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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Bona Fide?

It takes some restraint to try and keep this blog non-political even though the contents often have political dimension, since the very nature of One Eternal Presence is that all things are interconnected. Sometimes this interconnectedness is more obvious than others.

In light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on immigration that speaks of certain immigrants needing a "bona fide relationship" within the United States in order to gain entry, I looked up "bona fide" and found the following definition: genuine; real; sincerely, without intention to deceive.

Many experts in law have already pointed out the legal quagmire this phrase creates. It begs the question: What is a "'genuine; real; sincerely, without intention to deceive' relationship?" 

How we answer this question is at the core of who we are as human beings. As a Christian I can't help but hear the words of Paul and Jesus when they were faced with the same question in their time.  

Paul said to the Romans and the Philippians:   
- Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. - whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Jesus said:
 But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

So, perhaps in the end, "is it bona fide?" is not only a good question but the ultimate question - one we should be asking not only of immigrants but of our leaders and ourselves.

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