The Stranger Among You: How the Faith-Based Refugee Resettlement Movement is Shattering Our Red and Blue Silos

The Stranger Among You: How the Faith-Based Refugee Resettlement Movement is Shattering Our Red and Blue Silos

by Rice Kate


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Where do secular liberals and religious conservatives stand shoulder to shoulder? In refugee resettlement. It turns out that a literal reading of the Bible dovetails neatly with what some see is as a liberal cause. But refugee resettlement is not blue or red. It's a unifying cause, as documented in “The Stranger Among You: How the Faith-Based Refugee Resettlement Movement is Shattering Our Red and Blue Silos.”

The book covers a national movement in the Bible Belt and other red states that sees evangelicals and other religious conservatives taking the words of the Bible literally and treating the foreigner as their neighbor, and that neighbor as their brother or sister. These are people seeking to live the words of the Bible in Matthew, John, and Leviticus by helping the very refugees the Trump administration seeks to keep out of the country.

And in doing so they are reaching out to the community beyond their church doors.

The result: Trump voters and Clinton voters, pro-lifers and pro-choicers, the religious and the secular are leaving their political comfort zones to work in solidarity to support refugees here in the U.S.

It’s a grassroots movement flying beneath the radar of professional prognosticators and armchair political junkies.

Pundits both professional and amateurs look at the big numbers—80 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump (they always vote Republican)—and miss the story behind them. And that is the fact that not everyone who is Republican or religious is in lockstep with all of the national party’s positions. And that includes not just do-gooders laboring in the trenches but elected leaders like Republican governors.

In an era in which this nation seems increasingly polarized, barricading themselves in political bunkers on the left and the right, there are some chinks in the walls so many of us seem to be hiding behind.

In fact there’s turmoil within the ranks of religious conservatives. Many are deeply disturbed by the fact that Donald Trump has become their nominal leader. Pastors supporting Trump garner the headlines. What many miss are the full-page ads repeatedly taken out in national media like the New York Times in which evangelical and other conservative religious leaders protest the Trump administration’s stance on refugees. Groups like the National Association of Evangelicals have testified in Congress in favor of admitting more refugees. And, at home, social-justice minded evangelicals work to help the very people the Trump administration seeks to ban.

Going to church, it turns out, has a moderating effect. Conservatives who go to church frequently are far more open to “the other,” those “outside the camp,” the very people Jesus reached out to help.

The New York Times has reported that evangelicals are questioning the typical ties between evangelicalism and Republican politics. It said many young evangelicals “struggle with an administration they see as hostile to immigrants, Muslims, L.G.B.T.Q. people, and the poor. They feel it reflects a loss of humanity, which conflicts with their spiritual call.”

And a September 2018 study by the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, a collaborative group of analysts and scholars from across the political spectrum, found that Trump voters who go to church frequently were less enthusiastic about travel bans on Muslims immigrating to the U.S. and had more favorable feelings toward Muslims overall.

And the people behind these numbers speak to you in The Stranger Among You.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781646064168
Publisher: Kate Rice LLC
Publication date: 06/13/2019
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.47(d)

Table of Contents

Forward vii

Introduction. ix

1. Shattering Stereotypes. 1

2. An Exquisite Paradox 7

3. The Anti-Refugee Governor and American Pie 15

4. Southern Baptist Social Justice Entrepreneurs. 29

5. Idaho: Potatoes, High Tech, and Refugees. 45

6. Dallas Goes for the Platform Model 63

7. The Soccer Ball Through the Stained Glass Window 71

8. Latter-day Saints and Latter-day Refugees 87

9. Baptists and Jews 99

10. Assimilating in Pleasanton: California Catholics 109

11. Some Wild and Crazy Presbyterians 119

12. The First Executive Order 131

13. Epilogue: June 2018 155

Appendix A: Finding Refugees 159

Appendix B: Blueprint for Co-sponsoring a Family 169

Appendix C: Social Services 171

Appendix D: Schools 175

Appendix E: Culturalization 185

Resources List 1: Apartment Furnishings List 189

Resources List 2: Sample Grocery List 193

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