The Quad-City faith community does not pretend to have a solution for the problem of Central American children crossing the U.S. border by the thousands, but religious leaders say they know what can be done: Show the youngsters compassion.

That is the focus of a rally called "Love Without Borders" set for 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, at the corner of 2nd and Harrison streets in downtown Davenport, the location of a memorial dedicated to the wave of Irish immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries.  

Tens of thousands of youths from Central America, generally unaccompanied by adults, have crossed, or attempted to cross, the U.S. border this year, many of them trying to escape violence in their home country. Caring for them has become a crisis because of their sheer numbers. 

"We may not be able to stop the wars in Central America, but we can welcome these children. We can come up with creative solutions," said the Rev. Christine Isham of Edwards Congregational Church in Davenport. She is part of a planning committee for the rally that includes representatives of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths.

Too much misinformation is being circulated, said the Rev. Clark Olson-Smith of All Saints Lutheran Church in Davenport, who added it is difficult to fully understand the social forces that prevent some Americans from showing true compassion for these children.

"Jesus Christ was a refugee," Olson-Smith said. "We need to raise awareness and change the conversation, from those who believe these kids are criminals, or carrying disease or infiltrating our country with nefarious plots."

Bishop Martin Amos of the Catholic Diocese of Davenport agreed.

"We are trying to raise consciousness," said the bishop, who will open the Aug. 17 rally with a prayer. "These are kids, and they need to be treated in a way that we, as Christians, would expect them to be treated."

Historical precedent was raised by Rabbi Henry Karp of Temple Emanuel in Davenport in a letter to the editor of the Quad-City Times published earlier this week. Karp wrote about the "kinder-transport" that saved thousands of Jewish children from Europe before World War II, but he noted that it was not welcomed anywhere in the world except England. 

The rally will focus on the stories of the children at the U.S. border.

"We will lead and close in prayer, but the rally will very much center on allowing the children to speak," said the Rev. Rich Hendricks of the Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad-Cities, one of the rally organizers.

Amos pointed out that the rally will not be concerned with immigration reform, which, he said, is a separate, complex topic.

Rather, the bishop wants to see the conversation changed to be about more fully caring for the children already gathered on the border.

"What do you do with these children who flee their own country and travel in such danger? My hope is that we raise the consciousness about the whole situation and decide what we need to do in a humanitarian way," Amos said.

The rally will include ways to take action. Hendricks said participants will be encouraged to contribute to rescue efforts of their individual faiths, such as Catholic Charities USA, Lutheran Social Services and others. Organizers also hope to distribute postcards that can easily be mailed to legislators to share views on the topic.

Information about the "Love Without Borders" rally will be distributed at area churches and other faith locations over the next several days.

(16) comments

ttdad

Kill two birds with one. Build the St Ambrose stadium, the let's the kids live there.

padhr39
padhr39

We can have compassion, no problem. But what liberals not understand, or turn their backs on...is the rule of law and common sense! Like WHOis going to take care of these kids anfld their parents..who are sure to follow.

Wake up.

pta mom

Clearly not you, padhr!

What is compassion without action?

lms2103

no you wake up. many times has been stated its volunteers who volunteer to take them into their homes or some programs who have room. maybe you're the one who needs to be aware and more educated ? made you sound a little uneducated?

padhr39
padhr39

typical...you don't have compassion for the poor "uneducated"...only your pet causes ...

funNy, funny...

padhr39
padhr39

tens of thousands to homes? Sure. YOUBETCHA

pta mom

Matthew 25: 35-40

Why do some "Christians" focus on words Jesus never said--like homosexuality is a sin--but spew hatred at words he did say?

(Lebanon--2/3 the size of Connecticut--is taking in 1,500,000 Syrian refugees/year.)

Matrix7

Syrians are fleeing "relentless carnage" that has killed 150,000 in three years.

The most violent Central American city has a violent crime rate of 90 per 100,000 annually (0.09% or about double that of New Orleans).

Obama has proposed a $5 million dollar ad campaign to encourage Central Americans to stay home. Would he do that if there was any comparison to the situation in Syria?

Americans have and would take refugees who would otherwise face certain death. But this just isn't the case in this situation.

mommakelly
mommakelly

Yup...compassion...definitely something I'd put at the top of the list of conservative attributes....you all make me laugh and cry at the same time.

PainfullTruth

"Too much misinformation is being circulated, said the Rev. Clark Olson-Smith". Let's start with that statement. Yes, you are correct, too much misinformation starting with the comment of "Jesus Christ was a refugee," Olson-Smith said." First Jesus wasn't a refuge and neither are the thousands of kids coming into America illegally.

In the 10-page July 7 report was issued by the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC)
"Of the 230 migrants interviewed, 219 cited the primary reason for migrating to the United States was the perception of U.S. immigration laws granting free passes or permisos to UAC (unaccompanied children) and adult females OTMs (other than Mexicans) traveling with minors,” the report said. Interesting that they didn't mention crime and poverty in the countries they fled, just that they wanted "free passes".

A leaked intelligence analysis from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reveals the exact numbers of illegal immigrants entering and attempting to enter the U.S. from more than 75 different countries. The report was obtained by a trusted source within the CBP agency who leaked the document and spoke with Breitbart Texas on the condition of anonymity. Just how many countries are there in Central America? I don't have time to count them but I would guess that there are far fewer than 75.

Then let's talk about safety. Besides the coyotes that are being paid to bring these kids up to the U.S. you have a health crisis. At least 71 individuals from the three nations affected by the current Ebola outbreak have either turned themselves in or been caught attempting to illegally enter the U.S. by U.S. authorities between January 2014 and July 2014. Besides the idiots in the CDC who are bringing the infected here to be treated and possibly infect others, you have the criminal aliens who might be bringing the disease with them.

I think it's funny that so many people complain that they want a separation of Church and State, but when it comes to criminal aliens entering the country illegally, then the churches want the government to help them? Just as the politicians are using these poor kids as pawn the churches have resorted to the same tactic. Quoting more lies like "Jesus was a refugee" and that these kids are fleeing Central America because of crime. Crime in Central America has been and will be a constant. It is no worse today than it was 5 years ago. This is just an excuse for these kids to be brought into the U.S. illegally, again from 75 different countries.

lms2103

There is quarantine for the people who may have diseases... only about 5-10% actually do. Check your statstics and facts before tryin to sound smart.

PainfullTruth

Do you want ONE person with the ebola virus entering the U.S.? There is NO cure for ebola virus, none!

I HAVE checked my facts, maybe you should check your ignorance at the door next time you post. Name one fact that I posted that is false. They are all true.

If you want someone with the ebola virus to enter the U.S. I would cordially invite them to live with you since you are SO compassionate about the criminal aliens. Let me know how that works out for you.

padhr39
padhr39

"Jesus Christ was a refuge" ...that is a stretch of comparison.

Send these illegals home. We cannot deal with this mess, caused by Obama.

Pack them all off to the White House lawn, and hold your rally.

padhr39
padhr39

So tired of do-gooders who have no clue how theyare being used....

Try this in any other Country...dare them!

using children for political means is dead wrong.

Wags a lot

I was thinking the same thing!

Hawksfan23

Jesus looks pretty excited in the background.

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