Common Sense on Refugees

America has always been the most accepting of nations with respect to immigrants. The doors have almost always been open wide. In the early years, there were no immigration restrictions at all. The real restrictions only applied to citizenship. Immigrants could come over, but if they wanted the privileges of citizenship, they had to meet certain requirements.

The period from approximately 1890-1917 was unprecedented in history as those teeming masses descended upon a country that held greater promise than what the immigrants could expect in their homelands.

After WWI, some restrictions were placed, but only in the manner of percentages from certain countries as concerns about the changing demographics came to the forefront, but compared to the rest of the world, we remained the “golden door” of opportunity.

So I have great sympathy for those who wish to flee persecution and find a safe place here. Yet wisdom must accompany that sympathy. This is, in a sense, a new world we are now confronting. Some of our leaders, though, don’t see it that way:

Huddled Masses

Most of those seeking to enter America are most assuredly not terrorists, but, as we now know in the Paris attacks, some of those involved with those attacks smuggled themselves in disguised as genuine refugees. Concern over the nature of this new immigration is sensible:

Refugee Roulette

A bipartisan bill has recently passed the House and is going to the Senate. It is not a drastic, xenophobic bill at all, but merely an attempt to tighten the vetting process. President Obama now finds himself fighting not only Republicans but many in his own party:

Where'd Everybody Go

Harry Reid already has threatened to filibuster this bill in the Senate. That’s to be expected from Harry Reid. Will enough Democrats abandon his sinking ship and come to their senses, allowing this bill to be sent to Obama’s desk? He will certainly veto it, yet there is a good chance his veto will be overridden this time.

Common sense needs to prevail here. “Common sense” and “Democrats” are not terms that automatically go together. May they be reunited in this case.

Dangers of Misguided Compassion

I’m concerned that many of my fellow Christian believers are falling for a lie—the lie that if the US doesn’t take in thousands upon thousands of Syrian refugees that we are a hard-hearted, unchristian people. Accusations against those who want to be cautious about the refugee crisis come from the very top:

You're Racist

First, let’s drop the racist angle; it’s getting pretty old and stale. Then there’s the accusation that those who are opposed to unlimited immigration from Syria are religious bigots who hate Muslims. Again, that’s too stereotyped.

Do I hate Muslims? Absolutely not. I believe they are misguided and have pledged allegiance to a false god, but I would hope that every Christian would want to help them see the truth of the Gospel that can set them free from the chains that bind them.

Yet there is, within Islam itself, a worldview that is basically inconsistent with the American constitutional system of government. Muslims who are not Muslim in name only, and who seek to establish a culture grounded in Islam—not allowing for any dissent—are bent on destroying the edifice of the American Republic.

Of course, we have others who are doing the same from a completely secular viewpoint, but why invite more problems?

It is not hard-hearted to take seriously the responsibility to protect and defend the citizens of one’s country. From a Biblical perspective, that is the primary reason for a government to exist. Too many Christians don’t grasp the essentials of how government is to be carried out in a Biblical manner.

Instead, we often allow our emotions to overrule Biblical principles. True compassion will differentiate between those who deserve help and those who do not. True compassion will make judgments on who is a real refugee who should be granted asylum and who is not.

Christians who are suffering persecution in the Middle East should be first on the list for refugee status because the goal of radical Islam is to kill them all. President Obama, though, calls that an unfair religious test. No, it is facing reality.

All who are fleeing Syria should be thoroughly vetted if they come here at all because it is obvious that the jihadists will use this flood of refugees to insert themselves into our country. It doesn’t take a PhD to realize that.

Good SamaritanThe example of the Good Samaritan is being used to try to shame those of us who want a proper vetting. That is a misplaced analogy. The context is different. In the parable, there is no overarching story about a bloodthirsty, fanatical group devoted to world domination. It’s simply the story of one man in great need who received aid from the most unlikely source.

The true Syrian refugees do deserve compassion and aid. Yet is the best solution an open-borders policy? Why not instead an international approach where they are provided a “safe space” (to use a term floating around so carelessly nowadays) in a culture where they fit in better? Why not apply pressure to Saudi Arabia and other Muslim nations to take in their own? Why flood America with the teeming masses who might hide those who wish to destroy us?

Proper Christian compassion does reach out and offer help. We must be wise, though, in how that help is extended. Bring the persecuted Christians into America and find another way to take care of others who deserve our compassion because we just don’t have the means to do a proper vetting, despite what the government tells us.

Misguided compassion could be the death of us all.

Containing Obama

President Obama’s unwillingness to admit he is wrong about Islamic terrorism in general, and ISIS in particular, has reached a new low this week. The attacks in Paris don’t seem to have affected his views at all. Prior to those attacks, he had infamously stated that we have ISIS “contained,” and he refused to alter that statement after Paris.

Perhaps we just didn’t understand him. Perhaps this is what he really meant:

Contained

That’s giving him far too much credit. What’s especially frustrating about his worldview is that facts don’t seem to get in his way:

ISIS Contained

In case you can’t read the commentary at the bottom of that cartoon, I’ll help. It says, “Dedicated to Those Who Believe What Happens ‘Over There’ Does Not Affect Us ‘Over Here.'”

Obama’s press conference at the G-20 only highlighted his foolishness. Many have noted that he came across as aloof (nothing new there) and almost nonchalant about the actual terrorism.

You Bore Me

Yet his blood pressure appeared to rise, and his tone became more bellicose, when the subject was Republicans and their concerns about taking in Syrian refugees. The West certainly wants to help genuine refugees, but there are legitimate questions about the nature of some of those refugees: are there wolves among the distressed masses who will ultimately be our downfall?

Promise to Behave

That “Three Little Pigs” imagery has shown up in more than one political cartoon:

Rigorous Screening

Another theme also has been prominent:

Carefully Screen

No, Mr. President, we’re not afraid of widows, orphans, and small children. We’re concerned about those interspersed among those widows, orphans, and small children. And why are we concerned? We don’t want to repeat the horror of 9/11. In order to avoid a repetition of that terrible day, we must not only be defensive, but we must switch to a better offensive strategy.

You Can

That will never happen with this president. That’s why I applaud other leaders who are willing to stand up to him and speak truth. The goal is not to contain ISIS but to destroy it. Containment is a word that more appropriately applies to President Obama. If only we can contain him for the remainder of his term of office, we might have a chance.