Martin Niemoller was a German Protestant pastor who opposed the Nazi regime and spent years in concentration camps. As a reminder of our shared humanity, that we are all sisters and brothers, we heard his words at the close of worship:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me-and there was no one left to speak for me.
The quote has been restated to include other groups such as Catholics, Gypsies, Communists and homosexuals. The message remains the same. We are called by scripture to welcome the foreigner, the sojourner, the oppressed, refugees, widows and orphans. Silence is complicity. And we are one.