Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Not-So-Good-Old Days

The Kingdom of God is bigger than this country, and fulfilling the Great Commission does not depend on whether America becomes great again. If the present day is any indication, we are on our way to becoming a proverb and a byword among the nations. As Christians we carry dual-citizenship – heaven and whatever country is on our passports. The question is where does our allegiance truly lie? Our response to events like Charlottesville only brings it to light.

 

When the present world has changed in ways we don’t like, it’s easy to get nostalgic for “the good old days.” It’s also easy to appropriate our parents and grandparents nostalgia too. If only we could go back to the day when men were men and women were women. If only we could go back to the time where “traditional family values” were the norm. If only we could go back to when our country was made up of people like us and not overrun by “foreigners.” If only, if only. But what was it like in reality beyond the sepia photographs and romanticized accounts? I would argue, that the good old days were only good if you were in the privileged class.

If you go back before the 2nd wave of feminism, this was prior to the 1965 Immigration Act. It would have been extremely difficult and perhaps impossible for members of my family to immigrate and become American citizens. I can’t speak for my African American brothers and sisters, but have you ever asked them if they, their parents, or grandparents considered Jim Crow the good old days?

The Victorian era ideal has been passed down through the years as the standard for Christian women. Who would have been able to devote themselves to full-time domesticity? Only the privileged white upper and growing middle class, and this was only made possible by female slaves or servants. Again ask your African American brothers and sisters if they thought these were the good old days.

The Victorian era was the time when the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act was passed. Chinese men were permitted visas as cheap labor. Women were denied entry because the last thing Americans wanted was for Chinese to marry, have families, and, God forbid, become citizens. We were considered unassimilable and denied citizenship because we weren’t white. In a time of economic hardship, we were blamed for taking away jobs from the “real” Americans. The Chinese population was eventually driven from the country in 1882. You may think that this was in the distant past, and I am just over-reacting to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Read the rhetoric coming from the leaders of the anti-Chinese movement. It sounds the same to me.

We are not going to find comfort in trying to revisit the past unless it means looking back 2000 years to the cross where Jesus died to redeem people from every nation and tongue. The Kingdom of God is bigger than this country, and fulfilling the Great Commission does not depend on whether America becomes great again. If the present day is any indication, we are on our way to becoming a proverb and a byword among the nations. As Christians we carry dual-citizenship – heaven and whatever country is on our passports. The question is where does our allegiance truly lie? Our response to events like Charlottesville only brings it to light.

Persis Lorenti is an ordinary Christian. You can find her at Tried With Fire and Out of the OrdinaryThis article appeared on her blog and is used with permission.

The post The Not-So-Good-Old Days appeared first on The Aquila Report.



No comments:

Post a Comment