For 500 years, immigration has shaped the culture of North America. Recently, and not for the first time, the arrival of a generation of immigrants has sparked national debate. Fortunately, an increasing number of Christian leaders are working to bridge cultural differences. Many of these leaders have been nurtured by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, an evangelical organization that has gone farther than most in living out the biblical example of interracial partnership on America's university campuses. Orlando Crespo, a second-generation Puerto Rican American who is director of InterVarsity's LaFe ministry with Hispanic students, exemplifies this commitment to both ethnic distinctiveness and multiethnic partnership, themes he explored in his 2003 book, Being Latino in Christ. Because multiethnic reconciliation is all too rare in mainstream culture and in the church, and because it is so evidently crucial to the flourishing of the common good in the United States' third century, Crespo is an ideal person to respond to our big question: How can followers of Christ be a counterculture for the common good?
In April 2006, a British producer named Adam Kidron launched a musical volley into the heated American debate over ethnicity and immigration: a new Spanish-language version of the national anthem called Nuestro Himno. The song's release provoked condemnation from conservative commentators and a disavowal from President Busheven though his first presidential campaign frequently featured Spanish-language versions of the anthem. "I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English," he said, according to The New York Times. "And they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English."
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