Good Theology And Good Science
My son, Ben, is the teacher of a naturalization class in Greensboro, North Carolina. He went to Guilford College for his undergraduate degree. Guilford was founded by Quakers, who take a Biblical approach to immigrants.
"Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt." Exodus 22:21
"You are to have the same law for the alien and the native born." Leviticus 24:22
"He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s, and members of God’s household… "
It seems nothing short of hypocritical, then, for a person claiming to be a religious Jew or a faithful Christian to be anything but accepting of immigrants in his or her homeland.
Ours is a nation of immigrants. Everyone has immigration stories in his or her family. Even our native people came here originally on foot across the Bering Land Bridge.
Evolutionary biologists and anthropologists tell us we all can trace our original ancestry to the Niger River Valley in east Africa where Homo Sapiens first evolved 200,000 years ago.
From there our ancestors slowly, over thousands of years, explored, hunted, and began to leave Africa about 60,000 years ago, walking across the world.
The ones who walked north and west, apparently due to natural selection, lost the melanin in their skin over many generations, as a response to wearing clothing against the cold. It seems humans must have vitamin D, and the only way we can get it is through skin and irises exposed to the sun. The more clothes they wore, the ancestors with less melanin became the more successful survivors. Over time those who traveled north and west also self-selected for larger noses, to warm the cooler air.
But the bottom line is that if we go back far enough, we are all, originally, out of Africa. We are literally one people who have tribalized ourselves as we spread across the planet, over time forgetting that we have our humanity in common.
So it is enlightened Judeo-Christian theology to welcome and accept the immigrant...and good science to do so as well. Because, you see, "they" are "us".
Let us pray:
Dear Heavenly Father of Humankind,We thank you for faith and science, so that we can both believe and know. We thank you for the humanity that we all share, and we ask for the wisdom to see ourselves in others, and find Jesus in ourselves.We pray this in His name.Amen
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