“When I turn my attention to you, I’ll refine your dross as in a furnace. I’ll remove all your alloy.” Isaiah 1:25 New International version
What does the term ‘melting pot’ conjure up in your mind? What ideals do you consider “American”?
Merriam-Webster defines ‘melting pot’ as “A pot in which metals or other materials are melted and mixed.’ AND “A place where a variety of races, cultures, or individuals assimilate into a cohesive whole.”
The US of A has long been called the world’s melting pot. This melting-together metaphor came into use as far back as the late 1700s. But the term became widely popular in the States after a play entitled “The Melting Pot” opened in Washington D.C. in 1908. The play later moved on to New York City and exploded on Broadway.
In Israel Zangwill’s play “The Melting Pot”, he modernizes the story of Romeo and Juliette for the 20th century swapping out feuding Italian families for Russian Jewish and Russian Cossack families. Zangwill boldly uses the play to claim that America is a new country free of all the old animosity and predispositions of the old country. America becomes a beautiful escape for immigrants. A place where the immigrants were welcomed but not their former belongings of hatred and prejudice.
According to PBS, “God, Zangwill claimed, was using America as a ‘crucible’ to melt the ‘fifty’ barbaric tribes of Europe into a metal from which He can cast Americans.”
Mr. Zangwill dedicated his play to the US President at the time:
To Theodore Roosevelt
“In respectful recognition of his strenuous struggle against the forces that threaten to shipwreck the great republic which carries mankind and its fortunes, this play is, by his kind permission, cordially dedicated.”
What are your thoughts on that statement now in the year 2017?
Do you think we and any immigrant should melt down our individual heritage and mix together to conform to “American” ideals?
The Klassens did. In 1924 my husband’s grandparents migrated to America from Russia where they faced cruel and unthinkable oppression. They willingly laid aside their European homes and loyalties to sail across the Atlantic to start a new, free life.. They allowed their Russian and German selves to be melted and mixed into patriotic Americans who gladly waited years to gain their coveted U.S. citizenship.
If you happen to live in this Melting Pot of the United States, may you find yourself praising God for the privilege.
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He chose for His inheritance.” Psalm 33:12 New International version
Shine on. . .