Tonight We Stop - End Detention Camps - Reservoir Church
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Tonight We Stop – End Detention Camps

July 15, 2019

One of our pastors, Michaiah Healy, delivered these words at Cambridge’s Lights for Liberty vigil to end detention camps:

Greetings. My name is Michaiah Healy. I am a Pastor at Reservoir Church. We are here tonight on behalf of our community: citizens, immigrants, refugees, naturalized, faith traditions, and cultures of every type. We stand with all of the residents and leaders of this City, to end detention camps and to protest the inhumane treatment faced by migrants, to demand human rights and human dignity for all on this land. 

Tonight we have stopped in the street, Interrupting the rhythms and patterns of our lives, to STAND together as ONE people with no divides in the purpose of our gathering. 

Tonight, we will raise our individual single light into the night sky, noticing the limits of the light cast from this candle, maybe even noticing within ourselves our own limitations, despair, or frustration.

But we are not alone in the dark of night

We stand in the power of collective light, believing that our collective light will become an inescapable FLOODLIGHT onto the suffering we see. We demand tonight as we did at the start of this great nation, for the rights of liberty and dignity for all. 

As a person of faith, the treatment done to the refugee and immigrant, in the name of the citizens and government of the United States of America, directly opposes our Christian, Confuscian, Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Judaic, Taoist, and Zoroastrian core beliefs and tenets of faith which say to love and care and treat our neighbor as we love, care, and treat ourselves.The Golden Rule. 

The Jewish Talmud, says: What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.

The Hindu Mahabharata says: This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you.

From the Islamic Sunnah: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.

I come out of the Christian tradition that says to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus said, do this and you will live. Do this Cambridge and we will live.

Jesus told a story of a traveler, stripped of clothing, beaten, and left for dead alongside the road. Leaders came one by one, passing and avoiding the traveler. Finally, a Samaritan, a despised and marginalized person, happens upon the abused man.The Samaritan stops, bandages the wounds, puts the traveler on the donkey and takes the traveler into the care of an innkeeper, expensing all care for the traveler onto himself. Many have pondered why the others didn’t care for the traveler the way that the Samaritan did. I believe the Samaritan saw themselves in the person left for dead, overlooked, left on their own. The Samaritan stopped because the Samaritan loved another as they loved themselves. 

How we treat others matters. Not only as policy but as a matter of identity and character, a means of our own survival. 

Tonight we stop because the conditions in these detention centers are deplorable.

We stop because we are alive, we are free, we have a voice, we have collective power, because we too have been in need and we want to be good neighbors. 

Where faith in government and leadership and institution has been eroded, we build it back tonight. 

We stand together as a city, across neighborhoods, traditions, economics and class, abled and disabled, using our voices and our lights as instruments of our power and unity, declaring as a city boldly, loudly, unapologetically that we are committed to truth, we are committed to human dignity, and we are committed to hospitality

Bring on the floodlight.

Peace be with you. Peace be upon you.