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Ever heard of Operation Streamline?  The clanking of shackles, reminiscent of the old chain gangs of Jim Crow’s South, is the first thing one notices when entering the William D. Browning Special Proceeding Courtroom in Tucson’s U.S. District Court. On a recent Thursday afternoon, 64 brown men and three brown women, mostly in their teens […] Read More

A few southern and southwestern states – namely Alabama, Arizona, Georgia and Utah – have recently enacted laws that require law enforcement officers to determine the citizenship status of any persons they suspect are undocumented immigrants, and that permit officers to detain those persons. My sense is that these laws are not about “illegal residency.” […] Read More

The word “immigrant” now appears in a new translation of the Bible, replacing the word “stranger” or “alien.” This is a concretizing and humanizing improvement of the biblical witness, removing the moral abstraction of “stranger” and depersonalization of “alien.” Both the King James Version and the New Revised Standard Version use “stranger,” for example, in […] Read More

While attending graduate school at the University of Virginia, I had the opportunity to participate in a study that examined religion from a sociological and cultural perspective. While most of the work focused on contemporary issues growing out of the sociology of religion, we also occasionally made forays into issues from the past. In a […] Read More

A resolution on immigration at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Phoenix sparked a lively debate and multiple votes over a proposal that critics called “amnesty.” Meeting in a state that has made national headlines for its harsh anti-immigration legislation, the SBC resolution attempted to balance calls to evangelize and minister to immigrants with […] Read More

It is tempting to read Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s alleged rape of a hotel maid as paradigmatic of the International Monetary Fund’s attitude toward poor nations and their citizens. It is also tempting to see the incident as typical of the abuse and harassment of women that are taken for granted in corridors of power around the […] Read More

Rejecting the idea of amnesty for America’s estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants, some advocates of comprehensive immigration reform insist that the undocumented must qualify for a pathway to citizenship. Such advocates style themselves as respecters of law and practitioners of compassion.   One wonders, however, what these folk really think about Hispanics and what they […] Read More

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent comments on the failure of multiculturalism in Germany have led to a campaign to integrate immigrants. In October, Merkel gave a speech to the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) addressing the status of multiculturalism in Germany. In her speech to the rising leaders and members of the CDU, she described Germany’s […] Read More

Perhaps the most beloved story in the Gospels, and indeed maybe the favorite story for many from the entire Bible, is the story of Jesus’ birth. Even when it is not the time for Christmas, the familiar Nativity story lives on in our hearts and minds, narrating for us the incarnation of God into the […] Read More

Imagine you are part of a group of concerned citizens frustrated with Congress placing timetables on the military spending bill. Your group of mainly white, middle- and upper-class residents decides to hold a rally, partly to protest Congress’ recent actions but also to support the president’s handling of the war. You contact the police and […] Read More