This is my fifth post in a series on positive cultural trends…. My goals are to cheer up my fellow Christians, too many of whom have become overly pessimistic in recent years, and to remind all of us that Jesus the King is still acting within our cultures to bless us and glorify Him.
The image from the TikTok video said it all.
A smiling Suni Lee, holding up her Olympic gold medal as the best female gymnast, with the background showing a partially eaten pizza in a cardboard delivery box.
Lee is the daughter of immigrants who fled Laos for the United States during the Vietnam War. But she is fully embedded in mainstream American culture—social media, sports and pizza, which is itself a product of an earlier generation of immigrants to this land.
Immigration has been one of the most polarizing political issues in the United States over the past 20 years. Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign by promising a wall on the southern border to keep out the “racists” and “murderers” he said were coming from Mexico. Meanwhile, many liberal politicians have called for the abolition of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency while also predicting that rising numbers of immigrants, many of whom lean Democratic, would lead them to permanent political power.
Turns out, however, that much of the controversy has been stirred up by faulty government data—causing Americans to tell themselves false narratives about what immigration is and isn’t changing in American culture. The true picture shows that immigrants today are joining and being included in the broader American culture in much the same way as happened with all previous waves of immigration.
This is my fifth post in a series on positive cultural trends. (Here are the first, second , third and fourth posts in this series.) My goals are to cheer up my fellow Christians, too many of whom have become overly pessimistic in recent years, and to remind all of us that Jesus the King is still acting within our cultures to bless us and glorify Him.
Since 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau has predicted that the United States would become a “majority minority” country in the relatively near future. That is to say, in roughly the 2040s, white, non-Hispanic residents would be outnumbered by Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans. I personally never thought such a future was worrying, since essentially every American is a descendant of immigrants. Given that reality, I think our approach to immigrants should follow God’s command in Leviticus 19:34: “You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” However, many Americans worry that much of what they love and find good about American culture would be lost if too many immigrants arrive too fast, without sufficient time for them to join the broader American culture.