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William Musser: We need to welcome our neighbors, not fear them

December 16, 2018

Jerome Christenson’s op-ed piece (“America. Great again?” Oct. 31 Winona Daily News) is one of the best responses to Trump’s fear-mongering that I have ever read.

What made America great in the first place is the thing that Trump seems not to understand. Of course a multimillionaire who has always had an easy life would not comprehend what it means to be desperately poor, hungry, or constantly having to fight for survival.

I worked as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher with refugees from Southeast Asia and other countries from which immigrants were fleeing. No one could outdo the hospitality they showed to me and my American colleagues as we helped them on the path to citizenship. People who are trying to simply survive are usually willing to accept difficult conditions and appreciate assistance and the kindness of strangers. We are those strangers, and we need to be extending our kindness to those in need of asylum here in the U.S.

It is beyond me why so many so-called “Christians” in the U.S. can identify themselves as “the good guys” on one hand and completely reject Jesus’s words and life on the other. We need to welcome our neighbors, not fear them.

William Musser, Decorah, Iowa

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