1. Action Alert
  2. Criminal Justice, Immigrants & Refugees, U.S. Wars & Militarism

Five Ways to Love Thy Neighbor

By Jim Cason, June 3, 2016

As a country, we need to move from slogans to action. Here are five steps we can all take to help Congress act to make #LoveThyNeighbor more than a hashtag.

#LoveThyNeighbor (No Exceptions)

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The second line that goes with "Love Thy Neighbor" is a Biblical reference. We're assuming everyone knows that! The banner we put up on the front of our FCNL building this month adds a different second line: no exceptions.

I wish we didn’t have to add no exceptions, but this year the line seems necessary.

Hashtags aren't enough

I hope you’ll spread this message on social media, put it on your building, write it in the sky and do whatever you can to get the word out. Talk to Friends, talk to your neighbors, talk to people you think you may not agree with (you may be surprised). Langley Hill Friends Meeting recently distributed some ideas on how to do this, maybe you have as well (let us know).

But don’t stop there: Contact Congress.

As a country, we need to move from slogans to action. Here are five steps we can all take to help Congress act to make #LoveThyNeighbor more than a hashtag.

  1. Embrace freedom of religion. Friends have a long history of witness against religious persecution and the Bill of Rights is very direct on this point. Urge your representative to cosponsor the Freedom of Religion Act (H.R. 5207) that would prohibit the U.S. from denying admission to the United States because of a person’s religion.

  2. Reject racism. Our laws have resulted in a system of modern day slavery, where black men serve nearly as much time in for non-violent drug offenses as whites do for violent offenses. Urge your senators to cosponsor and press for passage of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S. 2123) as a first step toward changing this broken system.

  3. Don’t treat our communities like a war zone. With prodding from FCNL, President Obama released an executive order that places restrictions on a Pentagon program to provide weapons used in war zones to police forces in the United States. Urge your representative to support Rep. Hank Johnson’s legislation, the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act (H.R. 1232), that would turn this executive order into a law.

  4. Fix our broken immigration system. Rather than demonizing immigrants and further militarizing our border, Congress needs comprehensive immigration reform to fix our broken immigration system. Lawmakers could start by supporting the bipartisan Border Enforcement Accountability, Oversight, and Community Engagement Act (H.R. 3576) that would draw on the wisdom of border communities to inform our immigration policies.

  5. War is not working. Much of the public debate in this election year has focused on how U.S. security can be guaranteed by dominating and controlling the rest of the world. But 15 years after Congress wrote the president a blank check to launch new wars, we can look back as a nation and see that war isn’t working. One step in the right direction would be for the Senate to pass the bipartisan Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act (S. 2551) that would refocus U.S. foreign policy on preventing violent conflicts five years from now rather than fighting wars five days from now. Urge your senator to cosponsor S. 2251.

Jim Cason

  • Associate General Secretary for Strategic Advocacy

Jim Cason is responsible for directing the full range of FCNL’s strategic advocacy work. In this capacity, he works with program staff to develop long term change strategies that accomplish our particular legislative goals.