One love, one blood, one life, you got to do what you should
One life with each other: sisters, brothers
One life, but we’re not the same
We get to carry each other, carry each other
One, one – Bono
It is indeed a scary time in America and the world, by association. It used to be America set the tone for human rights as a symbol of unity amidst diversity. The mere idea of the United States says it all. We are made up of immigrants all seeking hope and opportunity. America has never been one ethnic group; it is a melting pot made up of multi-cultures and multi-colors. We are many and we are one. The Latin phrase on the Seal of the United States of America is “E pluribus unum” — “Out of many, one.” It’s not just one of the many things about this country; it’s the whole point.
As the “silent lips” of the Statue of Liberty still cry out:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” – Emma Lazarus
There is a strong movement in this country against what we have always stood for. It is a movement against unity. It is a movement that glorifies division and isolation. Instead of embracing the other, it fears the other. Instead of celebrating differences, it shuns differences. Instead of bridges, it builds walls. And it is growing and gaining steam. Send the homeless, tempest-tost away. Turn off the lamp. If you are different than us, we don’t want you. Go away. Who knows how far this will go, but it is not the America I know.
So where do we as Christians stand? Do we continue to hold up the banner of unity, or do we go along with the flow? For an answer, one doesn’t have to look much farther than Jesus, who said that if we look after the “least of these” we are looking after Him. He welcomed the Gentiles and the Samaritans. One of the first converts to Christianity was an Ethiopian. When the ones who were invited to the banquet turned down the invitation, He threw open the doors to anyone and everyone.
Bono sings we are one, but we are not the same, and that means that we get to carry each other. Carry each other — not drop each other.
“All for one, and one for all.”
You and I may not be able to stop this trend, but we sure have no business joining it. If you are a preacher, preach against it. If you have a voice, use it. Christianity and America have been pretty cozy as of late, but if America is truly going in this direction it is time to get out of bed.
If you want to be Christian and American, at least pick the right America. This new one isn’t anything like the original.