Using ethnographic research, Willful Ignorance: Overcoming the Limitations of (Christian) Love for Refugees Seeking Asylum examines the attitudes of clergy and lay leaders regarding their (in)attention to racism as it intersects with the harsh reality of U.S. immigration policies and practices. This multi-faceted work begins with a reality check on the scope of forced migration and its intersection with the historical legacy of racism in America, including testimonies from displaced migrants and immigration advocates who help to alleviate state-inflicted suffering at the U.S.-Mexico border. Helen T. Boursier examines the rationales Christian leaders use to justify the local church's nominal response, including the discursive buffers and stall tactics they use to deflect their lack of preaching, teaching, leadership and/or ministry with displaced migrants who are their near neighbors. The Christian church's firm foundation to embody love as social justice provides a historical rebuttal, while case studies of congregations that offer displaced migrants compassionate hospitality model exemplary contemporary response. Closing with practical suggestions for how to begin building bridges with migrants, Boursier argues for a philosophy of religion that embraces resistance to racism and exclusion from asylum, through a missiology of compassion that exemplifies an ecclesiology of love.
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