I’ve just finished one and a half days of teaching for a camp in Texas that is doing some great things in the realm of leadership development. Churches and Christian Organizations that are grappling with the implications of post-modernity (see Nov 8th entry) for their theology and ministries are rare anywhere, but I’m guessing that they are even rarer
in this neighborhood, described by its residents as the ‘belt buckle of the Bible belt.’ But right here in the belt buckle is a group of people grappling with this huge cultural shift, and what it means for we who are called to embody Christ’s life. It’s been an encouraging weekend, reminding me once again that God continually surprises us.
At another level, my brief visits here have reminded me that the subject of immigration (previous entry) does need, as one comment has said, “a personal face.” While I understand the importance of the categories of legal and illegal, as referenced in the both the first and last paragraphs of the previous entry, we need to be careful that we don’t use the label ‘illegal’ to justify a failure to treat the other as someone made in the image of God. The category is weak for two reasons: 1) we don’t enforce our own laws consistently at all, and so become like parents who discipline inconsistently, creating fear and mistrust in the relationship. 2) whether legal or illegal – a living wage is difficult to come by. Try reading even a few excerpts from “Nickle and Dimed” and you’ll discover that, whether the border is open or closed, and whether the category is legal or illegal, we live in a culture that, while certainly better than many in the world, has it’s own strain of Darwinian natural selection running deep in its veins. The well education, well connected, and well endowed will make a way to the economic top of the pile. The rest… will help them live there and enjoy life as cheaply as possible. And that’s not an immigration issue – it’s an economic issue, one Ezekiel had no hesitancy talking about.