I keep getting hits about the Budweiser Superbowl ad. What was the problem? To me, it celebrated America’s past a a land of opportunity, a shining beacon to the oppressed of the world.
It still is. We still let people in by the boatload. And compared to many countries, we’re a breeze to become a citizen. I knew a young lady in graduate school who was from the former Soviet Union. She was working to become a US citizen someday.
Problem? She couldn’t stand our country. Everything – culture, movies, music, books, education, lifestyles, you name it – was a target for her scorn. One day I finally asked her why she wanted to move here since she obviously couldn’t stand the place.
Easy, she said. The countries she would love to move to would take too long to ever become a citizen. She would die an old lady before she could become a full citizen in some of those places. So it was off to the USA (since staying in Russia was not an option for her).
Sure, I get it. The current twofold kerfuffle over vetting immigrants from nations hostile to the US and the influx of illegal immigration, especially from the South.
But those don’t have to become politicized, or made to be ‘them vs. us.’ Unfortunately, both sides have done their best to pit one group against the other. Do you not care about refugees seeking a new life away from death and carnage? Do you not care about the well-being of all Americans? The answer should be we care about both.
Sadly, at least with the rhetoric, it comes off as one group can just suck on it, because the other group is the one that matters. The best approach – and the only valid Christian approach – is to care about both equally. We want to be a place for all to come and be welcomed.
They need to follow the laws, however, and if the laws make it difficult, then change the laws. Don’t just flip the high middle one to laws in general. Flipping the bird to laws you dislike is akin to eating potato chips. Once you start, you just can’t stop. Likewise, we don’t have much experience welcoming people from hostile nations. If it takes some thinking through, that’s fine. Find the balance between welcoming and vetting and make sure both immigrants and Americans know we have their backs.
And for heaven’s sake, don’t rely on ‘lightning kills more than terrorists’ do. That’s translated as ‘don’t worry, odds are it will be some other dumb schmuck family who is boo-hooing at the cemetery and not you.’ A terrorist attack is more than just body counts.
Whatever the terrorist is, it is an attack on America as a whole, who we are, the American family. And should be treated as such. If the most you can say is ‘don’t worry as long as it’s someone else’, then you had best find a different reason.
So if we could pull the issue of immigration from the sludge pit of partisan agendas, I think seeing a commercial like this would be cause to be glad about our country’s history, not grounds for yet another boxing match over ‘not our country, sure as hell not your country, only my country when it finally lives up to my standards.’