The Corner

‘City on a Hill’

Mark (Krikorian): The “city on the hill” image originates not in Zionism (Christian or otherwise), but in the words of Jesus Christ from the Gospel:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

This has nothing to do with the geopolitical situation in Israel now or anywhere else. For most American Christians, it never had anything to do with Israel or Zionism. It has to do with the impact Christians are supposed to have on the society in which they find themselves. And the comparison of America to stories about Moses and the Israelites speaks a lot more to Christian writers’ familiarity with the Old Testament than it does to any relationship between American Exceptionalism and Zionism.

Moreover, shouldn’t immigration policy stand on its own merits, not on the political results that come from the new voters’ views on foreign policy? As much as I’d like to see all new immigrants be pro-life, anti-tax gun owners, I’d hesitate to require that only such people could immigrate to the United States.

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