William H. Willimon may be best known as the co-author, with Stanley Hauerwas, of Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony.
Love it or hate it (I loved it, mostly), that’s a book that requires readers to contend with what it has to say. The main point there being, roughly, that Christianity took a wrong turn around about the time of Constantine and still has a lot of work to do disentangling itself from Empire.
Willimon is also the bishop of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church. In that capacity, Willimon says, he came up short, as Ethics Daily reports: “Methodist Bishop Repents on Immigration, Calls for Action.”
An Alabama United Methodist bishop told almost 300 middle-Tennessee leaders of faith in late November that he was sorry for being inactive while an anti-immigration bill moved into law in Alabama.
He also called on Tennessee clergy to speak up.
“I’m up here in Tennessee … to repent,” said William Willimon, bishop of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church, who added he was wrong not to take seriously Republican Gov. Robert Bentley’s anti-immigration campaign promises.
… Signed into law in June by Bentley, Alabama House Bill 56 is considered the nation’s harshest anti-immigration law.
Federal courts have ruled against sections of Alabama’s law.
“I’m sorry that those of us faith leaders in Alabama, with the exception of the Catholics, were slow to realize how nefarious this immigration legislation would be for us and for our state,” said Willimon.
William Willimon blogs at “A Peculiar Prophet.”
- Alabama’s New ‘Jim Crow’ Immigration Law: Thousands Rally For Repeal
- Alabama’s White Southern Baptists Replay Segregationist History
And, from the Center for American Progress, see:
- “Top 10 Reasons Alabama’s New Immigration Law Is a Disaster for Agriculture”
- “Top 10 Reasons Alabama’s New Immigration Law Is a Disaster for Alabama Government“
- “Top 10 Reasons Alabama’s New Immigration Law Is a Disaster for Community Safety“
- “Top 10 Reasons Alabama’s New Immigration Law Is a Disaster for Education“
- “Top 10 Reasons Alabama’s New Immigration Law Is a Disaster for Faith Communities“
- “Top 10 Reasons Alabama’s New Immigration Law Is a Disaster for Families“
- “Top 10 Reasons Alabama’s New Immigration Law Is a Disaster for Public Health“
- “Top 10 Reasons Alabama’s New Immigration Law Is a Disaster for the Rule of Law“
- “Top 10 Reasons Alabama’s New Immigration Law Is a Disaster for the State’s Economy“
Taken together, those lists might be summed up as “90 Reasons Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley Is an Inhospitable Jackass.”
The sort of people who sometimes get upset with me for being “mean” or “rude” will be upset by that word. But they’re upset about the wrong word. “Jackass” is mere derision, and far more polite than Bentley deserves, given the grievous indictment entailed by that other word: “inhospitable.”
For most of human history, inhospitality was regarded as a monstrous, unforgivable crime. It still is such, whether or not we still choose to view it that way. And Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is, clearly, deeply guilty of it.
In that the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah is an archetypal account of monstrous inhospitality, we can say with perfect accuracy that Robert Bentley is a sodomite. He has taken on the part of Procrustes and of a thousand other monsters from a thousand other stories that we humans have told and retold for thousands of years as a reminder of the fundamental human obligation of hospitality — the very same fundamental human obligation that Gov. Robert Bentley has perversely sought to criminalize in Alabama.