Good Thoughts on Immigration
Here are some good comments by Joel Belz, Founder of World magazine, April 15, 2006:
"There are certainly some public-policy issues (try NAFTA) where it may be hard to discern how to apply the heart of God...But a Christian's basic posture must be to show mercy to aliens.  Just trace the terms alien and stranger through the Bible, and remind yourself how consistenly one-sided God's instructions are on the subject..."You shall not oppress a sojourner," God says bluntly in Exocus 23:9.  "You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt."
"God does not want us to be partners in oppression, and someone who has illegal status can readily be oppressed.  ...Many of us who are Christians in America actually suffer from double memory loss.  We forget first that we were once theological aliens, and next that the great majority of us owe our U.S. citizenship to ancestors who immigrated here within the past 400 years."
"Part of what has always been good for America is to extend a warm and humble welcome to immigrants to our land and to God's kingdom. Is it wrong to set conditions on that welcome?  No, it's almost certainly important to do so...let's find a way to bracket that barrier with welcome signs so genuine that the newcomer will say, just as so many of our grandparents did, "I understand that restriction, but they actually want me here!"
"What's called for, more than anything, is a different tone.  And it's hard to to think of a tone more helpful, more creative, more constructive, more tenderhearted, than the voice that says:  "Don't be harsh with these aliens."
What do you think?  Leave me a comment below if you want to dialogue.

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