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Martin Luther King, Immigration & the Divergent


I love me some good ‘ole YA fiction. And this week, I've devoured all but a couple pages of the Divergent Trilogy. I’m already overly excited about the first movie coming out in March.

Dystopian society, teen romance and bizarre uni-dimensional factions… what’s not to love?

Something that has stood out to me in the second installment is the role of the Amity faction. Without giving away any plot twists for those of you that may read the series, I’ll just say that the Amity, who are most concerned with peace, harmony and friendship, desire to take a neutral position during the war.

It becomes clear, though, that when a group is being oppressed, a neutral position is really the same as siding with the oppressors.
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. - Martin Luther King, Jr. 
So often when discussion of the Civil Rights Movement emerges among Christians, there is a lament that there were too many incidents where the Church remained silent. Of course, the reality behind this statement is that we’re often referring to the white church.

I am constantly encouraged by the engagement of people of faith in the Civil Rights Movement. The black church played a central role in calling for justice, standing with the marginalized and expecting God to show up.

When it comes to issues of justice, I don’t witness the Church remaining silent.

Even as immigration reform remains unfinished, my thoughts go to the Latino pastors who are supporting the undocumented while also rallying for justice. I am reminded of the pastor-friend who helped Billy get false papers when he needed to work while still ineligible for legitimate documents.

And I am encouraged by the Latino pastors with whom I traveled to Washington to advocate for reform. I thought I was scared speaking with representatives until one friend said to me, “I am nervous sharing my story in my second language.” They are standing up and engaging!

As a white person, I also have a deep desire that the white church while engage in immigration reform and other spheres of justice. Today we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr., and I hope Christians will both affirm the participation of the church in that inspiring effort and also learn from the absence of so many believers.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Image credit: Jerry Dohnal and Noah Jacquemin

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A Life with Subtitles. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.