Divided by face or United by faith?
I was asked to write a comment on the article in the Wall Street Journal, “New Faces of Childhood” (Apr. 6, 2011 by Conor Dougherty). The article reports the results of the 2010 USA Census. According to the report, the White, Black, and Native American population under 18 years old are declining while the Hispanic and Asian, especially Hispanic population are growing rapidly.
The news article shows us facts and statistics but does not tell implications of the change that we are facing now. Is this change opportunity or a threat or just a change? Do we need to prepare something based on this new information?
I believe that such change of faces is neither opportunity nor a threat. However, some politicians or religious leaders can make a big deal about it. They can make intentional policies and programs either to foster the change or to block the change. They can take advantage of this change for their own agenda.
However, as long as we keep our unity and faith in the dignity of all human beings, such change is simply a change. At the last Western Jurisdiction meeting, some Korean Americans tried to elect a Korean American bishop. They said, “There is already one Japanese American bishop in our Jurisdiction. When we consider what Japanese people did to other Asian people, we should have other Asian bishop.” I replied to them, “I do not see any Japanese bishop here. I see only United Methodist bishop.” Even though they are Japanese descent, they think, act, and talk as United Methodists. We should not divide people by faces. We should be united by our faith in the loving God who is the Creator of all peoples.
Some may try to foster conflicts between different races or cultures by emphasizing difference among them. Some people may even argue that the White people should have more babies to keep the dominant White European Christian culture! Such an argument is based on the cultural studies that a woman should have 2.1 babies for a society to keep its identity. They say that Europe is going to be a Muslim continent by 2050.
What we have to do is to spread the respect for each other and love for all human beings. Regardless of their faces and cultures, we have to nurture the culture of inclusiveness and respect. We need to build communities of love all over the world. Whether they are Islam countries or communist countries, once people start respecting other lives, they would come to know Jesus, who died for all sinners as God. Let us teach this Jesus, who would willingly die on the Cross for sinners, to all peoples with different faces! Let us make our country, USA, a country united under God with love and respect. (Of course, if necessary, we should teach them in their own languages and in their own cultural settings!)