Luma Simms is a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center; her essays, articles, and book reviews have appeared in a variety of publications including National Affairs, Law and Liberty, The Wall Street Journal, National Review, First Things, Public Discourse, the Institute for Family Studies, and others.

Immigrants, Assimilation, and Religion

It is in my nature to love my country—not idolatrously, but as befitting my human identity and dignity. I was created and born into a family, a household, a religion, a culture, and a state. Rejecting these bonds is a rejection of self, which assimilation, at times, partially necessitates. That is part of what makes immigration complex and disruptive to a human soul. As an embodied spirit, I live, move, and inhabit the space allotted to me. Like it or not, I am connected to these communal spheres, and my quality of life depends upon how well I keep these bonds and attachments.

Immigration interrupts these shared spheres. It severed, to one degree or another, the cords that bound me to my family, household, religion, culture, and state. Love for one’s city and state can be fierce, which is why exile is so traumatic. Even an elementary reading of history shows us how communities used exile as a punishment—deserved or not—for citizens. Dante suffered much after his exile from Florence, but without that twist of fate, he might not have given us The Divine Comedy. In one sense, his suffering has brought comfort to many who came after him.

Read the rest of the essay at Public Discourse

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