Recent elections in Europe alarm me. UKIP (UK Independent Party) came first in local elections last week and won 24 seats in the EU’s European Parliament (MEP). France’s Front National won 24 MEP seats as well. Both parties espouse ethnic nationalism. They’re anti-immigration and they hate the EU. Are we seeing 21st-century stirrings of Nazi Germany?
There’s nothing wrong with being pro-British or pro-French. I’m no fan of the EU either, since it is Bilderberg’s pet. But nationalism at the expense of other ethnicities, some of whom are citizens, is repugnant. Maybe some immigrants are stealing jobs from others. But maybe they humbly work harder for less pay too. I wish more people were like them.
Nigel Farage, UKIP leader and founding member, said he didn’t want Romanian neighbors. Other members said the nation’s blacks should return to Africa. William Wilberforce, MP would be rolling in his grave! I agree with UKIP on homosexuality and Islam. Sadly, the post-Christian UK loves homosexuals and same-sex marriage because its population has swallowed government and media propaganda. But UKIP seems less virulent on homosexuals than minorities. Why? This is racism and it’s not Christian.
America also has an immigration problem, partly because we seem so rich and the immigrants’ home nations seem so poor. America still has better economic and educational opportunities than many other countries. Some of these immigrants are good, some bad. Some come here legally, some don’t. So what do we do about them? We must help legal immigrants stand on their own two feet. We must also give illegal ones basic necessities, even those in prison, until they’re sent back. The caveat is refugees – economics, religion, politics, war, famine, etc. These we must shelter and help, until they seek legal status or until their home situation changes and they return. Lebanon has done wonders with its one million Syrian refugees, even though their presence is fast becoming a humanitarian crisis. Still, I’m glad Lebanon has decided to educate refugee children.
Immigration is a serious economic and social problem. Each nation must address it in its own way. But we must never forget that immigrants are people too. In the end, we all came from somewhere else. One or more of our ancestors were immigrants. This is why ethnic nationalism is so dangerous. Citizens who harbor such an outlook refuse to mainstream immigrants. As a result, they’re strangers on the fringe of society. Governments who harbor it tend to persecute immigrants or kill them. It’s just one step from ostracization to the gas chamber.
The Western world’s treatment of Jews before and during World War II was a moral outrage. We think we’re better than Hitler. But refusing to shelter refugees, then and now, makes us just as bad. The heart of mankind is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9).* Therefore, anyone can become another Hitler.
Before they left Egypt, God told Israel that there will be “one law … for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you” (Exodus 12:49; cf Leviticus 24:22, Numbers 15:16, 29). In the wilderness, he told them they must not “mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. … You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger. … You shall love him as yourself” – just as God does (Exodus 22:21, 23:9; Leviticus 19:34, Deuteronomy 10:18-19). Israelites were also told to leave gleanings “for the poor and the stranger” (Leviticus 19:10, 23:22; Deuteronomy 24:19-21). Strangers were allowed to use cities of refuge too (Numbers 35:15, Joshua 20:9).
Boaz believed and obeyed God. This is why he was kind to Ruth, a famine refugee from Moab (Ruth 2:8-17). Boaz sheltered her because he knew God did (2:12, Psalm 146:9). What if 20th- and 21st-century ethnic nationalists had met Ruth? I shudder to think of it.
“I was a stranger and you took me in.” – Matthew 25:35
We should all “entertain strangers,” since “some have unwittingly entertained angels” (Hebrews 13:2). Most aren’t angels, just immigrants and refugees. But we should be kind to them anyway.
* All Scripture verses are NKJV unless otherwise noted.