"We are the 'No' that God scrawls on the wall," said Cardinal Joseph Tobin, addressing a gathering of Faith leaders in Newark. He had first voiced that it is "the little person who goes into the square in the middle of town in the dark of the night and scrawls on the wall, 'No' " that keeps despots and dictators awake at night and topples evil empires.
Faith in New Jersey is a growing multi-faith and multi-racial network of faith leaders and faith communities working together to advance a social and economic justice agenda at the local, state and federal level.
"Not on our watch will anyone have to stand or fight alone," said the church's pastor, Timothy Jones. "Now more than ever is the time for people of all faiths to get together to work for the joint goal of building community."
The meeting was sponsored by Faith in New Jersey in support of immigrant reform, racial and socio-economic justice. Beneath the curved wooden ceiling at Bethany Baptist Church, New Jersey's faith leaders vowed to stand alongside those targeted under the White House agenda - and build their own wall of resistance to President Trump's policies.
Among the 300 faith leaders present were Bishop Mark Beckwith of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, Bishop Dwayne D. Royster, founding Pastor of Living Water United Church of Christ, and Senator Robert Melendez who were all there to say, "No One Stands or Fights Alone."
The primary goal of Faith in New Jersey is from a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. quote, “Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.” In the invitation to their event, they said, "As people of faith, we have a moral imperative to give voice to the voiceless, stand for those who have been beaten down, and shine light into those places of darkness in our communities."
At the event, Senator Melendez called the vote to repeal Obama's Health Care "cruel" and said of the different faiths present, "there is far more that unites us than divides us."
Bishop Royster, who is also the political director of People Improving Communities through Organizing (PICO), said that the same fight for the undocumented must be for "black folk, as it is for poor folk, as it is for folk needing health care in this country."
Cardinal Tobin made a point saying, "Christians believe that faith without works is dead, our faith isn't just pie in the sky. It's recognizing those who are struggling among us and supporting them."
"What keeps despots and dictators awake at night, what topples evil empires is the little person who goes into the square in the middle of town in the dark of the night and scrawls on the wall, 'No.' and I want to say to you, we are the 'No' that God scrawls on the wall," Tobin repeated. "We are the 'no' to a nation which is heartless, who would deport people separating them from their families and their loved ones simply because they are victims of a broken system," was the conclusion of Cardinal Tobin.
From a political position, there can be many points of view. However, humanity and Christian faith prevent to support any injustice system, any rule that offends human dignity, any action that ends in “waste culture”, reminds Pope Francis to us. Advocacy against any social injustice is a strength that gathers people of any faith, because the only existing God descends always when He listens to the poor and abandoned people’s cry.