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As American Christians committed to being light in a world darkened by sin, terrorism and fear, we must affirm our commitment to religious liberty as the proverbial firewall against totalitarianism.

For that matter, while our government must protect our citizenry from individuals committed to terror, death and destruction, we cannot and must not embrace policies that incorporate a religious litmus test for those legally responding to the compassionate invitation written on the Statue of Liberty. It behooves all of us to revisit those powerful words:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

For that matter, no presidential candidate, elected official or branch of government carries the authority to extinguish the aforementioned lamp. With a commitment to building a firewall against Islamic extremism and protecting our most cherished of values, we must make certain that the lamp will shine the light of freedom for Christians, Jews, Muslims and all others yearning to breathe free. 

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization.

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