Thursday, September 8, 2011

The World in Miniature

I recently ran across some interesting numbers on the makeup of the world’s population, as follows:

If the total number of people on the globe were reduced to a 1000, over half of them,  564, would be Asians, 210 Europeans, only 86 North Americans, and 60 South Americans. Of these same 1000 people, 300 could be identified as Christians, 176 as Muslims, 128 as Hindus, 55 as Buddhists, and 47 as Animists.

This means we are all a part of a minority faith and culture of some kind. Unless we were successful in converting huge numbers into becoming just like ourselves, we will have to learn to get along with people of all kinds who differ from us. And increasingly, this diversity of people is right around us, with our local public high school students now representing some 40 different languages of origin, students for whom English is not their family’s native tongue.

Tuesday I had lunch with a community leader who wanted to discuss my op-ed piece on Sharia law in the Labor Day edition of the local paper. He expressed grave concern that the kind of diversity we’ve allowed is a threat to our American values, culture and way of life.

For him, the solution was simple and urgent. Bring our troops home from far flung wars and military bases around the world and have them tightly seal our borders. Period. All immigration should immediately come to a halt, as the only way to keep us from being overrun by foreign elements and from our losing our identity as a genuinely "American" society.

Real Americans, presumably, should speak only English and be largely Caucasian and predominantly Christian. Nations elsewhere would maintain their own distinct languages, races and religions, of course, but for us to be a strong and stable society we should pull up our welcome mat, have Lady Liberty lay down her torch and rebuild the way of life we enjoyed before all of the Asians, Africans, South and Central Americans and members of every European nationality on the map poured across our borders--thanks to lax Homeland Security and Border Control by the native American population!

By contrast, the welcoming vision of the future described in the Apocalypse, in the last book of Christian Bible is as follows:

"After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb." Revelation 7:9

(The "Lamb" is the name used in the Revelation for the non-violent and redeeming presence of God in the world)
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