Am I my brother’s keeper?
Genesis 4:9. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”
1 Thessalonians 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
Here’s a paraphrase of Martin Niebler.
First he attacked the Mexicans, and you did not speak out —
Because you were not a Mexican.
Then he attacked the Muslims, and you did not speak out —
Because you were not a Muslim.
Then he attacked Women, and you did not speak out —
Because you are not a Woman.
When he attacks you — will there be no one to speak out for you?
Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.
Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”