I’ve been reading comments, discussions and listening to conversations lately with an alarmingly consistent theme: “we need to take care of our own. Let them fend for themselves”.
Now, I’m all for countries and cultures standing independently and advocating for themselves and their people. Every country has marginalized classes, poverty, health issues, economic struggles and so on. No one is exempt, not even Canada. And for one country to continually aid another to such an extent that the “helpee” learns to rely on nothing but the aid from the “helper” is detrimental. But this is methodological, not values based.
It saddens me to hear of believers speaking of Mexicans… Haitians… Ukrainians… Thai… Chinese… Roma… peoples of all colours, races, histories and cultures… as “them”. In fact, it sounds almost like gangsta culture: “we take care of our own”. Has an eerie memory to it, does it not? Nazi Germany comes to mind. Somalia… Rwanada… Kosovo… Canadian residential schools…
Yes… Canada and the United States have millions of people who need time, care, attention, help and aid. We marginalize people too. And we offer what love we can as we should as followers of Christ. But as believers, our borders are not determined by modern politicians. It is abhorrent to even think: those lazy Mexicans polluting our country need to learn to stand on their own two feet while we take care of our own sufferings. God created cultures and races and loves diversity. These people are our family! How dare we speak of “us and them” in such a snide vein! Partnering with people of other cultures and countries to help end poverty, injustice, crime, oppression is a huge part of Christ’s mandate. So what’s with this exclusion policy?
What would have happened is Jesus had said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you that I will stay among my own people and let the rest of those idiots out there fend for themselves. We look to our own.” ???
Doesn’t jive, does it?
There still remains genuine prejudice, snobbery and even hatred from our country to other cultures. Sometimes the ill-will stems from the weariness of seeing the homeless wandering our own streets and we’re just sick of it. Often times though, it stems from selfish, uninformed and dangerous patterns of thinking that have been handed down from generation to generation. It tears me apart to say it, but even believers can still cling to vestiges of “white is right” to some degree or another. I see everyday where I work: anglo, francophone, aboriginal, eastern european, middle-eastern… all together and yet so far apart.
“Us and them” needs to go. It’s always been just “us”.