Here are a couple of things I keep hearing, which I’m having trouble reconciling.
One is, America is a Christian nation. A lot of people firmly believe this, and if you mention freedom of religion and the founding fathers and all that, they sort of wave their hand at you and move to a slightly different statement – it’s a predominately Christian nation.
It sure is. Christians out the yin yang. Here in Ohio, you can’t swing a dead cat around by the tail without slapping a Christian upside the head with it. Every Christmas we hear about it, when people attempt to be inclusive in their language about holidays – It’s a War On Christmas!
Like if it’s Bob’s birthday, and you see him walking down the street with Charlie, and you say, “Hey, have a great day, guys!”
Suddenly that’s a war on Bob. Your positive sentiment was not specific enough, not limited enough to the most important feature of that day – Bob’s birthday. You should have said “Happy Birthday, Bob!”
Charlie can go screw – it ain’t his birthday, you know?
Except it’s not just on Christmas folks do that. It’s the whole month of December. You can’t even wish people of other religions a happy holiday (whichever one they celebrate) even if it’s in the same month. Even if that Other Non-Christian Holiday is coming sooner than Christmas.
You’re supposed to say Merry Christmas – that’s what people think, because most of us are Christians.
So okay, then the other thing I keep hearing, and generally from the same group of people, is white-hot, searing contempt for immigrants.
“Illegal immigrants,” they’ll tell you, their voices dripping with scorn.
I’ll be happy to get into what I think about immigration some day, but right now, I’ll just concede pretty much every point. Let’s say, the only acceptable way for an immigrant to be here is through the convoluted, legal process which takes around a decade and costs a raft of cash. Let’s also say that when we find immigrants here, we have to deport them.
It’s like a lifeboat. We have limited supplies, and we can’t save everybody. Decisions need made. Some of us were lucky enough to get on the boat early, and we’re not going to give away so much food and water that we end up dying anyway. It’s cynical, it’s hard, but I get it. Let’s say that’s true.
But surely we can understand WHY they’re scrambling to get on the boat, right?
Surely we don’t think that’s a nasty, mean-spirited thing to do? They’re drowning. Their kids are drowning. They don’t have the time or the resources to go through legal channels, so they’re going to try to save themselves and their kids. They’re going to try to sneak on the boat anyway.
That’s what’s happening. Mexico is a Mad Max world right now. Drug cartels rule the place. They’re selling their drugs to us, here in America, and it’s making them so rich and powerful, they dwarf the government. They’re heavily armed, too, and guess where they get their guns?
They get their guns from us. You’re not allowed to sell guns in Mexico, you know. So the powerful cartels come here, Miami Vice/Burn Notice-style, and they buy them.
Mexico is not Brown America, with tacos instead of cheeseburgers. It might seem that way when you fly into a tourist resort and lounge around in a pampered bubble for a week, swimming and screwing and drinking and whatever else folks do at those places.
A lot of people seem to think it’s just a bunch of cities like their own, malls full of Mexican people buying twenty dollar plates of pasta and knocking back a few cold ones before they swing by Mexican Old Navy for some swank khakis and designer sombreros.
Sure, we think America rocks – and America does rock. No question about it. What we don’t fathom is how much Mexico does not rock at all.
It’s not that they make slightly less money down there and wish they made more. Google the phrase “femicide in Juarez,” for a nice example of the world we so flippantly wish these people would simply remain in, with no questions, out of politeness and propriety.
It’s a lifeboat we’re talking about. We’re not letting them on our lifeboat, because the lifeboat is ours. That is the reality. Maybe it’s even how things have to be, sure.
But why the hate?
Is it because we’re so Christian? Not being a Christian myself, I’m having a hard time grasping that. My limited understanding of Jesus Christ indicates that Jesus is all about love.
Did you know Mexico is a Christian Nation, too? And I mean, not predominately, but really, really Christian. Go ahead and look for a Mexican Atheist down there – you’re more likely to find an Eskimo.
So if practicality really dictates that we can’t do the Christian thing here – which is help these people – then do you think that Jesus would at least teach us to love our fellow Christian human beings? That we could at least refrain from insulting them as we cast our judgment? That we could somehow in our hearts regret putting our boots in their teeth, as they try to climb aboard our life raft with their children, and as we kick them back into the ocean to die?
These are God’s children, folks. Here’s a non-Christian who very seldom sets foot in a church, pointing this out to you. Not legal and illegal versions of God’s children. His children, on His Earth, according to Your Bible.
I don’t believe that Jesus would make that distinction, legal and illegal. I was taught that Jesus loved us all, and that we should, too.
But I don’t know, fellow Americans. I don’t know, Christians. You tell me.