Following on from the Radio 4 interview with Alistair  Moffat of http://www.britainsdna.com/ (http://godschool.blog.co.uk/2012/07/09/we-can-all-trace-our-ancestry-to-an-adam-and-an-eve-dna-results-to-prove-it-14075468/ ) in which he said that we are all immigrants – it is only a question of when did we arrive?…

… and knowing that it can be a very vexed question for people in this country and in others too …

… and seeing the programme this week on how we British went to East Africa and bought up vast swathes of land which we had decided belonged to us (although it didn’t), using the native Kenyans as cheap labour …

… I found this:


Which rather puts it in context.

(from https://www.facebook.com/TheOther98 )


57 thoughts on “WE ARE ALL IMMIGRANTS

  1. It seems to me that science seeks to answer the question ‘how’, and faith to answer the question ‘why’. That’s what I meant by saying that I consider they answer different questions about the same subjects.

    I feel sorry that your experience of the Holy Spirit was so ephemeral. It is not enough in itself to have an experience: it needs to grow and be fed by good teaching, supportive fellowship, nourishing worship and a working prayer life.

    Well, nobody knew about a ‘Holy Spirit’ until the Christians came along and wrote their experiences in the book of Acts. Certainly Muslims do not agree that there is a Trinity, so they do not consider that God has a Son, and therefore the Son is not able to send the Spirit. So it is not part of their belief and they would not want it to be. We make a mistake if we try and project a secular world-view on to religions. Again, we are asking different questions and finding different answers.

    We Christians aren’t ‘restricting’ anything- it is just rational, that if Jesus is the Son of God (which many people don’t accept) then He is able to send his own spirit – the ‘Holy’ Spirit, and the path of reception is through faith in him. If people don’t believe in him and do not wish to believe, why should they mind that Christians do?


  2. Science and faith answer the same questions about the same subjects and will come up with the answers together . There is only one answer.the quest would make a good serial for TV.

    I had a sound (for its day) religious education and once thought (taught?) that I had met the Holy Spirit it was not, it was a volatile intoxicant which evaporated leaving me sober again I listen to all and discuss with many hear there conceits and add my own

    Is it for Christians to restrict their Holy Spirit to only those who believe in jesus Christ the Son of God ? those who do not believe may not see . . . the reverse of S Thomas’s problem.


  3. I have no problems with immigration.It is not a problem rather than a challenge. As far as the Holy Spirit is concerned I believe the Spirit works through Islam as well as Christianity: Christians do not have a monopoly where the Holy Spirit is concerned.We are all searching for a truth Science and religion perhaps both will discover THE truth at the same momentniether can do it alone.


    1. Science and faith answer different questions about the same subjects, I believe.

      I’m not knocking other religions, I think we should respect one another, which is what I said in my previous comment. I was remarking on the positive impact of the Holy Spirit’s work on the Christian church, not making any comparison with other faiths. But that doesn’t mean I agree, just as Muslim and Hindu friends would not expect to agree with me.

      But yes, we would not know about the Holy Spirit if it were not for the New Testament, and he was given very specifically to those who believed that Jesus was the Son of God and risen from the dead (account in Acts 2). People pooh-pooh the Bible and regard it as unreliable, but it remains true that we would not know about many things if it were not for what we had read in it. So it raises for me the question, is it possible for the Spirit to be given to those who do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God?


  4. We all have an equal right to live anywhere. Immigrants? We all are or have been; and it does not really matter. I am born a Yorkshireman with a rare family name that has resonances in both France and Italy In the street inwhich my grandfather lived there were two families sharing ths same surname with no relationship between them. So what am I ? At least I know who I am. . . .We need to dismantle this social barbed wire which, fortunately,is slowly rusting.however other bariers, more subtle, are replacing it.I recall as a teenager the divisions created by the various Christian religions,often generated by the religious leaders, as a Methodist one did not enter a Roman Catholic church whose priest was met with awe and suspicion.As a teenager I was confirmed into the CoE intending to remain a member of the Methodist Church arguing with the Parson that I wish to ‘trade’ between two harbours . . but no I had to be registered in one my card was cancelled, I now ‘trade’ between more than two ports and see little differences here and there.

    The sparrows in my garden are here because there is food and shelter,which I provide,an expense from which I gain great benefit


    1. Yes, I remember relationships between denominations being stupid in the 60s. The spiritual revival of the 70s and the 80s made a huge difference, dismantling barriers and creating a whole new attitude which was largely shared across the main denominations of the Christian church. This is because the Holy Spirit moved in both the Catholic and Anglican churches as well as others, and we began to recognise each other as all God’s children. There are still pockets of resistance here and there, but that sort of nastiness tends to be associated with churches that are on their last legs.

      Now, the sparrows – leave me with another question 😉 Is it OK for people to immigrate to the countries that feed them???


  5. Yes – I suppose one of the fundamental questions is, just because an ethnic group has been in a place ‘the longest’, does that mean that place ‘belongs’ to them?

    Very pleased about your sparrows. Are you feeding them? Or do they just love some wild garden to feel at home in?

    ( … and are they the first arrivals or are there some birds there already … in which case, which ones lay claim to the garden as ‘theirs’??? 😉 )

    But it’s interesting, isn’t it, that even animals and birds can be territorial. Should we rise above it because we’re superior to the animals???? Or is it in our DNA??? And if it is, should that be reason enough to lay claim to a place … or should we say that DNA is not enough …

    …etc … etc :lalala:


  6. I have heard this argument so many times,it follows the same course which tends to be circular. The most heartening news I have is the dozen sparrows of the field which hve returned to my garden this year and to be honest I do not know why.


  7. And that is something we have to remind our Maori brethren here in NZ. They came around 1300AD from Rarotonga and the Society Island group and are not indigenous to NZ. They are our First People, perhaps. Even the British are a varied group that dips into Viking bloodlines on at least two times in their evolution – William the Conqueror was of Viking stock, not the traditional French – Frankish stock.


  8. Perfidious Albion has a lot to consider, but it probably will not do so very easily. I have heard a programme which sounds similar to the one you mention, sometime ago. Such a broadcast discussion is one way not to airbrush out or in, convenient and inconvenient matters relating to evolutionary fact, (whether they be physical, social and political). Darwin’s theories of evolution still hold, and this evolutionary research significantly adds to it.

    Some people may wish to challenge their personal foundation status; in my view, in doing so, they are denying their deeper inner beings. Shimon’s thoughts, in part, relate to this.


      1. Breton, Briton, Bretagne. The Northern French have strong Celtish elements.

        La Manche was once just a march away.

        Trading was not the only interchange between long distance travellers; not all developments were as a result of war or conquest.


  9. Yes! Time to consider that we are first all human beings, who as PP says all belong to the same small planet. Travel has become so much easier and faster recent events have take us by surprise. There are British things I value highly. Most importantly that women are considered equal citizens, with a right to education and to choose their own path through life. We are still allowing young girls to be mutilated in this country because we don’t prosecute the people responsible.
    Democracy has faults as we hear and read every day maybe we need to take it more seriously and make sure that those we put our trust in, behave according to the highest standards and not the lowest.

    Wonderful picture.


    1. Very true, Liz, but is it possible, do you think, to ‘make sure’? I think we have to make educated guesses, and then trust people: but it needs to be made very clear that if for any reason our leaders lose our trust, then there will be problems.


      1. Absolutely! I have lost trust in the Party I have followed all my life. This very day I’ve written to my MP and expressed my disappointment at their lack of any constructive ideas about how to tackle the problems we have. Politics has become a profession and not a calling.
        The organisation 38 Degrees does seem to be exerting some influence on the rich sponsors of the Olympic Games who had reached an agreement with HMRC not to pay taxes. I know the Churches are organising War on Poverty.
        It isn’t easy to change the way people think but I’m hopeful that it is possible.


  10. Wonderfully put Gilly! It is one planet….earth, and all people belong to the planet. I’m a right old mixture…part Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Spanish and Italian….I wonder which country wants me????xxxxx


      1. Mmmmmmmm….The Italians DO have the climate, the Scottish the humour, the Welsh the singing voices and the Spanish the siestas …oh and tapas….lol…choices choices….funnily enough I have always felt very cosmopolitan and love most places I’ve lived in. xxxxx


      2. That’s a great attitude! (think I’d go for Italy meself … but then eventually get homesick and want to move back here again…)


  11. I shall find responses to this post most interesting…een predictable…esp the ‘bit’ about “we British went to East Africa and bought up vast swathes of land which we had decided belonged to us (although it didn’t)”
    Those of us who know better…might want to refer to ‘The Rape of Africa’….:roll:
    Watch out for ‘reactions’ to this…;)


    1. Maybe Bushka it’s time to drop this “Rape of Africa” bit. They were different times and the world has moved on. The Romans took great advantage of the people in Europe and Britain, we don’t still hold that against them.

      The actions taken were supported by the christian church at that time as they attempted to force their ideas on the African people, Do we still hold that against the church?

      Much was done long ago and we now realise that it was wrong, but as long as we remember that, we should stop wringing our hands and wailing over it.


      1. Ahhhh….Yes! The Christian Church…..Never mind anything else……
        All right let’s just blame it all on religion….and a few misguided entrepeneurs.
        Let’s forget the Past! Shall we? Not the ‘Christian’ bit…
        Only the ‘Great Britain’…:roll:
        Cheers Joe!


      2. Not quite Bushka, leave it all back where it belongs, I make the point to show that we have all moved on in years and lesson learning. Only now can we look back and know it was wrong but at that time it was considered normal and acceptable, and we have not even mentioned the African’s selling their brothers.


    2. Africa was not raped. It was visciously abused by Europeans. The term rape is used too glibbly.Rape is forcing sexual activity on a person.let’s get the terminolgy right.


      1. I wonder what Pope meant when he used the word in the Satirical poem….’Rape of the Lock’…Hopefully figurative language, used for effect, will never be jettisoned from any Language….;)


      2. I wonder too However I hold my line. recently a minor incident which caused upset was described as rape. I appreciate the use of figurative language. Rage is such an aweful crime the use of the word needs to be confined.


      3. It’s certainly a very powerful image and yes, it is a horrible, destructive, vile crime. But should we not allow the use of it as an image at all?


      4. Taking the dictionary description the use of rape to describe a violent act is legitimate . . . taking by force . . does the term rape need to be qualified? perhaps it does . .rape of a person perhaps the word means little unless followed by a qualification rape is the extreme violation of a person sexually . . . more serious than indecent assault.over use may diminish its impact


      5. I do agree that the word ‘rape’ has been devalued over the past few years as it’s used, without much consideration, for much lesser crimes. But I do think that it’s still possible to use it as an image by those who are fully aware of, and respectful of, its original meaning.

        A lot of words have been devalued. I get annoyed with Christians claiming that we are being ‘persecuted’ in this country. Nonsense. Yes, there is a lot of prejudice against us at many levels. But we do not live in fear of our lives, we do not have to meet secretly as happens in many countries, we are not tortured and killed.

        Come on!


      6. Granted…hold to your view! Great pity that ‘sexual’ connotations have come to dominate certain areas of ‘Linguistic Intercourse’…;)


      7. I read ‘rape of the rock this morning: for some reason I have only stanzas 1 to 4 I think there are five: howeverI wonder whether for such a satire on a trivial subject he would have considered using ‘rape’ today


      8. Clearly you mean…you read ‘rape of the lock’…..;) Indeed! Great shame that words have come to acquire connotation, allusions….even meanings…which process has impoverished, rather than enhance the language….:roll:


      9. It is imagery rather than literally true, but it’s an image that brings home the ‘vicious abuse’ that you mention. Or would you not agree?


    1. Indeed, Shimon. An interesting question is, how important is longevity in a country? At which point does it ‘belong’ to a certain group? Complex questions arise.


  12. Hi Gilly, yes, but, have not times changed. Events that you mention were in a different world but the truth is that when the British came away they left a better place in most instances.

    Of course when we look back we can see we where wrong, trying to introduce christianity to Asia and Africa were amongst the worst but not seen that way at the time.

    Immigration today is a different matter entirely.

    We are all immigrants? No, I am British, born in Britain to parents that were born in Britain, etc, brought up to respect the traditions of Britain that were built over hundreds of years, I welcome immigrants that respect British traditions and that is not the way that it appears today.


    1. Yes, it’s not a simple matter, Trevor. There are many layers, and I don’t believe that ‘imperialism’ was entirely bad, just as I don’t believe that democracy is entirely good. Sometimes some things are less bad than the alternative, and certainly I believe that Christianity is infinitely better than many of the animist religions that keep people in a constant state of fear. These days, nobody is forced to be Christian – those bad old days are behind us – so Africans and Asians are free to choose, and they often choose it. There are thriving indigenous churches in both those continents, where, very often, they live cheek-by-jowl quite happily with other faiths.

      We who consider ourselves British (and like you, I do) should recall that our forebears were the Angles, Jutes, Saxons and Vikings, all of whom immigrated to this country – or rather, took sections of it by force. So we are all of mixed race originally.

      I don’t know if you have actually been to the sites mentioned, but if not, you would find it interesting, and I would like to know what your reaction is, if you’re interested.


      1. I believe that there is too much guesswork in their explanation that is aimed at supporting what they wish the result to be. There must be examples of the DNA of Adam and Eve to compare, the law courts would not accept this as credible evidence’

        DNA is only 99.99% guaranteed and that .01% would make a great difference over millions of generations.

        Adam and Eve never met? Did they have sperm banks in those days?

        I believe that someone is making a living out of this, good luck to them.


      2. It looks to me like a bona fide scientific survey using recognised methods. I think that he was being a bit dramatic saying ‘we’re all descended from Adam and Eve’ – what he means, is that the DNA results support the theory that originally we are descended from just two progenitors, obviously one male and one female – whether you call them Adam and Eve, or just Male and Female.

        There does not appear to be any ‘hidden agenda’ in their survey. If it was being carried out by a fundamentalist Christian sect then I would be very suspicious, but what makes it so interesting is that they don’t seem to have any particular axe to grind. If their results are scientifically acceptable, then that may force us to rethink some of our assumptions.


    2. Yes, I think the situations are very complex – like you, I don’t think that imperialism was all bad, same as I don’t think democracy is all good!

      As for Christianity, I would say that it is infinitely preferable to the sort of animism which means people lead lives full of fear. Nowadays the church in Asia and Africa is growing and thriving at a massive rate, even sending missionaries to us – we have become the new heathen! They now choose to be Christian, often living side by side quite happily with other faiths.

      As for being British, which I consider myself to be too, it’s interesting to reflect that we wouldn’t be here at all if it weren’t for the Angles, Jutes, Saxons, Vikings and Normans invading us and taking over. In that sense, we are all descended from ‘immigrants’ if we can call them that.


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