Coming to America: The immigration factor
Every once in a while there are Facebook memes and comments posted whose purpose is to point a finger at Christians for not having more compassion toward foreigners who wish to come to America. Immigrants have been coming to America — legally — for decades; however, the mindset of the postings suggests a cart blanche importation — legal or not.
While prior administrations have imposed limits on the import of immigrants for whatever plans and purposes were deemed necessary; i.e., President Jimmy Carter’s ban specifically on Muslims that lasted over a year-and-a-half, the quotas set forth lately from the current administration have been met with opposition.
While no one called Mr. Carter a racist, some today would cry, racist, bigot, hater … when President Trump issues a ban on a few select countries for only a limited time. Really? Is this the motivation for the U.S. government ... to be racist? Could there be another motive to consider?
These same individuals who post these Facebook memes and denounce presidential mandates are the same ones who take quotes out of scripture and use them as a cudgel to beat Christians over the head. Let’s consider Leviticus 19:33-34. In this verse, Moses says to Israel that as they were once immigrants to a foreign land, in the same way, they are to love them and not mistreat them. Moses was absolutely in line with God’s teachings.
However, some would use this one verse, taken out of context, to judge Christians. These no-pretext-no-context-loving gospel spewers think they can have an “ah hah” moment by the means of calling out Christians as being hypocritical for not being more critical toward the immigration ban, albeit temporary, from President Trump.
What these people don’t take into account is that the foreigners Moses was referring to in Leviticus had to acquiesce to rules for being a part of the society and culture of the land into which they were going. They were made to conform to these as mandated and thus made to assimilate into the Jewish culture.
As for America’s immigration, time and again the stories of our ancestor’s arrival on the shores of Upper New York Bay’s Ellis Island, the foreigners were looking for a better life and had the intention of becoming Americans. They came here legally and America is blessed to have them. Though, today, things are different.
While I believe America is one of the most generous and welcoming places on earth, the simple fact is there is a strong tendency for outsiders to take advantage of our system. Many come over just to earn a buck. They have no intention of adopting our language or our culture. Not to mention the financial risk imposed on American citizens when bulk numbers of immigrants pour into their cities … when the financial burden falls upon the taxpayers who are then forced to carry the financial load of feeding, housing and educating them. And as far as assimilation, ask Dearborn, Michigan, how that integration is going here in America after the influx of thousands of Muslims who adhere to Sharia law. Or Minnesota, on how peaceful the state has become since importing foreigners.
As a Christian, I am absolutely obliged to kindly treat ALL people with compassion. Everyone should. For people with whom I come in contact daily, this is what I’m called to do. Yet this has little or nothing to do with immigration and speaks to a bigger political picture where scripture is being used as a weapon to meet a cultural end.