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Archive for November, 2015

Last Word on the Refugees (in 34 words)

Refugees this and refugees that.  It’s taken over social media and so everybody has to have an opinion.  It’s like a nuclear arms race of memes.  As usual, no one really wants to be persuasive and change minds, they just want their side to be king of the moral hill.

I won’t be posting any memes.  I won’t be pretending “Jesus was a refugee” or claiming that all Muslims are terrorists.  Amazingly, I have an idea that the truth is a lot more nuanced than your average gotcha bumper sticker that makes one side all smarmy and the other side splutter at how inane it is.

I will say I do think that it is, within reason, our duty both as Americans and (for those that call themselves such) Christians to help the refugees in whatever way we can– with the obvious caveat that we should screen as well as possible (which I doubt is really all that well).

But here’s the thing, and this is as close to a meme as I’ll come, so maybe I should put these 34 words in a fun, over-sized font:

If you haven’t opened your front door to let your local homeless population camp in your living room, maybe don’t dictate to us that we do the equivalent in our communities, states, and nations.

It’s not quite so easy being charitable to the homeless when it’s your own front door, kids, fridge and wallet on the line, methinks.

I’ve offered this challenge (in a hopefully much more respectful tone) to several of my friends who are very vocal about the issue and not gotten any direct response to it.

Well, one did suggest that I couldn’t be a follower of Jesus.  Guess I’m kicked out of that club.

Again, I DO THINK WE SHOULD HELP THEM.  But stop pretending that the people who struggle with the safety and financial and cultural repercussions don’t have legitimate concerns.  They’re probably the ones paying for it, who have kids they’re worried about, who already have communities full of struggling families, who may even BE one of those struggling families, so show them some patience and respect.  Let them know their concerns are legit, and it may be a hard choice, but that’s what it means to sacrifice for our neighbors sometimes.

Or, maybe, just keep feeling all superior and self righteous.  I’m sure that will work out just great for both your soul and our culture.  The refugees probably don’t much care.

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