At this point, it’s unlikely that a detention center for immigrant children will be established in Massachusetts. However, the protests in Bourne continue.
With this strange reality in mind, I’ll offer two reports for Bourne residents to consider during the days ahead.
First: Have you been listening to Glenn Beck? Mr. Beck is a conservative political commentator who doesn’t like President Obama’s political agenda. Mr. Beck is also a Christian. For the past month, Glenn Beck has criticized Obama’s immigration policies while raising money to help the children who have unlawfully entered the United States. Mr. Beck makes the distinction between acts of “justice” and acts of “mercy.” The immigrant children are caught in a terrible situation and there’s a need to provide them with water, food, and other basics. Religious groups have been involved in good Samaritan work for many centuries and, heaven knows, the need for compassion continues in today’s world.
Second: Last Saturday, I officiated at a wedding on Cape Cod. The groom was from Pakistan and many of his guests were foreigners. As the guests came into Bourne, they saw demonstrators with signs that expressed hostility toward immigrants. I was asked to explain the situation. I didn’t ask the groom and his guests to show proof of citizenship. Instead, we talked for a few minutes about the situation in Bourne. If you have dark skin and you speak with an accent, you may be welcomed in some parts of Bourne, but it’s wise to be a bit cautious while the anti-immigrant protests continue.
A tourist who has recently been in Italy tells me that Bourne has recently been mentioned in Italian newspapers because of the board of selectmen’s actions. What’s the message that Bourne sends to Italy and to other parts of the world? What do tourists see and hear as they enter Bourne?
Reverend Robert F. Murphy
3 Willet Circle