“Everybody Always Talks About the Weather…

Posted by Scott Foster on

            …but nobody does anything about it.” — Charles Dudley Warner
     His good friend Mark Twain quoted it and forever gets the credit.

          "Between the Christianity of this land and the Christianity of Christ,
            I recognize the widest possible difference." — Fredrick Douglass
     And the president thinks Douglass is “an example of somebody who's done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice."

     Douglass was drawing a comparison between Christianity and American slavery versus Jesus’ Christianity in 1845. The president was relating to a breakfast meeting of African-Americans last week on the beginning of Black History Month. Guess he was just trying to be “down with the peeps.”

     I keep thinking that it might be good for the president’s staff to put some solid bedside reading in the stack, but it seems there’s no stack—just a TV remote control and an open Twitter feed on his smart phone.

     Saturday, I was listening to “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me…” and they thanked the president for all the material. In fact, they asked him to maybe slow it down a little because “we only get an hour a week. It feels like Lucy and Ethel with all the chocolates coming down the conveyor belt. But in our case, it’s not chocolate!”

     That’s pretty good comedy, but the problem is this:
     It’s not reality TV.
     It’s real life.
     And, it’s really not funny.

     It’s not funny to the people whose hopes of new life in America were almost dashed, literally in mid-air. It’s not funny to the people who were coming back home to their permanent residency and green-card empowered jobs. It’s not funny to the refugees in Syria. And it’s not funny to the children of immigrants like in Madison, New Jersey.

     The Rose City was built by immigrants. (We get the job done!)
     So, the Madison Borough Council stepped up Monday night.
     I was so proud to be there to support them it and see it happen.

     We’ve been talking since the summer about building community through the #BelovedCommunity efforts begun by my friend Rev. Craig Dunn of First Baptist and Sister Rory Moynihan of the Sisters of Charity. We’ve been talking about hospitality and having the “big talk” about the white privilege and the racism and the bigotry that boiled to the surface during the political season. And we’ve made a lot of progress to that end.

     With promises of more conversations to strengthen the measure The Madison Borough Council, led by Mayor Bob Conley, passed a “Welcoming Community” resolution at their budget meeting Monday night. Deciding to be a part of the national conversation in light of all the executive orders and court orders, Madison jumped into the fray! We’ve got skin in the game, literally! Madison not only recognizes its heritage and roots in the immigrant community, but continues to be enriched, to prosper, and to grow through them and their descendants.  

     The community spoke with heart-wrenching personal stories of mistreatment, violence, and assassination. They challenged our Borough Council that this measure “doesn’t go far enough” to protect the community. Madison wants to be a Sanctuary City. Our heritage and our legacy cry for it. And more conversations are forthcoming. God bless us!

     The national storm is raging! And we’re getting out in front of it. All you have to do is listen to the talk as you walk around Madison. It’s everywhere.

     We talk all day about the weather!
     And thank God we’re doing something about it.

Grace & Peace,


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