If you know who Jose Antonio Vargas is, you can imagine how surprised I was that the staff at the Pulitzer Prize winner's new venture (#EmergingUS) reached out and invited me to write for them. They're doing a special web series about the racial/ethnic categories listed on US Census forms and what goes into our choices to identify by one of these options. Theirs is a very interesting concept integrating video and a few written pieces. I wrote this because the ethnic identity development journey is a complex one for Filipino Americans, and my story of struggling by grace from shame towards freedom is just one of many. You can read my short article here:
I had the great privilege of working with the team at Inheritance Magazine to put together a story on a memorable experience I had in Nashville. Not only did the challenge of telling the story help me to think through its meaning for myself and our community, but the process of putting the article together also reminded me that faithfully telling our stories- however unique they are- is always a shared effort. The link to the original version with images can be found here: http://inheritancemag.com/37-blind-spots/what-are-they-doing-here.
As a Christian pastor and aspiring ethicist (and politically independent Filipino American with many loved ones who came here as refugees), I want to make this clear for my friends who may be confused:
A "policy" of banning or "shutting down" Muslims or any other religious or racial/ethnic group is unchristian, immoral, and needs to be rejected. Sadly, it is also unoriginal and, not to mention, unfeasible. Many people confuse Christianity and Americanism, but ideas like this are neither.
Fear is always easier, especially these days. But if Christians should fear anything, let it be our own hatred and unfaithfulness for which there is already a "religious test": our treatment of Jesus in the least of these among us.
This is why I still support the good work of groups like World Relief and World Relief Chicago. With that, I also encourage my fellow Christians and community leaders to take responsibility in making this clear.
And if anything I'm saying here is confusing, we can meet in person after I'm done with the finals. And now, back to these papers.
[For the record and IRS purposes, these are my own personal thoughts and not those of any group I serve.]