I am going to have to sit with this piece for a while. I have already read it twice.
Writing at First Things, Gilbert Meilaender (Valparaiso University) and his son Peter Meilaender (Houghton College) offer a very thoughtful critique of open borders It is worth considering for its intellectual depth and strong engagement with the Christian tradition. Here is a taste:
Only because we feel loyalty to those bound to us in special ways can we understand why members of other national communities might have a similar loyalty to those with whom they share a history. And only then can we even begin to consider that our particular loyalties may have more than one purpose. They are intended, surely, to enrich our lives, but also to play a role in the education of our commitments. Without attempting to derive particular attachments from a cosmopolitan starting point, but also without making the obligations we have to all little more than a boundary-setting negative principle, we may come to see our special loves as a training ground in which we can learn just a little about what it means to care for any human being.
This third way—building up from particular loyalties to more universal ties—corresponds well to the teleological thrust of the overarching biblical narrative. Against the background of the loss of the peace of creation and the scattering of the nations, God begins with Abraham the long, slow process of gathering the nations once again into a single people. The culmination of this extends, of course, beyond history as we know it, but it is clear that what begins in very particular kinds of belonging has a universal dimension. “The princes of the peoples gather / as the people of the God of Abraham,” the psalmist says (47:9). Discerning the same divine intention, Jesus says (Matt. 8:11), “Many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” Different loyalties are not obliterated, but they turn out to contain within themselves more expansive possibilities than we could have imagined.
To what degree those possibilities can be lived here and now is never easy to say. Still, the fact that they cannot be fully realized in human history, and that we would be profoundly mistaken to imagine otherwise, does not mean they should be ignored. Taken seriously, they will shape and reshape our sensibilities in ways hard to predict, ways that will not always lead in a single direction. To take this third approach, then, is to see our communities as always on the way—never having fully established identities, but more than insignificant stopping points where we merely catch our breath for the rest of the journey. We must and should make distinctions among neighbors, but those distinctions will constantly be reworked and refined; they never have the last word. Good neighbors, we might say, make good—albeit porous—fences.
Read the entire piece here. It is worth your time.