Foreigners in “Our” Land!

June 20, 2018
Dave Blundell
4 min
Church & society
Foreigners in “Our” Land!

I am generally super careful about generalizations. But, anyone who has a problem with immigration—especially immigration based on desperate need—must be motivated by a threat to “our” way of life. By “our way of life” I mean religiously, socially, economically or just the simple preference to be around people who are “normal”… like me. “America (Canada) First” or any type of nationalistic protectionism is a profoundly self-centered position.

It is also a profoundly hypocritical position. All of the people I hear complain about immigration and refugees are European immigrants or descendants of European immigrants or refugees. People who wholly, and without invitation, changed the religious, social and economic context of the people who were in Canada before us. Sound familiar? To protect our European “way of life”, we have separated children from their families before—in this country.

It is also a profoundly unbiblical position. I had an emotional and spiritual allergy attack when I heard leaders use the Bible to morally justify the current U.S. anti-immigration policy of separating children from their parents. To be clear, these people are using the Bible to justify child abuse. I’d be happy to use the Bible to inform our social policy more. Let’s start with this one: “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself.” (Lev. 19:33–34)

I could go on longer than you want to read about what the Bible has to say about how we treat refugees, the vulnerable, the oppressed, the hungry and the sick. And, the most amazing thing is, the greatest gift is not for those being helped, it is for those who do the helping. Changing other people’s lives will change your life. Welcoming generosity might not make our lives more comfortable, but it will make our lives and communities better—not worse.

Our religious, social and economic context will indeed change when we welcome broken people from all nations. But why is it that we feel so entitled to protect “our” little comfortable patch on this planet from change?