Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Bible on Immigrants

Following are virtually all the passages in the Bible that refer to the treatment of aliens. The word that is translated “alien” in this translation (the New International Version) is sometimes translated “sojourners” and has the same meaning as “immigrants.”

Exodus 12:49
The same law applies to the native-born and to the alien living among you.

Exodus 22:21
Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.

Exodus 23:9
Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt.

Exodus 23:12
Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed.

Leviticus 19:10
Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God

Leviticus 19:33
When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him.

Leviticus 19:34
The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God

Leviticus 23:22
When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 24:22
You are to have the same law for the alien and the native-born. I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 25:35
If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you.

Numbers 15:15
The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before the LORD.

Numbers 15:16
The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you.

Numbers 15:26
The whole Israelite community and the aliens living among them will be forgiven, because all the people were involved in the unintentional wrong.

Numbers 15:29
One and the same law applies to everyone who sins unintentionally, whether he is a native-born Israelite or an alien.

Numbers 35:15
These six towns will be a place of refuge for Israelites, aliens and any other people living among them, so that anyone who has killed another accidentally can flee there.

Deuteronomy 1:16
And I charged your judges at that time: Hear the disputes between your brothers and judge fairly, whether the case is between brother Israelites or between one of them and an alien.

Deuteronomy 5:14
But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do.

Deuteronomy 10:18
He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.

Deuteronomy 10:19
And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.

Deuteronomy 14:28-29
At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that years produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

Deuteronomy 23:7
Do not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. Do not abhor an Egyptian, because you lived as an alien in his country.

Deuteronomy 24:14
Do not take advantage of a hired man who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother Israelite or an alien living in one of your towns.

Deuteronomy 24:17
Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge.

Deuteronomy 24:19
When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

Deuteronomy 24:20
When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow.

Deuteronomy 24:21
When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow.

Deuteronomy 26:12
When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.

Deuteronomy 26:13
Then say to the LORD your God: I have removed from my house the sacred portion and have given it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, according to all you commanded. I have not turned aside from your commands nor have I forgotten any of them.

Deuteronomy 27:19
Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow. Then all the people shall say, Amen!

Joshua 20:9
Any of the Israelites or any alien living among them who killed someone accidentally could flee to these designated cities and not be killed by the avenger of blood prior to standing trial before the assembly.

Psalm 94:6
They slay the widow and the alien; they murder the fatherless.

Psalm 146:9
The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

Isaiah 14:1
The LORD will have compassion on Jacob; once again he will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land. Aliens will join them and unite with the house of Jacob.

Jeremiah 7:5-7
If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers for ever and ever.

Jeremiah 22:3
This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.

Ezekiel 22:7
In you they have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the alien and mistreated the fatherless and the widow.

Ezekiel 22:29
The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the alien, denying them justice.

Ezekiel 47:22
You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the aliens who have settled among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel.

Ezekiel 47:23
In whatever tribe the alien settles, there you are to give him his inheritance, declares the Sovereign LORD .

Zechariah 7:10
Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.

Malachi 3:5
So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me, says the LORD Almighty.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Health & Wellness: Headaches

From the Grace Church Health and Wellness Committee, June 2008

In acknowledgement of National Headache Awareness Week (6/1 to 6/8), this Committee Offering focuses on headaches.

In December, we directed our attention, in part, to the notion of helplessness, observing that having pervasive feelings of helplessness can become a habit and even generalize from one arena of our lives to other arenas. Headaches tend to be one of the areas where many of us fall victim to dispirited helplessness. We think that we just have to suffer through them. Growing medical evidence suggests, however, that headaches can often be successfully managed through a combination of two techniques: (a) keeping a calendar to record headache occurrences and the circumstances (e.g., food consumed or activities participated in) that precede these episodes and (b) timely use of new therapies.

First, we will examine common types of headaches (e.g., tension, cluster and migraine). Then we will turn our attention to risk factors that have been assumed to be linked with headaches, but for which there is no sound evidence supporting these links.

Common Types of Headaches:

  • · Tension Headaches are the most common headache. Such headaches are usually associated with diffuse, often mild to moderate pain on top of your head. Some suffers describe tension headaches as akin to having their heads squeezed in a tourniquet. Physicians acknowledge that while tension headache pain is occasionally severe, most often it is not a symptom of underlying disease. No spectrum of clear causes has been associated with tension headaches. Managing these headaches requires a balance of prevention informed by avoiding foods or activities that seem to trigger these headaches (identified as a result of good record keeping) and appropriate use of over the counter medications.
  • · Cluster headaches, more common among men, are one of the most painful types of headache. People who experience this type of headache report that they occur in clusters or patterns. Such headaches may last as little as a few days to as much as several months. In between these clusters, suffers are generally headache free. This type of headache is fortunately uncommon, and not life-threatening. Aggressive management techniques, usually involving prescription medications, can often shorten the duration and lessen the pain.
  • · Many sufferers regard migraine headaches as completely debilitating. Some times lasting from several hours to multiple days, and more common among women, when migraines strike going to a dark and very quite place to lie down can be the only respite. For some people, visual auras (flashes of light or blind spots) signal the onset of a migraine. A migraine may also be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. While there is still no cure, migraine management options have improved over the past few decades. The primary management techniques involve identifying and then avoiding triggers and taking appropriate medications early in the onset of the symptoms. Medications can help reduce the frequency of migraine and stop the pain once it has started.

In summary, with each of these types of headaches, the combination of careful self-monitoring, the right medicines and appropriate changes in lifestyle may make a tremendous difference for sufferers.

So far, we have focused on three types of headaches: Tension, Migraine and Cluster. The combination of careful self-monitoring, the right medicines and appropriate changes in lifestyle may make a tremendous difference for headache sufferers.

Now we will examine scientific evidence linking certain triggers to headache pain. Such scientific evidence generally comes from epidemiologic studies. These studies are great at linking risk factors to disease (e.g., confirming that high blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of heart disease). These types of studies generally don’t tell us why such links exist. The same general statements apply to headache research; the epidemiologic data may tell us, for instance, that certain dietary choices are associated with certain types of headaches but not what the mechanism is that is responsible for the headache.

Past medical beliefs linked hypertension to an increased risk of headaches. Recent studies, however, found no association. In fact, evidence has emerged suggesting that the relationship may be the opposite of what was first believed. It turns out that people with the highest measured pulse pressure (the difference between the systolic and diastolic blood pressure) had significantly fewer headaches than people who didn’t have high pulse pressures.

A recent national epidemiologic study of adolescents found that migraine headaches are more common in low-income families, more common among girls than in boys and among white teenagers than among black teenagers when there was no family history of such headaches. However, when one parent suffered from migraines, there was no association with family income. But when neither parent was afflicted with migraines, the likelihood that their teens would experience migraines went up as the family income went down. Trying to make sense of these findings, researchers observed that the correlations reported may not have been due to low income but to some other factors (not measured) that may also be associated with low family income. Moreover, the researchers acknowledged that migraines are a biological disease irrespective of family income. Stress has long been considered a risk factor for headaches and stress management techniques, such as those we have discussed in these newsletters in the past, should be helpful in managing migraines.

Finally, strong evidence suggests that for some people, physical exertion may be linked to headaches. Medical experts tell us that headaches that begin during physical exertion (e.g., exercise) and go away when you take a break could sometimes be a sign of heart disease, even if the person had no other symptoms of heart trouble. Such conditions are rare but should be paid attention to since the consequences could be life threatening if the problem is not recognized. Proper diagnosis and treatment is especially important in people 50 years or older and among any persons with risk factors for heart disease. The good news is that when such people with exertion-related headaches are found to have heart disease and are properly treated, the headaches abate.

Should you have concerns or want additional information about the material presented above, please contact your local health care provider, the Public Library, the Rector, or someone on the Grace Church Health and Wellness Ministry Committee (Chaired by Mrs. Florence Poyer, R.N.)

Prepared by: Walter S. Handy, Ph.D., member, Grace Church Health and Wellness Ministry Committee,