Monday, July 12, 2010

Conflicting Value Systems

I saw a link to a poll asking if people (presumably Americans) agreed with the new immigration law in Arizona.  95% of the people sadly said they agreed with it.

This is a clear example structural sin that must not be ignored by the faith community.  Structural sin that needs changes to come from the top.

When I say conflicting values systems I'm talking about Kingdom values vs. American values.  Kingdom values recognize that we shouldn't oppress and do wrong to the immigrant among us but instead we should have compassion and love them as ourselves:

"And if a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.  The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord, your God." -Leviticus 19:33-34

American values on the other hand see the immigrant among us as a threat and that they are a "problem".

There might actually be a third and arguably more dangerous value system that is a cross between American and Kingdom values.  Comprised of the fusion between both so that there isn't much distinction.  The kind of value system that will take a stand on something and fight with fervor that it is the will of God or the most God-like.  Most notably, taking a side on a critical issue and deeming it the Christian thing to do and demonizing the other side.

I read this open letter by faith leaders to President Obama and I hope he actually reads these kind of things.  While I enjoyed all of it, I especially liked the phrasing from the Hindu scripture that said, "The guest us a representative of God."  Goes in line with the Christian Bible that whatever we to the "least of these" we do unto Jesus (Matthew 25:40).

With all that said, the issue on immigration is critical, people of faith need to take a stand and recoginize this as a structual sin, we need to work towards change, raise awareness, not stand idle and pray that changes can happen from the top.

Here is the open letter to President Obama by America's faith community leaders: Dear President Obama

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