Thursday, June 29, 2017

Immigration, Religious Diversity, and Community

Today the Trump Travel Ban goes into effect, making it difficult for people from six Muslim-majority nations to come to the country. It also puts a halt on welcoming refugees. At the same time the President is heralding bills in the House of Representatives targeting undocumented immigrants, and ultimately all immigrants. There is a lot of support for this, but much of it is rooted in fear of the other. There is a strong fear on the part of some in our country, mostly those who are of European extraction, that the nation is threatened by those whose color and religion are different from the majority. But is this fear warranted? Is the national ethos threatened by immigration, or is it being enriched?

Last week Cheryl and I were visiting family in the Fresno area. As we drove south from Fresno, I noticed a large Sikh Gurdwara off the highway. It was almost like a megachurch in size.  I commented on this to my in-laws, and discovered that there is a large Sikh community in the area, and that is is just one of the gurdwaras. Then, as we watched TV, ads sponsored by the Fresno Sikh community appeared. The message of these ads was that these folks, mostly immigrants, share the values that Americans say they treasure.

I would like to share one of these ads, because I think they speak powerfully of just one community of immigrants who enrich our nation with their presence.



As we near the Independence Day weekend, what do you hear in this message?  How might we be enriched by our diversity?

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