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Protecting borders must be balanced with being openhearted, says rabbi


The Rev. Nathan LeRud of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral speaks Feb. 7 during a talk with a neighboring rabbi and Catholic priest in Portland, Ore. In response to the Trump administration's actions on immigration and refugees, the three religious leaders said that welcoming the stranger is a deep-rooted religious imperative. (CNS photo/Ed Langlois, Catholic Sentinel)

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PORTLAND, Ore. (CNS) -- If there is a registry of Muslims in the United States, Rabbi Michael Cahana will register himself as a Muslim.

Rabbi Cahana, of Temple Beth Israel in Portland, made the declaration Feb. 7 during an annual talk given jointly with neighboring Catholic and Episcopal pastors.

Msgr. Patrick Brennan of St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and the Rev. Nathan LeRud of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral joined the rabbi in discussing the religious tradition of welcoming the stranger.

Speaking to a crowd of hundreds convened in a Trinity Cathedral social hall, all three Portland faith leaders criticized the Trump administration's executive order to temporarily ban Muslim immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations. They did so not politically, but theologically.

President Donald Trump's order on refugees has been held up in the courts. He planned to issue a revised executive order the week of Feb. 20.

As for a Muslim registry, Trump as a presidential candidate in 2015 said he supported requiring Muslim immigrants to register. His administration, however, has said it has no plans for such a registry. The Obama administration had a registry in place until last December. It was a post-9/11 requirement that immigrant Muslim men register, but President Barack Obama said it had not been used since 2011.

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