Last week I read a story about a high school in New York celebrating National Foreign Language week. In a celebration of different cultures and in the spirit that America is a country full of diversity and citizens from around the world, Pine Bush High School decided it would have a student recite the Pledge of Allegiance in a different language each morning that week.
Things went off the rails when they asked a girl to read the pledge in Arabic. Because apparently when we hear Arabic in America we instantly think terrorist. No, for real. Mere moments after finishing reciting the pledge, a poor high school girl was called a terrorist by fellow students. The ignorance of "This is America, speak English" began to fly. The class president who allowed the girl to read the pledge has been stripped of his duties as pledge reader each morning and will face possible impeachment. Because he let a girl read the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic. There is no lack of hate in America.
As an American, I usually think about what the Bible says about how we relate to foreigners in terms of undocumented immigrants. But this morning when I read Deuteronomy 10, I had another thought.
“For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. - Deuteronomy 10:17-19
This girl is in need of love. How many mosques were vandalized after 9/11 and could have used a loving hand to help them clean up. How many new citizens enter this country feeling lost, lonely, and rejected? I think we forget that people are not our enemy. If there's a living, breathing person, God loves them. There are sons and daughters of God who aren't home yet, and it's our love that will help show them the way! Race, language, nationality, non of these matter to God. We need to find a way of having them not matter to us.