Not everybody realizes that the most catalytic of the Founding Fathers – Alexander Hamilton – was an immigrant. In fact, he was the only one not born here but on an island in the Caribbean. He could not claim any of the colonies as home, and it was that sense of national orphanhood that drove him to work for the creation of a nation while others were merely satisfied with a federation. He could not say, “I am a New Englander, or a Virginian.” He was foreign born. This is why he teamed up with two Founding Fathers born here, James Madison and John Jay, and as the Federalist papers reveal, they plotted and succeeded in steering what was convened as a commerce convention into a Constitutional Convention that gave birth to the United States of America and saw George Washington elected its first president.
Once on Washington’s cabinet, as Secretary of the Treasury, he conceived and championed the idea of the federal government assuming the colonies’ war debts in exchange for the creation of the First National Bank and authorization for the federal government to print money and to levy excise taxes. This three-pronged thrust provided the government with the means to lead and build a nation made up of colonies and not the other way around. He also worked for the creation of a Federal City – today Washington D.C. – so that the seat of government wouldn’t be in any of the 13 colonies but on neutral ground. When Thomas Jefferson, a fellow cabinet member, showed no interest in the war debt swap because Virginia had no sizeable debt, Hamilton offered to have the Federal City built closer to Richmond, moving the vortex of power away from Philadelphia and placing what today is Washington DC at an equidistant point between north and south
when his family fled to Egypt to avoid political persecution and genocide. Jesus spent his childhood years in a foreign land. Later on, when He could not carry the cross any longer because of the brutal punishment inflicted on him by the Romans, it was a foreigner, Simon of Cyrene, most likely a black person, who carried it for him. Foreign blood was no stranger to the Son of God since Rahab, a Canaanite harlot before she became part of Israel, is listed as Jesus’ ancestor and as the mother of Boaz who married another foreigner, Ruth from Moab.
In the Bible, every time God chose to transform a powerful nation or empire, He used an immigrant or children of immigrants: Moses, Daniel, Joseph and Esther. Moses was the son of immigrants born in a ghetto, the land of Goshen, to a family that did the work despised by the ruling class. Out of necessity he had to be given up for adoption and not permitted to speak of his ethnic roots. Esther, born in a foreign land, also had to hide her identity and ancestry, but both rose to prominence. Daniel and Joseph had every reason to hate their host nations but both of them chose to serve it and make it prosperous.
What these Bible characters, Jesus, and Alexander Hamilton included, have in common besides being immigrants, is that all were mistreated and abused but they chose to forgive and helped their host nation become a better place. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a modern example of the power of returning good for evil dispensed by an ethnic person.
The USA is a nation of immigrants but of immigrants who chose to adopt it as their homeland to grow roots and to make it great. Immigrants, and children of immigrants, are not the problem but the raw material out of which the solution for national crisis can be carved. One out of four police officers is non-white and there is not a single ethnic neighborhood that is totally non-white. The most catalytic word of the three for which USA stands is U-N-I-T-E-D. There is far more that unites us than divides us, but the climate is so bad that we don’t see it. Evil is becoming systemic, and the only solution is to change the spiritual climate over the nation by adopting police officers and neighborhoods for both groups to feel affirmed, blessed, supported and cared for, which is the practical way to bless people.
This is not mere theory; it is gospel truth as explained in my book Prayer Evangelism. And it works: violent crime decreased 93% in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and 80% in Newark, New Jersey. Recently, the city of Vallejo, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Bay Area, saw a 30% decrease in crime after 30% of its streets were adopted in prayer.
In the late 1970’s, Argentina (where Ruth and I grew up) changed from a peaceful, law-abiding nation to a scalding volcano of violence. In a surprisingly short time, an ugly wedge that no one saw coming, was driven between law enforcement and poor neighborhoods, and the impotence of politicians, coupled with the uninformed idealism of the young, allowed extremists to exploit that divide to do MAJOR damage to the social fiber of the country. Thirty thousand people died, mostly young people, and some of them classmates of mine. All of them were sacrificed on the altar of violence by a few but determined left and right wing agitators while those in the middle succumbed to their crossfire.
I see the same storm beginning to brew here in the U.S., and if the U.S. goes under, other nations will follow. This type of situation is like dictators, inflation and obesity: the best time to overcome them is before they settle in! The Bible states that the entire creation is eagerly longing for the manifestation of the children of God. Who are “the children of God”? According to Jesus, the peacemakers are the children of God. He did not say the peacekeepers but the peacemakers. The former are similar to UN troops keeping opposing bands from shooting at each other but with no solution for the root problem. Peacemakers are looking out for the good of everyone but know that first they need to win the war that enshrined evil to get the right to roll out terms for peace.
The war that has to be declared and won is the war on hate. Pitting police against ethnic folks, mostly poor ones and quite a few illegal/undocumented immigrants, is a recipe for disaster. Agitators from both sides are dousing this volatile environment with misguided words and deeds, and like with gasoline, all it takes is one spark for everything to go up in flames. That spark could easily come from mishandling the issue of immigrants to move the conflict to an unmanageable level. This is a serious problem and one that could easily escalate.
I firmly believe that we can see the U.S. turn from disgrace to amazing grace, but we need to act now. If we get to the 2016 elections in this out of control spiritual climate, we could well hit the point of no return. The time to act is now, before despair sets in. This is why we have launched two companion programs: Adopt-A-Cop and Adopt-Your-Street (neighborhood). Go to www.transformourworld.org and sign up.