Witness for Justice)"
And my personal, homemade sign:
No Human Being is Illegal
An individual appeared toward the end of the press conference and immediately scurried away when the press conference ended. He had quite a different idea of what God's love calls us to in the midst of a law like Arizona's Senate Bill 1070.
"God so loves us, He gave us Arizona SB1070" his sign read. In contrast to the Unitarian Universalists call to "Stand on the Side of Love with Immigrant Families," I couldn't help but revel in the irony of the moment.
A group of faithful Quakers gathered to commence the Prayer Vigil at Noon, where we silently protested and later stood in a circle of silent Quaker worship. Some shared their reasons for coming out to protest a law like AZ SB1070. For some it was a book they had read about the injustice of young students who don't have the opportunity to go to college because of their legal status. For others it was intensely personal: a relationship with an immigrant and the immigrant community. For one, it was the love of country and the desire for that country to take a hard look at what effects laws like AZ SB1070 has. Another simply wanted to hold the Supreme Court Justices in the Light.
I shared about my encounter with immigrants who were crossing the Arizona desert or had been deported back across the border to Mexico. I set forth a query: if people are willing to risk death in the desert and/or months in a detention center at the hands of border patrol, shouldn't we, as a country, show them a little more mercy and acceptance than making them suffer at the hands of laws like AZ SB1070?
The prayer vigil continues tomorrow and into Wednesday when the Supreme Court hearing for Arizona vs. United States will begin. Many faith groups will be present at the Supreme Court around the clock (more info here and here) and would love to have YOU join them, especially as people of faith participate in a biblically inspired Jericho March around the Supreme Court on Wednesday at 9:30am. Contact email@example.com if you have questions or would like to participate.