O Thou great Champion of the outcast and the weak, we remember before thee the people of other nations who are coming to our land, seeking bread, a home, and a future. May we look with thy compassion upon those who have been drained and stunted by the poverty and oppression of centuries, and whose minds have been warped by superstition or seared by the dumb agony of revolt. We bless thee for all that America has meant to the alien folk that have crossed the sea in the past, and for all the patient strength and God-fearing courage with which they have enriched our nation. We rejoice in the millions whose life has expanded in the wealth and liberty of our country, and whose children have grown to fairer stature and larger thoughts; for we, too, are the children of immigrants, who came with anxious hearts and halting feet on the westward path of hope.
We beseech thee that our republic may no longer fail their trust. We mourn for the dark sins of past and present, wherein men who are held in honor among us made spoil of the ignorance and helplessness of the strangers and sent them to an early death. In a nation dedicated to liberty may they not find the old oppression and a fiercer greed. May they never find that the arm of the law is but the arm of the strong. Help our whole people henceforth to keep in leash the cunning that would devour the simple. May they feel here the pure air of freedom and face the morning radiance of a joyous hope.
For all the oppressed afar off who sigh for liberty; for all lovers of the people who strive to break their shackles; for all who dare to believe in democracy and the Kingdom of God, make thou our great commonwealth once more a sure beacon-light of hope and a guide on the path which leads to the perfect union of law and liberty.— Walter Rauschenbusch in Walter Rauschenbusch by Walter Rauschenbusch, Joseph J. Fahey, editor