‘I was a stranger’

‘I was a stranger’ January 16, 2013

This is encouraging:

About two-thirds of the evangelical leaders in that video are the usual suspects — people who’ve been collaborating on efforts like this for decades. (At least four of them served on the boards of some of the “liberal” evangelical nonprofits I’ve worked for.) If this were just them — Wallis, Perkins, Lyon, Cortes, Mouw, Hybels, etc. — then this effort would likely be ignored by their fellow evangelicals, just like most of the good things those good people have faithfully endorsed over the years.

But they may have just enough conservative folks involved here for this to go someplace. Maybe.

Credit where credit is due: Southern Baptist spokesman Richard Land’s support for this matters. This isn’t new for him either — he’s been outspoken in support of immigration reform for quite a while. I disagree with Richard Land about a very, very long list of things, but immigration is not one of them.

More on this here.


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  • Jessica_R

    Yes, but how many of the conservative types would still be on board if they knew some of the undocumented who come here or gay, or even more importantly  how many would be filling to fight for better asylum laws for people fleeing here because their sexuality is criminalized in their home country? 

  • I am an atheist, but have always thought this one of the more powerful parts of scripture. It’s a callback to the idea that the ‘sin of Sodom’ was being unwelcoming to guests, not what was eventually called ‘Sodomy’. 

  • I got into a snarky argument with someone about immigration a few years ago which ended with me saying “Smoo! The Holy Family would have received a frosty welcome if they’d ended up in 21st century Britain rather than the 1st Century Egypt.”

    At which point they gaped at me like a fish and spluttered.

    (Yes I really said smoo – it’s a sound I make when I’m surprised or exasperated).

  • Fusina

     I have a tendency to pick and choose what of the bible I will attempt to live up to. This set of verses, the bit in Corinthians that starts with “If I speak with the tongues of men and Angels” and ends with “Love never fails”, the bit in Matthew, IIRC, that begins, “Judge not lest you be judged” and my favorite, 1 John 4:7-8, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and everyone that loves is born of God and knows God. He that does not love does not know God.” I realize that this presupposes that God exists, but I still like it.

    Err, my best friend is an atheist, we have lots of discussions about these sorts of things. I don’t attempt to convert her, she lets me have my beliefs, and we love each other. So please don’t think I am attempting to proselytize, just sharing some awesome poetry on love and what love looks like when it is happening.

  • AnonymousSam

    FWIW, that last one you quoted, to this person, is the best chapter in the Bible and one of the best things ever written in regards to religion.

    My personal beliefs are closer to pantheism, but swing between dualism, idealism and naturalistic pantheism. Nonetheless, if I were to narrow down to a single ineffable aspect of the world that is too great and terrible to ever hope to define, which drives some to hope and others to despair, unites or divides, creates and destroys — it would be love.

    Love, therefore, is God.

  • Chrissl

    At least some, if not all, of the various types of Quakers can probably be counted in too here, but they don’t have the sort of centralized structure than enables anyone to become a “signatory” as official spokesperson. Certainly the local and regional Quaker groups I’m familiar with support immigration reform.

  • You didn’t sound like you were proselytizing at all. Just talking about your beliefs. I also think those are lovely verses, though I have serious qualms with “judge not lest ye be judged.”

    There is a lot of good to be found in the Bible, as in any religious text or other good poetry. Throwing the entire thing out because there is also bad in it is silly, especially considering how it was cobbled together. Besides, it’s necessary to understand the bad things in our past along with the good.

  • Fusina

     I have thought a lot about the judge not lest you be judged verses, because I can be very judgmental. My conclusion was that you need to be careful how you judge things, and to be willing to be judged by the same criteria. YMMV, of course.

    An example would be, If someone is doing something to hurt a child, you stop it. That is a case of judging an action to be wrong and dealing with it. And if I was doing something to hurt a child, I would hope that someone would stop me. I do hope that made sense. So it isn’t just judging is wrong, I guess is what I’m trying to say, but that you really need to analyze what you are doing. I hope this makes some kind of sense. I haven’t really written down what I think about this before.

  • Jenny Islander

    I’ve been told–I don’t actually read Koine Greek, so grain of salt–that the most precise translation would be “Do not set yourself up as judge as if that would excuse you from being judged yourself.”