Saturday, November 03, 2007

"We interrupt this prayer"

I intended to write another short thought about prayer but that will have to go on hold. My wife and I toured the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. I was devastated to learn how the United States did so little to help Jewish refugees from Germany. I had never heard of a boat called the "St. Louis." It left Germany full of Jews that were fleeing to Cuba. Cuba changed its mind and wouldn't let them enter. The ship came and sat off the coast of Miami. The trapped passengers could see the lights of Miami, but the Coast Guard was patrolling to prevent any attempt to swim to freedom. Eventually the ship sailed back to Europe. Several European countries finally agreed to take some of the refugees. Almost all of them were eventually murdered in concentration camps.
The U.S. talked a good game about the Jews being annihilated, but did very little. We were instrumental in starting an international summit about accepting more Jewish refugees, but we did not increase our limits on immigration. I don't normally feel a lot of shame over the United States, but I did in that museum.
It reminded me of how slow we have been to react to Pol-Pot, to Serbia, even to segregation, more recently to the Sudan, and to the Congo. If our Government can be silent while people are systematically murdered, how can we consider ourselves a Christian Nation? If our churches stay silent as well, how can we call ourselves His people?
I will return to this topic, and soon.

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