Do religious organizations have a moral responsibility to help assimilate so many Latino families into American society, particularly those who are recent immigrants? If not, why not? If so, in what ways should churches help families assimilate? I am one of the ten individuals to have responded the question. It is a weekly colum that AI have been writing for a while now: http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/02/texas-faith-religious-institut.html
Here is my response:
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas
It's ironic that the key phrase of the topic "assimilation of Latinos" is derived from Latin word assimilatio; to make it similar, whereas the word integration implies accommodation of various strands in a larger society.
Each community, nation or a faith is like a beautiful bus; when you plan on going places, you check the air in tires to ensure a smooth, safe and a certain journey. Together as Americans, we need to ensure that every one is on par to ride the road of progress, if the pressure is inadequate; we need to fill the tire instead of asking the tire to fill itself.
Whose loss is it if the tire does not fill itself? We have to help the communities that are at a disadvantage. We need to bring them on a level playing field and let them compete from that point forward; ignoring one tire or a community is an irresponsible thing for the bus journey.
Religion is an equilibriumizer of the society, it guides one from an utterly selfish "me, me and me" to "we, we and us" mode. It's an insurance coverage for one's susceptible moments of life against the invincible times.
One of the phobias gripping the American society with the increasing Latino population is the possible change in our life styles, the way we keep our neighborhoods, and our inability to communicate with "them". The stereotyping is the first thing to be rid of in a change for the better.
Integration of Latinos is one of the critical issues facing our nation and the churches have the power to inculcate the values of cohesive societies through a variety of programs including Language courses, course in understanding each other's cultures and family values.
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Mike Ghouse is a thinker, writer, speaker, futurist and an activist of Pluralism, Interfaith, Co-existence, Peace, Islam and India. He is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His work is reflected at three websites and 21 Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/