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Re: The Syrian Refugee Crisis
Filed Under: This is up for debate?
No matter how my beliefs have evolved or how my worldview has changed, my Christian upbringing still informs everything I do. The values that define me as a person were first taught to me by my parents from The Bible.
These values included: If a person is without clothing, clothe them. If a person is thirsty, give them something to drink. If a person is hungry, feed them. If a person needs shelter, give them shelter.
In other words, help those who are needy. Provide comfort for those whose lives have been upended. Be so unattached to your possessions that they can easily be given to someone else who may need them more than you do.
If you think about it, these are tougher values to live by and to live up to than the usual values that are associated with Christianity. Living up to these values means your personal comfort and safety will be infringed upon at times, and it means that an enemy may sneak through your gates. However, that doesn't mean that you should shut your gates and draw your blinds and shield your eyes from those who need help.
These values aren't unique to Christianity. They're embedded within our humanity. We instinctively know that we are to take care of those around us.
Which is why I'm struggling to understand why we Americans are even debating whether or not to take in the Syrian refugees. These are human beings who are naked, thirsty, hungry, and homeless. Most of us are clothed, hydrated, well-fed, and living under a roof.
Yes, let them come in! Yes, let them share our resources! Yes, let the world see that America--as flawed and bombastic as we can be--is still the place where you go for safety and protection.
I know that some of our leaders are worried that ISIS may slip in, but...
NOT-SO-BREAKING NEWS: They're already here, gang.
Your next-door neighbor might be ISIS. The cashier at the grocery store might be ISIS. The All-American-looking couple who is vegan and goes to kickboxing class three days a week might be ISIS.
You never know. ISIS is already here within our borders. Our flawed, bombastic nation-building misadventures of the past 14 years have created a leaner, meaner, smarter iteration of the enemy we vowed to wipe out.
And because we have adamantly refused to address the issues within our borders that have turned the Great Society into the Desperate Society, ISIS has been able to effectively hijack the hearts and minds of our own people. It's what happens when world leaders clearly communicate the premium value they place upon the One Percent over the 99 Percent.
Which is one reason why I'm hoping that this debate over helping the Syrian refugees isn't a sign of how much of our soul we've actually lost in the last 14 years.
Which is why I'm hoping that we're still capable of showing the world that we can be that Shining City on a Hill, "a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here."
That's what the United States always has been, and that's what I hope we still are.
On the other hand, the terrorist attacks in France happened on Friday, and today, the headlines were hijacked by that refugee from sanity and decency, Charlie Sheen, who's alleged announcing tomorrow that he's HIV positive.
Yeah, see! Now, you're interested.
Photo from ArtfixDaily.