Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Hebrews 13:2 Revisited: No Humans are illegal
I've wanted to re-visit the topic of Hebrews 13:2 ever since Arizona passed an egregious law requiring police to ascertain citizenship status of people in that state. Police across the country oppose the law; anyone concerned with racism opposes the law; the Obama administration is investigating the very constitutionality of the law.
But what about the law and spirituality? Mystic Blue Rose, on her great blog, posted a wonderful piece by a Christian friend of hers that she has given me permission to re-print here:
"I've been avoiding jumping into this conversation, but I think I'm going to just...not debate anything or argue with anyone, but just state a position as far to one side of the spectrum as I can go, and let it be part of the soup. Sometimes I find myself rationally pondering the U.S. immigration issue; and then I say to myself, "Wait a minute...what I really believe has nothing to do with these rational and practical considerations." So here's what I believe at the bottom of my very best heart.
Nations and their boundaries are an utterly human concoction, a development of our tendency to self-centeredness and sin, and are in no way, shape, or form part of the divine reality and divine goal for the human race revealed in Jesus Christ. God did not create a world of nations. Jesus did not die and rise for this or that nation. The church from its very beginning knew no national boundaries, welcomed people of all nations, and has been and is a trans-national body owing allegiance to no nation on earth. A Christian is a member of the human race whose allegiance to God through Jesus Christ is untainted by allegiance to any human entity. A truly Christian response (you can tell a truly Christian action because it has a fair chance of being fatal) ... a truly Christian response to immigration would be to stand at any border anywhere on earth, and lean across it and say, "Is there anything I can do for you?"
I believe I'll stop there. That sounds sufficiently breath-taking in its arrogance and naivete -- or, perhaps, sufficiently childlike in its simple-minded devotion to the One who made, redeemed, and cherishes all human life, and all creation. Again, this is not meant to be an argument against anyone else's position. I doubt that I think and act consistently with this myself all the time (another test, in my own mind, for when something is true!). I'm just putting it out there.
Peace and blessing,
Thank heaven, many have Christians have followed David R.in asking similar questions, and most Christian denominations across America are vehemently against Arizona's law.
I am going to assume most Pagans are, too, though I have seen less on-line from Pagan viewpoints. I expect Starhawk, intrepid political witch that she is, to speak out with her Reclaiming group (sometime soon remind me to re-print her anti-racism statement on here); I know that LGBT Pagans have also spoken out. Yet in keeping with my former post, I want to encourage everyone, regardless of spiritual orientation, to ask how one can host angels unawares if we treat other humans as legal or illegal?
And I want to add some fact to the discussion (something rarely seen in newspapers around the country right now. . .)
"This data, compiled independently by both the F.B.I. and the University of Colorado-Boulder shows that, contrary to political rhetoric from the right, immigration, and even illegal immigration, does not make communities more dangerous. The research, which appeared in a peer-reviewed paper in the June 2010 issue of Social Science Quarterly, specifically avoids mistaking correlation for causation, instead providing the most compelling data to date to back up claims that the anti-immigration sentiment in this country is rooted not in fact but simply in fear.
The data is even more compelling than simply rebutting the ideological argument that immigration is connected to crime. The evidence suggests that immigration appears to make the cities immigrants call home safer. According to Harvard sociologist Robert J. Sampson, that's because immigrants often move into neighborhoods abandoned by locals and often have tighter family structures which can stabilize urban neighborhoods on the brink.
And a crack-down in immigration may just have the opposite effect, much to the dismay of SB 1070 supporters. Law enforcement officers like Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck notes that when immigrants fear being arrested for immigration offenses they stop cooperating with law enforcement. These communities will withdraw further into themselves, making those immigrant ghettos ripe for exploitation and abuse and further marginalize, rather than integrate, immigrants into the American experience. Not only does this make getting information more difficult for law enforcement, it increases the amount of crimes law enforcement needs to respond to." Care2Causes
Welcoming angels means welcoming immigrants, who actually improve our country. Since most of us are immigrants, you would think we as USA citizens could make the connection. (I keep writing letters to the editor asking the so many vocal opponents to amnesty just how many of their families had greed cards from the Wampanoag??)
And welcoming angels unawares, means allowing angels access to all doors. At the least, I hope anyone following Bridget - she who welcomed all to her hearth - will write their newspapers or call their representatives, and demand the country repeal Arizona's law.