Greater Birmingham Ministries (GBM) has released a book documenting the resistance of faith leaders to Alabama’s 2011 anti-immigration law.
“This was a law that violated the consciences of people of faith and good will. For those who love their neighbors as themselves, love has no borders,” said Scott Douglas, GBM executive director.
“Faith leaders in Alabama came together in unprecedented ways to oppose the mean-spirited law,” Douglas continued. “They stood with their immigrant neighbors in defiance of this divisive and inhumane law. They organized rallies and marches attended by thousands of people. Four bishops in three denominations (Episcopal, Methodist and Roman Catholic) sued the State of Alabama. Congregations conducted workshops about hospitality and about justice in the treatment of immigrants. Pastors preached sermons. Clergy held press conferences. Laity and clergy wrote letters to newspapers throughout Alabama. Faith leaders met with legislators. Faith groups raised money to pay for ads on television. A small group of faith leaders engaged in a sit-in in the Capitol building in Montgomery. This book is a compelling visual and written record of the public protests by Alabama faith leaders and their immigrant neighbors.”
Edited by the Rev. Angie Wright, pastor of Beloved Community United Church of Christ and Associate Director of GBM, the book contains 30 sermons, articles, blog posts, press releases and prayers written by a variety of faith leaders.
“Faith leaders were compelled by moral compass and conscience to speak out and step out against a law they believed to be divisive, discriminatory, inhumane, one which interfered with the practice of the most fundamental tenets of their faith,” wrote Wright in the book’s introduction.
North Alabama Conference clergy featured in the book include Rev. R.G. Lyons; Rev. Matt Lacey; Rev. Russell Hestley; Dr. Richard Stryker; Rev. Stephanie Arnold; and Rev. Marcus Singleton. A letter by Sarah Corson, co-founder of Servants in Faith and Technology (SIFAT) is also included.
In a Letter to the Editor by Dr. Richard Stryker included in the book, he says, “I believe that history will judge that when the powerful came, faith leaders stood with the powerless; when the strong came, faith leaders stood with the weak; and when the in-group came, faith leaders stood with the marginalized. Opponents of HB56 stand with the powerless and marginalized and will continue to do so for a long as it takes to return Alabama to a place of welcome.” (P. 87)
“Love Has No Borders” may be purchased for $20 at Greater Birmingham Ministries, or ordered online at www.gbm.org.
There will be a book release celebration on September 17, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. at Holy Trinity - Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral (307 19th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35233). Books willlbe available for $20. Authors will be on site for selected readings and book signing. Reception and brief program included.