Hi. I’m Jeannie. I’m a 1.5 generation immigrant from the Philippines. What’s a 1.5 generation immigrant? It’s someone born in another country who came to the US as a small child. My views are from both a Christian and Western lens and my experience as the daughter of a Filipina, as well as my education in Asian studies, helps broaden that view.
We seem to be very focused on our self-identity – racial, religious, generational, gender, sexual orientation, etc. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. God gave each of us a place in history and we are to learn who we are in Him within that place. For me, who I am has much to do with who my mother is. Her story helped shape me.
Immigrant from the Philippines
My mom and I lived in a town next to a US Navy Base in the Philippines. She met and married a sailor and he brought us home with him to the United States. That was in 1971. My parents are divorced now, but she still expresses gratitude towards him for bringing us out of poverty-stricken Olongapo and to the rural upper Midwest. She endured many hardships as a woman from a tropical island in a small town where temperatures dip below zero in the winter. Even so, she believes her experience there was far better than she would have had in the Philippines.
As a half-and-half (as Filipinos call their mixed-race children), I experienced racism and observed my mother’s reactions to her experiences with it. When we moved to Seattle when I was thirteen and became part of a Filipino community for the first time, I witnessed classism between Filipinos. I learned that believing oneself to be superior to others is not unique to white people.
God commands us to go out into all the world and make disciples. That would entail being very public with our faith. Growing up, my parents were Catholic and brought us to mass every Sunday, but it wasn’t until we were in Seattle in my teens that I truly began to seek God. Recently, my mother told me a story of how her grandmother prayed in the early morning hours for all of her children and grandchildren. I would like to think that is why I became a believer.
American society is currently trending away from Judeo-Christian ideology. To us believers, it seems to be doing so at a pace we’ve never seen. Maybe we’re right about that, maybe not, but America is not just post-Christian anymore. She’s headlong into humanism. My writings will include my thoughts on the Christian response to political issues, such as Critical Race Theory, immigration, capitalism, and imperialist history.
I hope to reach other believers for discussion on these topics. Christians in America, myself included, have been woefully missing from public discourse and we have shied away from attempting to influence the culture. It’s time to speak up. It’s also time to be involved in politics. In recent months, I have connected with like-minded people, mostly women. who are ready to work to bring Christian values back into our schools, our workplaces, our cities, and our country. I want to encourage other Christians to do the same.
There are a lot of assumptions around the word “Christian.” So, I’ll make clear, as best and concisely as I can, what that means to me. I believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, every part of it is true as written (so, no, I don’t believe God has chicken wings). God is a Trinity: one God in 3 Persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus is God the Son, one in being with the Father. I believe that Jesus was born of a virgin named Mary as the Scripture teaches. Jesus was one-hundred percent human and one-hundred percent God and remains so in His resurrected body. Jesus died on the cross and rose on the third day as prophesied in the Old Testament. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. One day, He will return as He promised.
For my mother, being an American meant escaping extreme poverty and likely death by starvation or worse. While there are many in America who live on the streets and often go without food, the majority of the poor here are those on welfare or live below a certain income level. That’s a difficult life and I won’t downplay it, but I would rather be poor in America than anywhere else on earth. I have lived most of my adult life below that poverty level and I still love this country. I want to see it preserved as it was founded, or as close to it as we can in this modern era. The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are radical documents that limit governmental powers and enhance the rights of the individual. They gave us the right to voice our religious and political beliefs without fear of losing our jobs or being silenced by big tech moguls. It means the right to bear arms if you so choose and to use those firearms to protect your home or your person when necessary. I’m a conservative and believe that there should be as little government involvement in our lives as possible and engaging in political activism to make sure that government officials, elected or otherwise, understand that they are our servants, not the other way around. It also means the right to gather, to not be forced to wear a piece of cloth over our face just to go out in public, and to not have our children indoctrinated by comprehensive sex education in public schools.
College was put on the back burner for me until after I turned forty years old. During a difficult marriage and single-parenting after the divorce, I was somehow able to complete my bachelors in Global Studies at the University of Washington at the age of fifty. I received a fellowship to the University of Hawaii for their masters program in Asian Studies, completing a thesis on Filipina War Brides. I graduated in Spring of 2020. Since then, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom, raising and homeschooling my youngest daughter who just turned thirteen, and living with my new husband in Snohomish County, Washington.