Thursday, October 19, 2006

Immigration

I was reading articles titles the other day (yes, just titles), trolling for something interesting. I came across a title that alluded to the fact that Christians should view the influx of immigrants, legal or otherwise, as an opportunity to show God's love. Doesn't it say in Deuteronomy, when they're giving all the laws, that the "alien" should be able to come and live in Israel and have most of the rights of a Jew if he should become circumcised?

I thought this was an interesting concept. I have a more lenient view of immigration, I think, because I have tried to live in another country, and I know how much red tape is involved, and what it feels like to be a non-citizen, etc... I don't necessarily think that illegal immigrants should be able to get on the dole, or necessarily get in-state tuition, but I've heard far too many Christians say some really harsh things about illegals.

I'm not trying to come off as self-righteous here, but I'm just trying to make us think a little harder about the things we say and the way we think about everything around us. It's difficult when faced with some things, but I think the author of that article had a point! These people are here...they're obviously not getting deported anytime soon...so let's be Christians. We treat them as we would any other person, perhaps even with more special care because they are far from home, working hard at trying to make a better life for themselves. I'm not saying let's fling open the gates and let anybody in...I'm just sayin', one day we might not be the most prosperous country in the world, one where many people want to emigrate to. Let's use that status in a positive way while we still can.

Thoughts?

1 comment:

Paul said...

Yep:
Lev. 12:33-34 "When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God."

Deut. 24:19-22 "When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this."

Even in the "hardness" of the OT Law, God continually shows a heart for the down-and-outers, the disadvantaged. There are provisions for the nation of Israel to take care of foreigners, widows, and orphans.

I don't know what the best solution is to deal with our illegal immigrant neighbors, but as a Christian--heck, as a human being--I think that we must treat them with dignity and respect and love as well as some measure of justice.

One thing I'd love to do is teach English as a learned language. The church has a ministry for that listed in the list of ministries and one of these weeks I'm going to make a call and see what all that would entail.