Sunday, July 6, 2014

What would John Winthrop say?

"if he comes to you, welcome him"
Colossians 4:10

My thoughts were all a-twitter a few days ago, about something I saw on TV.

I feel the need to clarify that though I, personally, am not on Twitter, I do, occasionally, get all a-twitter.

I wonder if that's why they named it Twitter?  Hmmm....

Anyhow, I was watching the news the other day when the story turned to the many immigrant children that the U.S. is trying to deal with lately.  They have been sent by their parents from several countries in South America.  I assume if you live in the U.S. that you are aware of this.  They've been arriving in droves, and once the children are here, they are generally sent to live with a family member here in the States. 

The whole thing is controversial in a couple of ways.  First of all, should the immigrants be sent back to the country from which they came?  The numbers are hard for our country to manage, but the countries they are coming from are experiencing extreme turmoil, and do we want to send them back to that?

Secondly, once they are processed in an immigration center and sent to their family member, they are instructed to check in to their local immigration center within 90 days.  Now, how many are really going to do that?

But what troubled me was the TV coverage I saw a few days ago.  Many of the immigrants are being bussed from Texas to California for processing, because Texas is simply overwhelmed.  Now, it seems to me that California has its own problems, as it's got more than its share of immigrants already, but what do I know?

Anyhow, these busses ~ most of them full of children ~ are being met in California by shouting, sign-holding protesters.  It just made me cringe.

I'm of two minds on the whole issue.  It is a lot of people for the country to deal with.  And as a Californian, I know my state is in debt already.  How will this influx affect us?

What I do know is that this country has always been seen as a refuge.  I know we haven't always done right by everyone:  Blacks, Irish, Japanese, Native Americans... We're not perfect.  But for hundreds of years, people have been coming here to escape something in their home.  What I do know is that a child should not be greeted with shouts of anger and signs that say, "Go home."

How about a sign like this, instead:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
Emma Lazarus

Shining city on a hill, remember?

~ "You are the light of the world. 
A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden." ~
Matthew 5:14

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