1-16-18 Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America Issues Statement Emphasizing Importance of Equality for All Americans
Columbia, Md. — The Statue of Liberty, a longstanding symbol of freedom in the U.S., has these words engraved on its base: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, … Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Some today, however, are questioning the presence of those on our shores who come from countries currently facing political, economic, and natural disaster challenges.
As the most ethnically-diverse Christian denomination in the U.S., the Seventh-day Adventist Church proudly defends the rights of all men, women and children, no matter their country of origin — the equal rights afforded in the United States Constitution and fair treatment as immigrants and refugees in our beloved country.
Almost every American citizen’s lineage includes immigration from a foreign territory, and many came here with the hope and promise of a better life made possible by a nation that recognized the fair and equal treatment of all its citizens. As a religious group that was formed in the U.S. more than 150 years ago, we celebrate the religious liberty that is given to all who choose to live and worship here. Our country is at its best when we celebrate the ethnic diversity, cultural variances, and freedom of religious expression of all Americans.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church joins other communities of faith in prayerfully calling for all Americans to search their hearts and seek God’s guidance in their daily interactions with others. God creates all His creatures equal and His love is available to all who accept it, no matter their background, place of birth, or economic status. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).