Exploring the Sacred discussion to focus on immigration | SteamboatToday.com

Exploring the Sacred discussion to focus on immigration

Zach Fridell

— The polarized discussions revolving around immigration typically are centered on policy debates. In an effort to humanize the discussion, the Exploring the Sacred group will focus on a different side of the issue — morals.

"In terms of spirituality, there's a shared humanity that unites us on this issue," Exploring the Sacred organizer and moderator Marchele McCarthy said.

Exploring the Sacred is a panel of religious leaders in Steamboat Springs that leads discussions about current topics, and McCarthy said that with immigration topping the news channels, it was time for the group to consider the topic.

"We felt like because of who they are, it makes sense they would address it from a moral side," she said. "If they were to give a political perspective, it's just like anybody else giving a political perspective. We're trying to put a human face on the issue."

Participants scheduled for the discussion are United Methodist Church Associate Pastor Tim Selby, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Bishop Emeritus Paul Stewart, St. Paul's Episcopal Church Father Scott Turner, Holy Name Catholic Church Rev. Ernest Bayer, practitioner of Islam Steve Aigner, Buddhist Center of Steamboat representative Tim Olmsted and First Baptist Church of Steamboat Springs Pastor Jason Clark.

Selby said the goal is to get people to leave preconceived notions about the politics of immigration.

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"There are a lot of policy questions there, and our goal is not to try and take some political position or to say 'here's the right answer' or 'here's the right policy,' but to kind of break open the issues that are involved in a way to kind of look at those issues, to leave … the policies off the table," he said.

McCarthy said she has publicized the event with Integrated Community and that she hopes to have a wide range of views represented in the audience.

The discussion will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Library Hall at Bud Werner Memorial Library. The event is free.

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