The Party of Herod vs the Least of These

One of the things I periodically heard as a young Christian was that a great big strong king like Herod would not, surely, be afraid of a bunch of two year olds.  It’s gotta be a legend, I was told.  Nobody’s *that* much of a coward:

Ahem:

Gov. Chris Christie on Monday said the United States should not admit any refugees from the Syrian civil war — not even “orphans under age 5.”

Of all the ridiculous and cowardly things coming from the Party of Xenophobia as it cynically seizes on tragedy to politicize and pander to the Base the Trump Built, this has to be the most chemically pure piece of cowardice yet. Why on earth does the Frankenstein base of bellicose laptop bombardiers who now populate the GOP madhouse imagine that a leadership terrified of five year olds is fit to lead them into the Grand Civilizational War the GOP is ginning us into fighting?  And that war, make no mistake, intended by these guys to be fought not merely against ISIS, Boko Haram, or Al Quaida.  It is against Islam–all 1.6 billion people.  How do I know?  Because ISIS is not a “civilization”.  It is, according to CIA estimates, a group of roughly 31,000 people.  And there is no way, ever, that they will “win” and take over the world.  So when Rubio says “either we win or they win” he is suggesting to his frightened, bellicose base that all Muslims are our enemy.  And Christie underscores that by declaring that even 5 year old orphans must be designated as such.

War with 1.6 billion people.  These people are as delusional as ISIS–nd are playing right into their hands.  Waleed Aly gets the ISIS strategy–a strategy the discernment-free right is eagerly cooperating with:

Against this common sense has been a wall of sheer stupidity from the reliably wrong voices of the radically dumb in what was once American conservatism. There was the guy on FB who *totally* trusts that Anonymous will use their totally unaccountable hacking skills for good and never to frame their landlord as a terrorist in order to get out of paying the rent. Ahem:

Veerender Jubbal side by side photoshop

Left: a photo posted by social media accounts claiming the man shown was one of the attackers responsible for the deadly shootings and bombings in Paris. Right: the actual photo, a selfie of Toronto Sikh man Veerender Jubbal, taken in 2014. (Grasswire Fact Check/Twitter)

The same guy, who was completely ready to hack due process out of the Constitution to keep his cowardly skin safe, also wrote of Aly with the same keen discernment:

All I know is that if this guy were are in my platoon, I’d be keeping a close eye on him all the time if he were Muslim. It’s as stupid to totally trust him as to succumb to the anger that Daesh generates in normally acting people. Vigilance, and keeping our own shit together are the operative actions here. The bottom line is if he’s a Muslim we cannot trust him – the times and the Quran have taught us that.

Having heard exactly the same bigotry expressed by Know Nothings a century ago (“Roman Catholics are taught by their Jesuit masters a sinister form of moral doublethink called “mental reservation” that allow them to lie to Outsiders.  They will stop at nothing to insinuate themselves into American Protestant society.  If one of them ever became President, he would take orders directly from the Pope and instantly undertake the complete destruction of Our Way of Life!”) and toward Jews (see “Learned Elders of Zion, Protocols of the“), I’ve heard this paranoid song before.  And if you find yourself tempted to say, “Wait, he’s got a point!” be aware that you have just proven my point that lots of people really do think we are at war with 1.6 billion Muslim–including ones that are clearly the enemies of Daesh and similar monsters.

That is exactly what Daesh wants, as Aly explained and as Daesh has itself made plain.  Their stated goal is to eliminate the “grayzone”: to gin idiot Westerners into refusing to take yes for an answer, into treating all Muslims as enemies, and thereby (in their fantasy world) leaving Muslims no choice but to side with these murderous nutjobs in a Grand Civilizational War with the “Crusaders”.  The only thing stupider than this ideology (one as in touch with reality as Charles Manson’s dreams of a vast Helter Skelter Race War touched off by the Tate-LaBiana murders) is the sheer stupidity of American Movement Conservativism’s zeal to cooperate with it.

But cooperating they are as a swiftly growing crowd of conservative leaders, acutely alive to the xenophobia and gutless cowardice of a Frankenstein base as bellicose as it is frightened of its own shadow is fully on board with The New Herodianism, pretending that the alternatives are either 1) shut our hearts up to refugees or 2) fling open the borders to murderers and hand them a free gun and grenade upon entry. (Amusing side note:  One Texas lawmaker, a puppet of the  NRA in the state that scant months ago was sure Obama was invading in Operation Jade Helm to take all the guns, is terrified that Syrian refugees will use the lax gun laws he has insisted on maintaining in order to exercise their sacred second amendment rights and buy guns–thus causing his conflicting ideologies and bigotries to collide and implode into an ideological black hole from which no rational thought can escape.)

In order to maintain the charade that this pander to the xenophobic GOP base is “realism” the GOP of course depends on the fear and ignorance of that base.  The main lie being told is that there exists no mechanism at all by which refugees are screened.  And so, times without number this past weekend one heard the rhetorical question: “Oh!  So in order to satisfy your sense of moral superiority and toleration we are just supposed to let in terrorists masquerading as “refugees” like France did?”

Actually, there is no evidence that France did any such thing.  The extremely slender thread by which hangs the conservative case for condemning all refugees as terrorists just snapped.  It now appears that all the butchers were homegrown–rather like Timothy McVeigh, who nobody wants to suspend civil rights over.

But the reliably wrong about everything right, whose Dear Leader last week was complaining about the Great Coffee Cup Persecution to a mob of sulking idiots sobbing about imaginary religious persecution by the state is this week enjoining these same torch-wielding fools to call for the abolition of the first amendment–for Muslims.  Because how could *that* ever come back to bite us?

Given that only two groups have indicated they agree with Daesh that the slain of Bataclan had it coming–Fundamentalist Protestant jerks and The Remnant–such people should be careful what they wish for.

But above all this is the enormously popular demand, overwhelming centered in the GOP and Movement conservatives: to kick refugees fleeing Daesh in the teeth, even if they are five year old orphans. From governors to Congresscritters, the cry–totally for the benefit of the frightened and ignorant base–is that we keep out the mob of terrorist “refugees” who will all murder us in our beds.

Not that we don’t face real danger. As Mike Flynn points out:

Back in July, there was a break-in at a French military base, from which grenades and plastic explosives and detonators were stolen.
http://www.theguardian.com/…/explosives-stolen-from-french-…

On 5 November, Bavarian police stopped a car for inspection that was found to be stuffed with weapons — and a GPS set for Paris.
http://www.br.de/na…/schleierfahnder-attentat-paris-100.html

A few days ago, seven jihadis carried out a series of horrific murders in Paris. ISIS claimed there were eight. It’s possible the Montenegran man stopped in Bavaria was #8.

Last Sunday, there was a break-in at an Army Reserve center in Worcester, MA (The 1st Battalion, 181st Infantry Regiment is stationed there) and “16 weapons” were stolen.
http://www.whdh.com/…/fbi-weapons-missing-after-break-in-at…

Get ready?

There are going to be more terror attacks sooner or later.  Face that fact.  The question is, are we going to let them own us through our own fear and panic and cowardice or are we going to resolve to have courage, use our wits, do the right thing, and thereby do the smart thing? So for instance, are we going to notice the fact that these weapons were not stolen by Syrian refugees, since they are not here yet?  Are we going to exercise prudence and take note of this fact:

I know, I know.  “Oh yeah, wise guy?  What about the Boston Bombers?” Well, prescinding from the fact that, statistically speaking, that still means you have a better chance of dying by lightning strike after being thrown from a train by agents of the Russian mafia who have mistaken you for an enemy of Putin than by being killed by a refugee, here’s reality: the Boston Bombers were not refugees.  Their dad was here on a green card and then applied for asylum status.

This bring us to the next point: namely, that most of us don’t have a freaking clue about the process refugees have to go through to come here–and the fact that the GOP leaders who want you to be terrified of them so that GOP leaders can save you from terrorist five year old orphans.

Here’s the deal: Refugees already have an arduous vetting process.

1. Refugees are screened by several different agencies.

Their first point of a refugee’s contact is with the U.N. High Commission for Refugees. The UNHCR refers people to countries based on whether they have any family members there and where resettlement makes the most sense, say U.S. officials. If that’s the U.S., then refugees are vetted by the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, and the Departments of State, Defense and Homeland Security. Fingerprints are taken, biographical information is collected. They are then each individually interviewed by U.S. officials trained to verify that they’re bona fide refugees.

Refugees from Syria are then subject to additional screening that looks at where they came from and what caused them to flee their home, stories that are checked out. All of this occurs before a refugee is allowed to set foot in the country.

2. It’s a lengthy process.

As you might imagine, all of the vetting, from interviews to fingerprinting, takes a while. On average, officials say it’s 18 to 24 months before a refugee is approved for admission to the U.S.

The U.S. has admitted some 1,800 Syrian refugees in the past two years, and President Obama wants to allow 10,000 more. The administration says half of those who have been admitted are children and about a quarter of them are adults over 60. Officials say 2 percent are single males of combat age.

Here’s more reality: the GOP leaders counting on your fear and ignorance know this, and don’t care.  So educate yourself.  Because they, rather like Daesh, know they can own  you through your own fear if they can keep you in the dark and frightened of the bogey man, imagining that these people are enemies to fear instead of Daesh’s bitterest enemies and natural allies in our fight with these monsters.

This is all Parable of the Good Samaritan stuff.  We don’t help refugees because they are Christian. We help them because we are Christian.

Are there microscopically small risks if we do? Yes. But there are astronomically graver and more certain consequences if we refuse:

“Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ ¶ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”(Mt 25:41–46).

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  • Dave G.

    “you have a better chance of dying by lightning strike after being thrown from a train by agents of the Russian mafia who have mistaken you for an enemy of Putin”

    Any time I see this said in these debates, it makes me realize we live in post-modern times. Anyway, since I’ve gotten to know an interesting fellow from an Antiochian Orthodox church (from Syria no less), I’ve come to realize that the debate as it is framed on our side of the ocean is about as hell and gone from other narratives as you can get. Even if he’s wrong about half of everything, it’s still nowhere close to what we have here, or in other debate forums in or out of the media. That makes me think I’ll withhold judgment on either side, especially since I’m not looking to let a Syrian refugee move into my house any time soon, I don’t live where most are moving, and so consequences one way or other probably won’t directly impact me. I’ll just pray like my six year old, that nobody gets hurt, people we don’t know, even the bad guys. After all, it’s too easy to have strong opinions when I’m pretty sure, like lightning striking or being thrown off a train, the odds of me or mine paying the price if I’m wrong are, at this point, so unbelievably low.

    • chezami

      All you need to know about the extremism and gutless cowardice of the right really is summed up in the refusal to even consider helping a five year old orphan. Everything else is fog. These people are gutless cowards an belong no where near the reins of power.

      • Dave G.

        If you accept the liberal narrative that there can only be one solution or you’re racist, then yeah. But here’s the thing. I think saying something about a five year old is as out of line as saying anyone concerned is afraid of widows and orphans. It’s not like this conversation is happening before over a hundred people died in Paris. And it’s right to concern ourselves with everyone, which is a problem in our debate. The debate is basically held hostage by those extremes who seem to have little but contempt for entire people groups. It’s just which people group do they have contempt for? For some, it’s anyone coming from other countries and cultures. For others, it’s those closest to our own.

        The trick is how to be humane to all involved. Even one American dying because of a terrorist who slipped in through is one too many, even if it’s someone I never met. Likewise, one child (or non child, for that matter) dying because of unwillingness to help is one too many. From those on the Right I’ve heard, it appears that all they’re saying is they want more safeguards and assurances based on a real appraisal of the situation. And when I hear Obama’s mocking tone, or the director of homeland security say all we need to worry about is young men when at least one of the terrorists in France was a woman, I can understand their concern. At least try to pretend they are basing their safeguards on what is really happening, and not thinking they can pull the classic liberal trick of ‘non-liberal solution equals racist’ and that is all that’s needed. It isn’t. For those who want to help, much more is, and should be, demanded than that.

        • Heather

          If only it really was just wanting more safeguards and reasonable precautions. But there is enough “turn back the unwashed barbarian hordes!” invective mixed in that it’s a little hard to believe that’s the only concern.

          For a refugee to make it all the way to North America, they basically have to be screened to the gills AND win the lottery to be one of the lucky ones chosen for resettlement here. It would be a ridiculously stupid way to try to infiltrate the country because there would be no way to guarantee that your infiltrator would be the one to make it all the way through that selection process. You’d have to bribe or trick every single bureaucrat and security agent your would be infiltrator deals with over the course of 18+ months and hope NOBODY notices.

          Far easier just to radicalize some angry young idiot born and raised here who is eager to hear simple answers about what is wrong with society and how the right kind of violence will solve it.

          • chezami

            Yep. If Movement Conservatism were about “reasonable” they would not be lionizing a demagogue who calls for bedwetting panic over five year old orphans. This is a movement dominated by bigots, xenophobes, cowards, and the people who manipulate them. We follow them at are profound spiritual peril.

            • Joseph

              I think I may start listening to you once your community starts taking in refugees and you help lead the charge. Until then, you’re just another white, middle-class, comfortable internet social warrior slamming your keyboard up and down to feel good about yourself while not actually doing anything about it.
              .
              Some issue in Europe really. You have what can be considered the *right wing* trying their best to reject the refugees. You have what can be considered the *left wing* who is trashing everyone else for not taking in the refugees… this is a diversion tactic, of course, to distract from their own rejection of the refugees because they don’t want them either.
              .
              Classically, neither of those groups are taking in the refugees. It’s the ones who say nothing and go on with their lives without passing judgement on everyone else.
              .
              You, my friend, have done a good job trying to avoid looking like a *left winger*, but unfortunately, on this issue, you are falling squarely into that category. Take refugees into your community, then you will be allowed to shout from your seat of sanctimony. Until then, enjoy your Startbucks.

          • Hezekiah Garrett

            So isn’t it important to address the legitimate concerns in a spirit of goodwill, so as to marginalize the xenophobic wing exploiting those concerns?

            Pushing those two to join forces seems like an epically bad idea.

        • chezami

          Bullshit. It is the Right that is proposing only one solution: rejection of all refugees, even if they are five year old orphans. The lie that that is “reasonable” is vile. It is not “liberal” to help the desperate refugee: it is common decency and something right at the heart of our faith–and something for which we Christians will be judged.

          • Dave G

            Actually the ones I’ve listened to aren’t. They’re saying stop and make sure the process is in good order. I’m sure not all, just like I’m sure the entire left isn’t unconcerned with the well being of citizens here at home. But again I see problems on both sides, and am slow to judge since I likely won’t be impacted one way or another.

          • Hezekiah Garrett

            You’re moving goalposts, Mark, and obfuscating, which is unnecessary and counterproductive.

            Bringing Syrian refugees to the US is not the only way to help them. Food, shelter, medical care can all be provided where they are.

            If and when there is a political backlash to your stupid black and white bloviating, the starving refugees America no longer aids will hopefully rest on your conscience to some degree.

            You aren’t helping. You’re just getting to feel selfrighteous, at the expense of the very refugees you proclaim your care for.

          • Sue Korlan

            It is not all of the right wing that suggests we reject all refugees. Many of them simply want to know that the system will keep terrorists out while letting the legitimate refugees in. Christi polls at about 3% of Republican voters, and him saying something so stupid probably won’t increase his polling, since most of the idiots already support Trump.

      • Joseph

        Before you judge what I’m about to say, let me be clear, the US created this problem, they should be the first to take the vast majority of all of the refugees they created.
        .
        However, it strikes me when I hear constantly from the sanctimonious left on this issue how they define a coward and how they define one with courage. Is someone courageous when they bravely face the applause and demand that a neighborhood or city far, far away from them and their children take in these refugees? For example, you live in Washington State. Why would you complain about what a state like Texas does? You’re throwing a fit because a place you only see in the movies or read about in the paper doesn’t want to take in refugees, knowing that if they did, you could go right back to Starbucks this morning and get your cup of coffee with the other middle-class white people in your neighborhood. I think that’s cowardly. If you want to be really courageous and blaze some trails (that haven’t already been blazed by the other brave middle-class white folk that are filling up FB with the ‘how dare everybody else for not taking in these refugees’ posts), then you should hold your tongue and complain only when your middle-class whitey neighborhood that’s practically devoid of Muslims refuses to let in Muslim refugees… and if they are already, wouldn’t you feel much better on your throne of sanctimony by proving that you are practicing what you preach?
        .
        All of those people complaining about *other* people not taking in enough refugees are just as bad as the people they are complaining about. They are sitting there playing hot potato with them and then publicly condemning the person they toss the potato to. If you think for a second that Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are going to willingly live amongst the Muslim ghettos they plan to create, then you’re delusional. And I don’t believe for a second that those internet social warriors who are banging everyone over the head with their keyboards to take in refugees will either. Basically, your ilk is totally disingenuous.
        .
        That’s coming from a person who lives in Europe. I’m not standing at the train station singing songs, clapping, and making a fool of myself over the incoming refugees to make myself feel superior, nor am I shouting that we shouldn’t let them in. I’m confident that many of them will actually be relocated into an area of town not far from me. I’m not calling for a boycott, but I’m not judging others in far away lands or cities for not taking them in (other than the Americans since it’s their government who is the cause of all of this, the land of irresponsibility). They are coming here, where I live… you can’t even say that. So get of your soapbox you lazy Americans. If you don’t like the fact that Texas or f*cking Georgia isn’t taking them in, then double the amount Washington State takes in. Prove that you deserve your displaced sanctimony. Hypocrites.

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    If 1800 Syrian refugees are already here, as you quote, why claim none are here?

    Loads of venom, invective, and propaganda in this post, very little substance.

    • chezami

      My mistake. And clearly, they broke into the Mass. armory. So we must arm ourselves to resist the threat of five year old orphans, because we are the Home of the Brave. Voila l’enemmi! https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSTYLGyJuuEg2fIDHsOt5IrbDf0F2OdZdJU0RflS887TlmeluabIII2FyE

      • Hezekiah Garrett

        I find it unbelievable that you don’t know your virtue signalling isn’t actually helping the victims of American aggression abroad. Surely, you have to understand that on some level.

        People have legitimate fears and apprehensions. Those need to be addressed, rather than belittled and dismissed. Because the probable outcome of your approach is a hardening of hearts and the US washing their hands completely of the refugee problems, not just in Syria, but around the world.

        If those fears (and they aren’t GOP fears, lots of centrists are concerned as well) can’t be assuaged, we can still work to fund aid for Syrian refugees abroad, rather than here. If you push them too far, dismiss and demonize them, your democracy may choose to simply ignore the problems abroad.

        Your rhetoric makes my wife’s job at the International Rescue Committee harder, not easier.

        Take a deep breath and please rethink your approach. The loves of actual living breathing refugees are affected by your intemperate rhetoric.

        • DanH

          “Take a deep breath and please rethink your approach. The loves of actual living breathing refugees are affected by your intemperate rhetoric.”

          Tell that to the republicans in Congress.”Good Christians” feel free to read Matthew 25 the republicans show time after time they are goats nothing more.

          • Hezekiah Garrett

            Again, keep showing us what a good person you are. That’s really going to help get Republicans voted out of office.

            You know you’re a moron, right? It isn’t a surprise, I hope.

            • DanH

              Since you need a refresher or are ignorant.
              Matthew 25

              31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

              32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

              33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

              34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

              35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

              36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

              37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

              38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

              39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

              40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

              41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

              42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

              43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

              44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

              45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

              46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

              King James Version (KJV)

              So yes based on what republicans have been working for as to domestic spending and immigration they are goats.

  • Re_Actor

    … as in touch with reality as Charles Manson’s dreams of a vast Helter Skelter Race War …

    Coming down fast.

    It now appears that all the butchers were homegrown

    http://media.lelombrik.net/t/3e3e1595c81257425b3fee6fd20f44b8/p/01.jpg

    … imagining that these people are enemies to fear instead of Daesh’s bitterest enemies and natural allies in our fight with these monsters.

    Because my enemy’s enemy must be my friend, right?

    This is all Parable of the Good Samaritan stuff. We don’t help refugees because they are Christian. We help them because we are Christian.

    Sed contra: “It is not good to take the bread of the children, and to cast it to the dogs.”

    • orual’s kindred

      It is not good to take the bread of the children, and to cast it to the dogs.

      It seems that some people are actually making this argument seriously. What is this “bread of the children” referred to here? It certainly doesn’t seem like Jesus’ salvific mission, which I rather think He was referring to. Do they mean assistance? Concern for those who may be at risk? Are they saying that help and protection are the prerogatives of “the children”? Who would those be?

      And if that verse is to be applied in such a way, how are the subsequent verses to be interpreted and applied?

      • Re_Actor

        It seems that some people are actually making this argument seriously.

        At least as seriously as those who use the Parable of the Good Samaritan to justify mouthing hectoring slogans in favour of open borders.

        • chezami

          Absolutely nobody is talking about open borders except the fearmongers and straw manners on the right.

        • orual’s kindred

          Is that their reasoning, though? “I favor this course of action because it’s ultimately as mistaken and inadequate as those of my opponents’ ” may not be the best logic. I worry as well about their discerning skills if they equate assistance with irresponsibility, and fail to distinguish between courage and complacency.

          And to be clear, I haven’t come across anyone advocating open borders, least of all
          on this blog; so perhaps you would know more about that.

  • Tom G

    Has Mother Church interpreted and applied Matthew 25:41-46 to asylum and refugee laws in the way you seem to have above? In all sincerity, I would like to read those documents or sermons or encyclicals or whatever (“whatever” meaning “whatever form the teachings take” not “whatever, I’m not going to accept them anyway”). I’m hesitant to think that Jesus was referring to asylum and refugee laws when he spoke of this. But I could of course be wrong.

    One issue I have with what I take to be your interpretation of Matthew 25:41-46 is that asylum and refugee applicants (last I dealt with asylum law) first deal with an asylum officer who can unilaterally recommend granting asylum, subject to review by a supervisor, etc. or, if the asylum officer rejects the application or the asylum applicants waited until their initial visa had expired before claiming persecution, the asylum applicant then makes their case to a judge (who can reject or grant the application). If, in theory, the asylum officer or judge disbelieves the applicant’s story and rejects their application, and it turns out they were telling the truth, then under your interpretation it seems they would go away to eternal punishment, even if they had disbelieved the applicant with a sincere heart. I’m struggling to believe Christ meant His words to apply to asylum applicants or refugee claimants. But perhaps He did mean that. If we turn away asylum applicants from a particular country but buy them home in their native land, will we still be sent away to eternal punishment?

    I understand what you’re saying about the flat-out rejection of 5-year-old orphans being akin to Herod, but what of possible child soldiers who are easily convinced to commit suicide? I am skeptical to believe that 5-year-old orphans would come to America believing they are to do such a thing, but what about a 12-year-old orphan?

  • Bemused

    The problem with fear is that it manifests in a really primitive part of the brain that doesn’t care if it is justified or not. It’s us looking down at something from our tree going SNAKE SNAKE SNAKE. Now, maybe it’s a snake and our fear is justified, but it might be a stick or a vine that looks like a snake. However, if we spend all our time in the tree yelling SNAKE, we’ll all die of dehydration.

    So, can events in Paris justify the fear that the refugees might actually be terrorists? Well, apparently the Paris attackers were not refugees and were part of the EU. So, the Paris attackers were not refugees of any sort and therefore their actions should have no relationship to how we treat the refugees. Now, were we as concerned about the refugees before the attacks? No, we were not. That leaves us with three possible results. 1) We should have been more concerned than we were. 2) It’s simply an issued being used by certain politicians to make hay. 3) Certain people are so afraid of even the possibility of snakes that they will react in terror even to sticks that could look like snakes in the dark.

    IMO, it’s really important to watch out for possibilities 2 and 3 and sometimes what we think is possibility 1 is really one of the other two as well. I personally am not fond of living in fear, but life is risk and one needs to be able to accept a certain amount of risk. Each of us is far more likely to die of a car accident than be killed by terrorists, but we don’t stop driving.

    • Re_Actor

      So, can events in Paris justify the fear that the refugees might actually be terrorists? Well, apparently the Paris attackers were not refugees and were part of the EU. So, the Paris attackers were not refugees of any sort and therefore their actions should have no relationship to how we treat the refugees.

      What do the migrants and the terrorists have in common?

      Now, were we as concerned about the refugees before the attacks? No, we were not.

      Yes, we were. Because of what the migrants and the terrorists have in common.

      • Bemused

        What do the Irish and the IRA have in common? You can’t blame entire groups of people for their most radical extremists. I do not believe that we would have thought well of the UK not letting in any Catholics through the 80s and 90s.

        We were not as concerned before the attacks. No one was talking about denying even 5 year old orphans then.

        • Re_Actor

          You can’t blame entire groups of people for their most radical extremists

          The problem with mass Muslim immigration into the West is not that there may be terrorists among the immigrants (though that is certainly a legitimate concern). The problem with mass Muslim immigration into the West is that it is mass Muslim immigration into the West.

          Of course, when the West was Christian, mass Muslim immigration wasn’t an issue.

          “The waves break on the shores of England. The white cliffs stand against the void. We gaze seaward, contemplating the night journey … In the north a howling chaos into which a bleak rain falls without ceasing. Now is the time of departure. The last streamer that ties us to what is known parts. We drift into a sea of storms.”

          • Bemused

            Families that are placed in an integrated community integrate. I’m going to use an extremely high number that would never actually occur and is far higher than has actually been suggested by anyone, but is a size easy to use for estimates based on population centers. The US could take roughly 150,000 refugees if we, starting with communities of 50,000 or more, sheltered 100 refugees per 50,000 current US citizens. According to the UN, approximately 50% of Syrian refugees in general (as opposed to the ones pushing themselves into Europe, I can’t see why we would limit ourselves to only that group) are under the age of 18 and most of those are under the age of 12. So, we have 100 refugees in a 50,000 person community, 50 of which are kids, most of whom are elementary school kids. (most of the local school districts in my area serve abt 50000 people, so those are the numbers I’ll use for schools) You have 10 or so kids spread between your 2 or 3 high-schools, the other 40 or so spread between 2 or 3 jr. Highs and 10-14 elementary schools, so maybe 3-5 kids per school, or less than 1 per grade level. Refugees in these numbers are not going to cause any kind of significant (or even an insignificant) cultural shift. Problems with cultural shift would tend only to occur if the refugees were settled in a few larger groups. Spread people out and it isn’t a problem.

  • Chrissy P.

    Forget “Movement Conservatism” and consider regular American humans. Many of them are concerned because of the comments FBI Director Comey made about our ability to effectively screen refugees. I want to see our country help those in need. If you do, too, you should write posts that help achieve that end. I encourage you to retract this diatribe and write to your readers instead. You can send a nasty email to Christie instead of screaming at concerned citizens.

    • Marthe Lépine

      But… how do you know that Mr. Comey was not just following the GOP party line? It did seem to happen fairly often in our own country under our recently ousted government, so why not in yours?

      • Hezekiah Garrett

        Because our executive administration has been solidly left for 7 years?

        This is a simple one, Martha. What’s wrong with you?

  • DanH

    I’m trying to confirm a rumor that Jesus actually returned last
    year.Unfortunately he showed up in Texas and because he had brown skin
    was named Jesus and had no birth certificate the good Christians in
    Texas beat him threw him in jail and then dropped him off in the desert
    in Mexico supposedly he said”I’m going to tell my dad about you”as the
    Christians drove off.Can anyone confirm?

    • Joseph

      I can confirm that you’re an idiot.

  • Re_Actor