Thursday, November 19, 2015

Selfish or Smart- Closing our borders as an act of love?

I've been struggling with the topic of immigration and more recently the Syrian Refugee crisis for a while now. I am a very emotional person and my first response to almost anything is emotional.  Logic and reason are things I have had to work very hard to develop.  Early on in my marriage one of the biggest challenges Chad and I faced was how differently we reacted to everything. He is all about logic and data, and I am all about emotion and how something makes me feel. We butted heads A LOT because of this!  I've learned over the years to find some balance; to consider the facts as well as how I feel, always considering how my walk with Christ directs me to respond in light of those things.

I'll be honest. Our government's response to immigration and refugees and their lack of attention to our national security OR our our own financial, homeless and racial crisis has me extremely worried.   The emotional part of me wants desperately to help everyone who is afraid and hurting.  Pictures of children and families who are desperately trying to escape war and violence tug at my heart.  Knowing that the United States began as a country of immigrants confuses the issue in my head as well.  When I stop to really think reasonably and logically, though, I believe there is something very, very wrong with the direction we are going in this country when we don't place a primary importance on taking care of our own citizens and our own problems.

I believe that there is a huge imbalance in this country between the emotional thinkers and the logical thinkers, with the emotional thinkers taking over virtually all decision/policy making in this country. Because of this I believe we are being taken advantage of and lied to when it comes to the Syrian Refugee situation. 

In the best case scenario, if these really are innocent women, children and families who are trying to escape war and violence, how in the world can we afford to keep doing this as a country?  We are already drowning in debt, and have so many people already on some type of government assistance that we are about to collapse under the weight of it all.  Sure we want to help the needy, but at what point have we used up our ability to do so?

In the worst case scenario these are not really innocent women, children and families but rather they are people bent on destroying others who don’t subscribe to their way of life (especially Americans and Christians).  As emotional people who want everyone to love one another I know we don’t want to believe that, but are you really willing to risk the safety of your family by completely ignoring some fairly compelling evidence that this describes at least some of them?

This is more than just a security issue, though, it is also an issue of available resources and a financial issue for this country.

What is wrong with taking a PAUSE in order to truly assess this situation?  In my job (Human Resources) that is often my response to a potentially risky situation.  Instead of pressing to make a hasty quick decision, sometimes we have to pause and figure out what is going on and what all our options are BEFORE we act. Sometimes the action we end up taking isn’t what we WISH we had to do, but it is what we MUST do based on the evidence.  I have been involved in many employee terminations over the years.  I’ll be honest, there have been some that were pretty easy for me.  There have been some, though, that were difficult and that wish I didn’t have to do, but based on the evidence it was the right thing to do.  That is the way the world works, sometimes we like what we have to do, and sometimes we don’t, but we have to find a balance between our heads and our hearts.

I want to challenge all Christians especially to stop for a second and think about how we are truly called to behave. When Hebrews 13:16 says "Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God”… you can’t ignore the words “what you have”…. God calls us to share what we have to share, not what we don’t have.  Bringing more people to America who need assistance when we don’t have it to give is wrong.  We are TRILLIONS in debt already, where are all these resources coming from?  Ecclesiastes 5:5 says “It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay” and Psalm 37:21 says: “The wicked borrows and does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives.”  Clearly God says that borrowing more than you can repay is wrong.  How are we going to pay what we owe already?  Promising more assistance to people who need it when we have to borrow that assistance is wrong- regardless of their situation.  Haven’t you ever heard the saying “robbing Peter to pay Paul”?  That is just ONE problem I have with all of this.

As a Christian I know we are called to help others.  For those Christians out there that are touting the love one another route over all else, I have a question for you.  When was the last time you brought a homeless person (or family) home with you to have a hot meal and a warm place to sleep?  How much of your personal time and resources do you give to the homeless, refugee, foster, elderly communities in your own city/state/country?  If you are one of the very few who spend a lot of time doing these things and HAVE brought people into your own home then you can talk about showing love and giving everything to others as much as you want.  The rest of us need to check out own behavior before calling out others (ME included).

Anyway- that is a long winded lead up to sharing the below article. It covers a lot of the questions and concerns I have, written in a thoughtful way.  Hopefully you’ll take a look and then raise your voice based on actual facts rather than simple emotion.
As We Allow Syrian Refugees in the U.S., There's Something Many Have Overlooked

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