The words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty where it stands on Bedloe’s Island (now called Liberty Island) in New York harbor are familiar to all of us:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to be free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me;
I lift my torch beside the golden door.”
Since the statue was dedicated on October 28,1886, tens of thousands of immigrants have come through the harbor seeking liberty and a new life in the United States of America. The last line of the inscription, “I lift my torch beside the golden door” means a lighted way through a new and golden door offering a better future and opportunity in a new land.
It has never meant, and does not now mean, that anyone should torch and burn and slam the golden door in our faces. Those who do so cannot be welcomed as though they are “yearning to be free.”
“I was a stranger and you invited me in.” Jesus