Clergy for Tolerance, an inter-faith coalition created by Coalition for Education About Immigration (CEI), seeks to:
- Take a stand against intolerance of immigrants in our community through prayer, learning, and action;
- Mobilize and educate faith leaders in Tennessee on the topic of immigration;
- Provide resources and support to increase knowledge about the issue of immigration and offer ideas for action.
Our goal is to give you the tools to educate your community and faith groups about immigrants. One of the biggest challenges to our country – and our state – is how to integrate newcomers into society in a fair and humane way and recognize they, too, are made in the image of God. Unfortunately, the national conversation has devolved into a polarizing debate often characterized by misinformation and fear at every level. Fear and hate produce a more visceral response and have greater mobilizing power than mercy and justice.
However, we are also certain that many Tennesseans, and people of faith in particular, are caught in a crossfire of extreme public opinion that silences real dialogue and leaves little opportunity for us to express compassion. These same Tennesseans are concerned about respecting the law and protecting our nation’s borders, but are also supportive of a humane response to the undocumented workers currently in our state. While we are pleased that so many people of faith have raised their voices in this conversation, it is imperative that more faith traditions and individuals engage in this critical issue.
Clergy for Tolerance seeks to present an alternate view on immigration by utilizing state and national facts, examining faith perspectives, and providing opportunities for us to express compassion to our immigrant neighbors.
We hope this site will serve as a starting place to provide you with the tools you need to begin talking about this issue in your faith communities. It also is a supplement to the information we present in our workshops and breakout groups. We have compiled helpful articles, polls, and factsheets from reliable sources to provide background on this complex issue; websites to delve deeper; faith resources to educate your congregation; and suggestions for further engagement within your faith community.