Next Generation Church: Reform 7 – the immigration issue
Reform 7 within the 12 Reform platform for evangelism calls for action on the preservation of western culture. If you go to Part Four in my second book Against Our Night I suggest some quite stringent qualification tests are applied to immigrants to ensure proper integration occurs.
A western Church calling for the preservation of western culture would be taking a leadership role on the whole immigration debate, but that role has to rest on a factual and a principled base. Let’s deal with the factual side first. We know that integration of the large numbers of migrants into Western Europe is not happening. Even Angela Merkel has admitted as much. It would appear, from the experience of African American integration following the civil war (1860-65) that majority populations can integrate small numbers of a new ‘other culture’ entering their communities.
Acclaimed African American academic Thomas Sowell goes into this in some detail in his book Discrimination and Disparities (2018). During the last decades of the 19th Century blacks in the North of the U.S. were integrating well. They gained the vote, went to the same schools, got elected to public office and lived in the same neighbourhoods. Economic success began to increase and they did a good job adapting to majority European values.
It was only when large numbers of poor blacks came up from the south to work in industry that things went off the rails. They were poorly educated and held to attitudes and ways of being that offended white values. There was a white backlash which the in-place African American community saw coming. They were as equally upset by it all as the whites. Despite this setback, things were looking good again by the 1960s with poverty levels dropping dramatically. Then the left introduced family planning and social welfare, encouraging blacks in particular to avail themselves of this largess. The results for blacks in many large urban areas was disastrous. Families disintegrated, abortions increased to something like 70% of conceptions and poverty rose sharply. Nevertheless there has been a large measure of integration, which is only being challenged by the lefts promotion of minority grievances. Parallels can be made with recent immigration into Europe where leftist policies of welfare provision and lax vetting has created the non-integration problem, which is fuelling indigenous resentment.
The lesson to be learned here is that things take time – a lot more time if the authorities have been foolish enough to allow large numbers of immigrants into settled indigenous communities. Integration is possible if it is carefully managed. That didn’t happen in the U.S. and it has not happened of late in Europe. We have seen the problems it created in the U.S. How much worse might it be in Europe?
The Christian’s role in all of this is to call for a moratorium on immigration (not genuine refuges), from countries with very different cultures, until integration of existing migrants has been achieved. Once that happens the re-continuation of immigration, other than selected skilled migration, should be put to the people via a referendum.
Christians have to push the point that God’s values and principles insofar as they are integral to the West’s values (as they are), are universal. They will work equally well with any human, no matter what their colour because all humans are made in God’s image. The fact that the Judeo-Christianised West advanced far ahead of other cultures in most fields proves their power.
Christians should also be calling for integration to be based on the West’s founding Judeo-Christian values; that’s the principled side of things to which I alluded earlier. Those values include respect for human rights and the rule of existing law. Freedom of religion is also a fundamental right, but in the West it cannot be the freedom to engage in religio-cultural practices that violate existing law and the West’s values. Female genital mutilation, unlawful marriage practices, excitement to violence on religious grounds, the denial of equal rights for women, going overseas to fight against their adopted country’s interests, young white female ‘grooming’, honour attacks, violent action against religious conversion and overseas funding of schools promoting these travesties cannot be tolerated. The Church should be taking the lead in condemning these practices; calling civic leaders to uphold the rule of law and the principle of equality before the law. Can you see how doing this would restore respect for Christianity and open up opportunities for evangelism when combined with the other 11 Reforms?