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The Border Mentality



 

One of things that impresses us most about Jesus of Nazareth was that he was a border crosser. In his ministry he reached out to the outcasts and pariahs of his society, those who were excluded from the community due to rules, regulations, and prejudice. Where there was division, he practiced inclusion. Where there was separation, he practiced unity. Jesus made borders into meeting places.

In this article from the Boston Globe, James Carrroll writes about a humiliating experience he once had with a U.S. Customs official when he was returning from a ski trip in Canada. He recalls this memory as he describes what happened last week to Zaki Badawi, an Egyptian-born scholar and principal of the Muslim College in London. A gentleman in his 80s, Badawi was on his way to give a major address at the Chautauqua Institute in New York when he was refused admittance to the United States at John F. Kennedy Airport.

Carroll writes: "Borders are back, and so is the demeaning exercise of power." He challenges us to imagine in our hearts and minds the moral vision of "a borderless blue planet" as seen from space. It is this perspective and an attitude of hospitality that Jesus and many other religious leaders through the centuries have taught. A border mentality reinforces a basic distrust of others, and that is sure to make us less free.

Read this at Common Dreams Newscenter

 

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