Monday, January 31, 2011

A Puzzler

I must admit that US foreign policy is a puzzle to me.

The US invaded Iraq to spread freedom, liberty, and democracy, right? It had nothing to do with oil or the attempted assassination of Bush senior. I think I remember hearing things about Iraq becoming a beacon of freedom and democracy in the region that would invite all of its Arab neighbors to join it.

The closest US allies in the region are dictators such as the Saudia Arabian royal family, Mubarak in Egypt, the royal family in Jordan, and the now ousted dictator of Tunisia. Why is it that the US government fears democracy in those countries? Perhaps it is because democracy is a flawed system and they know the results such a system will produce. It may produce democratically elected Islamic governments as occurred in Palestine (Hamas), Hezbollah in Lebanon, or some of the Islamic parties seen in Turkey and Pakistan.

In the end, the word "democracy" is a piece of propaganda that our government uses when it wants to as an excuse to do something like invade Iraq. Ultimately, it is a philosophy they fear when it is applied to other places such as Egypt.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I went on an excursion with 6 other people from church to watch the meteor shower last night. It was originally going to be a cross country ski trip but for reasons I'm not entirely sure about, we decided instead to go hiking. We decided to go up Flattop mountain. The trailhead is an easy drive from Anchorage. Flattop is just over 1000 meters in height. The first 4/5 of the trail was nice. It was challenging enough to keep someone like my sister Bethanie entertained, but not treacherous. The last portion of the trail to the peak of Flattop is treacherous. Not only that, but the last 75 feet of trail before reaching the summit is this not quite vertical ice shelf. We decided that since we were so close to the summit, we might as well go all the way to the top. Afterwards we decided that it was a classic case of group think in which we made decisions as a group that we would never have made individually.

So going up that last 75 feet was treacherous, but doable. You just focused on the next toehold or fingerhold while trying to ignore the fact that you were at a kilometer of elevation in the middle of the winter. The view from the top was absolutely phenomenal. The half moon illuminated things tremendously, being reflected brilliantly by the snow. The meteors were brilliant. However, the wind absolutely howled up there and temps were around zero. We were all dressed for the weather, but it was definitely cold.

I was also beginning to feel like a cat who had climbed a tree only to realize that it couldn't get back down. The path back down looked so much more vertical from above than it did on the ascent from below. Furthermore, it was obvious that if you slipped, you were going to not stop sliding for quite a ways and would pick up a great rate of speed. 10 feet to the right of the trail was a precipice off which a fall really didn't look survivable. To the left of the trail it looked like the ice covered service extended down about 75 feet with occasional jagged boulders protruding through. I began to remember various trauma patients I had cared for and knew for a certainty that if a single misstep occurred while descending the ice field, I would be lucky to get away with just some chest trauma or an orthopedic injury. Did I mention that I really, really don't like heights?

Two of the guys who were along had a fair bit of mountain experience. It was obvious to me that they felt like we had made a poor decision in climbing to the summit with the inadequate mountaineering equipment we had with us. We really had no ice climbing equipment. We had lights, sleeping bags, and food but that was it. So they instructed us on how to basically crawl down the ice field with your back pressed against the ice. The technique basically involves lying flat your back. You attempt to maintain some sort of traction on the ice with three limbs while pounding a foothold into the ice with the heel of your foot. Once confident that the "ice step" you've created will hold your weight, you slide down the few inches until your heel is resting in it, and then begin the process all over again with the heel of your opposite foot. In this manner you descend a few inches at a time. Meanwhile, your hands being pressed against the ice sheet make you begin to wonder why you can't hardly feel them anymore. All this while the precipice is off to the immediate right and the boulders are immediately below.

Somehow we all managed to inch our way down the ice field safely with no major misadventures. As we got lower, the snow became deeper and covered the protruding death boulders. Then I learned how to glissade. If descending the almost vertical ice field was one of the most terrifying things I have ever done, glissading was one of the most exhilarating. To glissade is basically a fancy term meaning that you slide down the mountain in a seated position pretending that you are riding a sled when in fact you are sliding rapidly down the mountain in a seated position without a sled. In this manner we rapidly descended what had taken us a good 45 minutes of climbing.

It was a beautiful night. I was thankful to be alive and healthy and that all of the other climbers were OK. I even thought today about getting ice climbing gear and taking alpine mountaineering lessons. Then I thought about feeling like a cat all bushed out at the top of a tree and decided it was much more comfortable down here in the valley. However, when taking care of a busted up trauma patient in the future, I no longer have the right to ask myself "I wonder what in the world he was thinking." Instead, I’ll be thinking, “That could have very easily been me.”

Below is a picture from the internet of how Flattop looks during the day this time of year.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Cat Wars

Here is a picture of my cat where I think that she belongs...

This is a picture of my cat where she thinks she belongs.
The cat wars commenced soon after I my sofa was delivered to my house. I'm all for having a cat snuggled up with you while your reading a book comfortably on the living room furniture. The great deal on the furniture at a super discount furniture store clouded my judgement and I failed to foresee that my cat's affinity for comfy furniture would result in clumps of hair that are annoyingly visible. I lost the battle the first week, and had almost decided that it was a lost cause. However, then I remembered that my house has an upstairs thermostat and a downstairs thermostat. I cranked the heat way down on the downstairs one. This resulted in a rather remarkable temperature differential between the two levels of the house, and the cat is now much happier sleeping on a pile of laundry upstairs than she is downstairs on the furniture.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Visions of Ham Catastrophes

The week was crazy and quite frankly left me feeling a little bit like I might make a good Proverbs 31 woman. Besides having one of the busiest operative case loads of any week since I started working I also cooked enough ham to feed 40 people for Thanksgiving dinner, hosted a visiting missionary from Uganda and then had a bunch of people over for Sunday lunch. It feels a little bit like being a hamster running on one of those wheels except the wheel seems to be spinning just a little bit faster than you can run.

My church had a potluck Thanksgiving meal. After signing up to bring the ham, I then panicked and realized that I had no idea how to prepare it and maybe shouldn't be venturing into such an endeavor when 40 people would be able to witness the disastrous results. First of all, I had no idea how much ham I needed to feed that number of people. After 20 minutes of staring at the pile of ham at the grocery store, I finally decided to lose all pride and find some grandmotherly looking person and ask her how much to buy. Fortunately the random grandmotherly person I encountered was full of wise advise regarding how much to buy although I think she thought it a bit strange to be stopped by some desperate random stranger asking such things.

I then realized that I had no clue how to go about preparing it for consumption. After looking up several very conflicting internet recipes, I broke down and got more advice, this time from a grandmotherly appearing lady in the hospital where I was doing rounds. She was full of sage advice regarding ham preparation, and didn't stop talking about it until well after she had exceeded my attention span.

Fortunately, the ham turned out OK and there was exactly the right amount. So on this Thanksgiving weekend, I am thankful that I avoided a ham catastrophe. I am also thankful for my church and the opportunity to have people to share ham with. That being said, I may sign up to bring the rolls next year....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Remembrance Day

This past week was Remembrance Day here in the US of A. It is not a holiday that I generally pay any attention to, other than being annoyed at the inconvenience of the post office being closed or the bank shuttered.

The church I attend now has much more preaching on the peace position and our role as peacemakers in the world than any church I have ever attended previously. It is a focus I enjoy and agree with. I also had to chuckle at a recent bumper sticker I saw that said something to the effect of... "Our country will have its priorities right when education is fully funded and the military has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber."

However, despite my lack of support for the military as an entity, I was more aware this year of the sacrifices many have made while doing what our government told them to do. The first is a resident I trained with in general surgery. He and his wife live here in Anchorage with their two toddlers. He was deployed to Qatar for a six month tour of duty leaving his wife and children to do the single parent thing.

The other person who has made the military and its sacrifices more real to me is a man who works in my office. He was a marine and spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was in Fallujah when they had to go house to house fighting the Al Qaida insurgents. He saw horrible things and had to do horrible tings. The war and the friends he lost in it seem to never be far from his mind. Remembrance Day was important to him because he was remembering friends.
He brought a book in to work, that was much like a high school yearbook. In the front it had several pages of pictures of those in his company who had died, followed by pages of pictures from their time overseas. It was moving to look through that book and feel the trauma of war.

On this Remembrance Day, I prayed that God would care for the families separated by war. I prayed that God would heal both the warriors who have fought, and the communities of people that have been destroyed by war. Most of all, I thank God for the privilege of living in a place blessed with peace.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The inanities of Daylight Savings Time

Entering my first winter this far north, I have concluded that it is utterly inane for a state at this latitude to adopt Daylight Savings Time. The bureaucrats who signed this state up for this time saving mechanism must have either been crazed by sun deprivation or eternal day.

Today time changed and I turned my clock back an hour like most of you did. However, tomorrow when I go to work, the sun will not be up yet and when I get home it will most likely have set already just like it was before the time change!! That makes the whole exercise seem rather pointless and futile to me. Perhaps this the westernmost portion of the continent on which we reside should protest this insanity by joining the easternmost portion in having clocks set a half hour different year round.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Termination Dust

Termination dust admittedly sounds like what some sci-fi novel might call your remains after your vaporization by a weird alien. I have discovered that is not in fact what the term describes. Living in a new land with its own set of seasonal rhythm and characteristics is interesting.

A few weeks back I experienced my first earthquake. I was getting ready to drain an abscess when my patient said, "Either there is an earthquake coming or else you gave me some really good medicine. You might want to hold off for a second doc." I then noticed that feeling you get when you feel a train coming before you actually hear it or see it. This was followed by a feeling kind of like being out on a boat when the water is rough. About the time I began to wonder if it was going to stop or get worse, it chose the former option.

I quickly learned that the first thing you do after an earthquake is run to the internet to check how strong it was. That way you can know exactly how close you were to an untimely demise. Unfortunately the sudden rush of people to computers causes the website that report such things to crash. I guess it is a ritual I need to become accustomed to living in the most seismologically active part of North America. All in all it was a bizarre experience. The idea that the ground doesn't move is one of those things that I had in my brain alongside of rules such as the constant effect of gravity, the inability of humans to walk through solid matter, or the concept that time moves forward and cannot be reversed.

In addition to earthquakes, the other weird thing here is the experience of watching the colder seasons march inexorably towards you before you see them. Termination dust is the first dusting of snow that appears on the lowest level of the mountains where it is cold enough for snow not to be liquid. The mountains beside my house were initially snow free. Every day I look at them and see that the termination dust is moving ever steadily my way. It feels as though winter is stalking you and that you are fighting a losing battle as it marches steadily towards you.

I haven't ever experienced a winter that gave you so much warning it was coming. It adds a sense of anticipation to the season. It is nice to live in a place where the rhythm of nature does not follow the pattern I am used to. It adds an element of newness and wonder that is difficult to capture in one's adult life where there is less and less in the world of nature that seems new and unpredictable.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Sinister Sheep

"I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but..." is one of my least favorite lines to hear conversationally. However, it is an apt way to begin this post. I am certain that I am on to a rather sinister plot for world domination being implemented by the Dall sheep of Alaska.

It all started as a whale-watching excursion. Various random strangers in places like gas stations or the grocery store had felt compelled to tell me that the belugas were back in the Turnagain Arm and that they had seen them. Seeing a whale seems to give certain people a special kind of joy that they cannot keep to themselves and therefore feel compelled to share with complete strangers. Labour Day evening therefore found me driving home along the Turnagain Arm after a day spent watching a tidal bore (it was a bore), beluga whales, seals, and salmon when I came across the following scene.
This is the major highway connecting Anchorage to all points south, and I had never seen vehicles pulled off to the side of the road like this before. Being a herd animal, I decided to pull of myself and see what was going on.
Upon slowing down, I noticed these people with rather expensive looking machinery, and figured that the attraction must be in the direction indicated by the machinery.
Sure enough! Below are a few pictures of the Dall sheep grazing along the ridge overlooking the highway.

Why in the world would wild sheep want to eat grass along the highway when they can have nice clean grass way high up on the mountain or back along some deserted ridge? Why in the world would a herd of sheep want to be around noisy vehicles eating grass that surely must taste a little bit of gasoline or diesel? I think that I am on to them. If you look at the first few pictures, you will see that this highway is a two-lane highway. Posted speed limits are between 55-65 mph. Obviously all of these people walking along the highway with their vehicles parked illegaly were creating a hazard to both themselves and oncoming traffic. My theory is that all of the sheep at the annual Dall sheep convention decided that the human herd was growing too large. They therefore decided to create a traffic hazard by posing along major highways, thereby endangering the tourists (like myself) who would feel compelled to stop and take pictures. Fortunately, on this day, their dastardly plot failed as no humans were injured as a result of these photographs. However, be afraid. Be very, very afraid.
This is the Turnagain Arm. Sorry. No belugas. They're not very photogenic.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summer vacation

Supposedly I moved to Alaska to work. So far, I have behaved more like a tourist, spending most of my time hiking and fishing. It is a great time of year to play tourist in Alaska. These tourist type of activities have been punctuated by occasional reminders -- hospital orientation, credentialing committees, onerous paperwork -- that eventually I am going to have to start working again. This will become a reality on September 1.

Up until this point, I have always worked under the supervision of someone else. The prospect of being out from under that supervision is both exciting and slightly daunting. I am eager for the ability to form relationships and treatment plans with my patients and then see those plans through to completion. As a resident, I was often only involved with a patient at one point along the journey of preoperative care, surgery, recovery, and postoperative care. I am eager for longer term patient relationships.

I am also eager to get back into the OR again and do cases. There is something about being in the OR that gets into a person's blood. Not having worked for a couple of months, I am definitely eager to get back to doing surgery again. It is very gratifying to work through a diagnostic challenge, successfully perform an operation, and then help the person through the postoperative recovery. Ideally it is a very rewarding journey that makes someone else's life better.

However, no matter how good you are as a surgeon, you will have complications. It is inevitable that there will be people who you operate on that are worse off after the operation than they were before. If someone has colon cancer, I can take their colon out, but I cannot tell them with 100% confidence that they won't have a heart attack, get a pneumonia, or have a leak where I reconnect their colon. Some of those patients even die as a direct result of the fact that you did surgery on them. I think that being out in practice on my own now, I will feel a higher level of personal ownership of these complications than I did as a resident.

In any case, it is good to be done with formal training. It was really good to have 2 months of vacation between residency and starting work. However, I am itching to get started and am really hoping that I don't have a perineal evisceration (no, you don't want to know) as my first case like one of my colleagues did who started a month before me.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A trip to Haiti

Visiting Haiti this past month brought back a lot of memories. There is something about being in a place and experiencing its sounds and smells that jogs the memory like nothing else. When I was a teenager, my family lived in a small Haitian community for a year. I returned there for a visit 5 years following my family's departure, but did not return for the next 15 years.

It was somewhat surreal returning to a place after 15 years of being away. I didn't recognize some of the people, while others like Pastor Paul and his wife are timeless. It certainly was a small taste of heaven being able to visit people that my family knew 2o years ago.

I also very much enjoyed seeing where my sister Bethanie works. Despite the years that she has been down there, I never had the opportunity to see where she was working until now. Although she is a very descriptive writer, there is nothing like seeing the place for oneself. After seeing the work that she does, I came to the conclusion that she is the closest thing to a saint, in the Catholic sense of the word, that I know.

Here are a few pictures from the trip....

Here we are at the MAF airport, arranged by height. The MAF pilot was wonderful, and helped us escape what would have been hours of bouncing along awful roads while moving at a snails pace.

A vaccination post with Bethanie. Not shown is Claude, the main source of entertainment for the event.
Bethanie and I at the top of the mountain. The valley below is where she and many of her patients live. They could have climbed the mountain in a fraction of the time that we did.

Here we are climbing the mountain overlooking Bethanie's house. It was a pretty steep climb. The little guy leading the way for us obviously thought that we were pretty wimpy climbers.

Here Bethanie is treating a hand wound. The man is a mason and must continue to work despite a fairly serious wound.

This picture is of Bethanie in the clinic warehouse. The clinic distributes medications and has a number of patients with HIV or TB who are given food as part of their treatment.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

How a Seemingly Innocuous Day Degenerated into a Flight to the Wrong Country as a Perpetrator of Domestic Violence

The day came upon me harmless enough, introducing itself through the annoying yet innocuous means of my alarm clock. My sister, Bethanie, has lived in Haiti for several years, and i have yet to visit her there. That was all going to change today. I moseyed out of my friend's house where I had spent the night about 30 minutes later than originally planned, but early enough to still catch my flight to Port au Prince.

I returned the rental car without incident, and caught the shuttle to LaGuardia. I had just flown in there the day before. Oddly, the automatic check in kiosk wouldn't issue me a boarding pass and instructed me to speak to an agent. This entailed standing in a long line for 20 minutes, the only entertainment being the irate man berating a ticket agent for her insistence on charging him $200 for some service the airline was wishing to provide him.

I finally reached the ticket agent and stated that the machine had been unable to help me. She examined the gibberish that the machine had printed out for me, and explained that it seemed to think that there was a problem with my departure city.

The feeling of realization that came over me is akin only to that experienced by those who have a dream where they are in the middle of giving a public speech only to realize that they are half clothed. My worst dream of that nature was one in which I was doing a leg amputation and realized that I had amputated the left leg instead of the right leg. That kind of a dream is a terrible sinking feeling at its worst. Fortunately, the amputation dream resolved itself by the discovery that the patient was on his stomach rather than his back and the correct leg had been amputated after all, but I digress.

I suddenly realized that I was at the wrong airport. I was supposed to be at JFK, but was actually at LaGuardia. There was no way to get over there and checked in before the departure of my flight.

The ticket agent at JFK was helpful. In fact, she went way beyond helpful. She booked me standby on a flight to Miami and then on to Haiti the next morning. There was no fee for this even though it was obviously my fault. Furthermore, she refused to charge me a baggage fee even though one of my suitcases was overweight by 2 lbs. I like nice people, and am not accustomed to finding many of them working in airports.

I then made my way through the security process and to the departure gate. The flight to Miami looked very full, and the standby list had 13 names on it including my own. Things did not look good for me. They started boarding the plane, and it soon became apparent who my fellow standby participants were. One was an African gentleman who appeared to be Somali and didn't speak much English. He got in the boarding line repeatedly only to be told each time to wait for his name to be called by the boarding agents. Another man kept going to the counter every few minutes to see if he had a seat yet. A tired looking man was slumped in the corner not looking too hopeful. A young woman with a baseball cap, two black and blue eyes, and some other very impressive facial bruises kept anxiously looking at the standby list between applying makeup in a hopelessly inadequate attempt to conceal the evidence of whatever incident had occurred in her life.

Finally everyone was boarded, and the standby list was down to 9 people. I gave up hope of making it on that flight. About 10 minutes later they called my name and one other one saying that we had seats on the flight. I was overjoyed as I collected my ticket. The stewardess instructed me and the lady with the black and blue eyes to follow her to our seats as they were in a hurry and needed to depart quickly.

It turns out that our seats were at the very back of the plane. As I walked past all of the plane's passengers, following the stewardess and the lady with the bruises, I realized that lots of people were glaring at me! It dawned on me that since this lady and I were boarding the plane together 10 minutes after everyone else, people thought I must be the source of her black and blue eyes!

Even though I was flying to the wrong country and was viewed by many as the perpetrator of domestic violence, I was just very grateful to be on board and hope to make it to the correct airport at the correct time tomorrow.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Music of Authenticity

I was recently thinking about some of the music I enjoy listening too. Some of it I enjoy listening to simply because of the sound itself, whether it is the vocals or the instrumentation. Other pieces of music are just very intellectually stimulating while also being aesthetically pleasing. Arvo Part, Philip Glass, Vivaldi, Bach all fall into this category for me. Another category of music contains a theme or a message that I listen to the music to receive. A lot of Christian music falls into this category.

My favorite music, though, is that which expresses the deepest emotions of the author. Several great examples of this that I deeply enjoy are Mozart's Requiem, Steven Curtiis Chapman's album Beauty Will Rise, and the song When The Tigers Broke Free by Pink Floyd.

Mozart started the composition of his requiem in the final months of his life as his health was failing. Though he was able to complete a rough draft, he did not survive to complete the piece. However, the result is a powerful piece of music. I think much of the power of the piece comes from the authenticity of the emotion about death the author was experiencing. I have only heard a live performance of this piece once. It was wonderful, and reduced me to tears at one point. However, the elderly lady a row in front of me provided a source of distraction for those of us within 10 feet of her as her hearing aid would screech rather loudly when the music rapidly changed from loud to quiet.

The album Beauty Will Rise was recorded by Steven Curtis Chapman a year after the sudden, accidental death of his 5 year old daughter. He calls the album his "personal psalms." Like the Biblical psalmists, he very authentically describes his emotions of loss and the subsequent questions about God, yet always manages to come back to a trust in God's control and ultimate goodness. What could be tacky and sappy if written by someone else is something very powerful and moving when written by someone who experienced a pain so deep that he nearly retired from his career as a musician.

My final favorite example of authentic music is When The Tigers Broke Free by Pink Floyd. In it, Roger Waters describes the pointless death of his father in WW II when he himself was only 5 months old. When he talks of the pointlessness of the death, the lack of regard the military command had for the life of ordinary men, and the callous impersonal nature of a condolence letter signed by the king with a stamp rather than an actual signature, it transports you to the place of emotion that he experienced. The result is a poignant piece of music expressing the pain of loss and pointlessness of war that is only so within the context of the life experience of the author.

Wouldn't it have been easier for Mozart to just go ahead and die and forget about writing his Requiem? Wouldn't it have been easier for Chapman to mourn the loss of his daughter in private and retire after having already been one of the most successful Christian musical artists? Wouldn't it have been easier for Waters to keep his personal losses out of his music? Yet I suspect that each of these artists experienced healing at some level by turning their emotions into music. I for one am thankful they shared those emotions with us.

What are your areas of emotionally deep and sometimes painful life experiences? How might God plan to redeem them in a similar way? Though you may not be a musician and have the ability to express those things musically, let God use those things redemptively to bless others. Sometimes something of beauty results just as it did in the case of these musical pieces.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Oh Canada

Having completed my training in at the end of June, I found myself with 2 months of free time before beginning my first job where I will be working on my own. After 1 year of kindergarten, 8 years of grade school, 4 years of high school, about a year of Bible school, a 4 year bachelors degree crammed into 3 years, 4 years of medical school, 6 years of a surgery residency, and a year of fellowship training I was ready for a break.

I am spending a couple of weeks with my parents in Northwestern Ontario near to where I grew up and then am going to Haiti for a couple of weeks to visit Bethanie and some family friends. It is good to spend time with family again.

As someone who grew up in Canada but now resides in the US of A, I cannot help but compare the two places. Canadians clearly have two things in which they are vastly superior to their American neighbors.

The first of these is the design of their money. Rather than having drab green bills, the paper currency is bright and attractive appearing. Apparently international currency traders think so too as demonstrated by their overwhelming urge to exchange drab US currency for bright, appealing Canadian currency thereby propelling the Canadian dollar to ever higher highs in comparison to the US dollar. Furthermore, those annoying $1 bills that you get in the States don't exist here. One and two dollar coins truly make your change worth something.

The other area Canadians clearly have attained superiority in is their ability to creatively flavor potato products. As a child, I remember visiting the States and having one flavor, regular, of potato chips to choose from. At that time Canadians already had numerous potato chip flavors to choose from. Eventually the slower Americans south of the border caught on to the idea.

However, Americans clearly lag behind Canadians when it comes to knowing what to do with French Fries. The most creative thing Americans could think of doing with French Fries in the last decade was to rename them "Freedom Fries" when the French wouldn't buy in to the concept of the Iraq War being a smart thing to do, but I digress. Here in Canada, you are not limited to putting Ketchup on your fries. All restaurants offer vinegar packets which turn French Fries into something heavenly when combined with salt. If you are at a restaurant in any way more sophisticated than McDonalds, chances are that you can get things like gravy and maybe even some cheese, sour cream, or bacon bits added on to your fries.

Clearly, short trips to Canada are probably better for the waistline and cholesterol count than long ones for this Canadian returning from exile.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


I remember my Dad helping me with one of my moves over the years and saying that 3 moves equals one housefire. I've thought of that every time I have moved since then. Getting ready to move again, I've come across countless boxes of stuff that I thought I'd use at some point again in life when I packed them. Now I look at them and realize that they've collected dust for a year and will probably never serve any function in my life. For example, I discarded boxes of notes from medical school that I thought maybe someday I would want to look at again. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I kept those.

I'm glad that when we finally get to our eternal home, there won't be anymore moves. There won't be boxes of stuff to pack and unpack. I doubt we'll even have to do any housecleaning. Sounds heavenly to me!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Illegal Immigration

I don't know many of the details regarding the Arizona immigration law. I do know that it seems to have prompted a bit of an uproar politically in this country. Living in Texas, I agree that this issue is one that the country does not do a great job with.

Isn't it kind of ironic that the people most worried about illegal immigration are mostly descendants of people who moved to this country despite the opinion of the existing occupants that their doing so was illegal? If Americans truly believe in democracy, don't some of those God-given inalienable rights apply to people who aren't Americans? Most of the opposition to immigration stems from people's selfish desires not to see their standard of living decline. Many people also feel threatened by the prospect of becoming a racial or linguistic minority in their own country. If God created all humans equal and did not draw borders on the world he created, does it not make sense for those of us who are Christians to welcome immigrants even if it might mean that our standard of living suffers or we are not part of the dominant culture?

Scripture consistently sides with the "have nots" rather than the "haves." In Leviticus the Isrealites were instructed that "The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God." I think the issue is relatively clear for believers. If you are an evolutionist who believes in the survival of the fittest, I suspect that a different approach to this issue is what you have in mind.
Web Site Counter
Free Counter