March 23, 2017

November 20, 2015

Has America Sold Her Christian Soul?

The ISIS/ISIL/IS (could we please agree on a convention, folks?—see below) terrorists in Paris have finally pushed America over the top, it would seem.

Well, let the reader decide. Here are just the straight facts:

1. The President proposes to increase the number of refugees authorized to immigrate here by up to 100,000 per year by 2017. This year alone, at least 10,000 will come from Syria.

2. More than 96% of the Syrian refugees the President and the State Department are bringing in identify themselves as Muslim.

3. Since over 70% of the civilian mass murders in recent times have been carried out by Muslims; since ISIS/ISIL/IS proclaims itself to be the re-establishment of the ancient Islamic caliphate; and since ISISILIS (let’s just call it that: pronounced I-SIS’-I-LIS, to rhyme with syphilis) has announced its intention to bring Paris-style terrorism to these shores, many Americans think that to bring tens of thousands of Muslims into America from a country where ISISILIS operates is a particularly bad idea.

4. The Republicans in the House, led by their new Speaker Paul Ryan, have introduced a bill that supposedly requires the Government to check all new Syrian emigrants before approving them for travel to the US and resettlement there. The bill is a sham, because its vetting requirements are mostly meaningless, impractical to carry out, and may be evaded with a simple certification.

5. The President, however, is not one to allow the House Republicans to show him up as unconcerned for America’s safety. He has announced he will veto the Republican bill —before he even has seen what it will finally say—because his administration is already taking the necessary steps to protect us. And the media, as usual, are right behind him.

6. At the same time, the chief religious denominations in the US are also joining in castigating the Republicans for trying to put limits on the resettlement of Syrian Muslims—even if some of the immigrants might prove to be terrorists traveling incognito. That is just the price we will have to pay for our upholding Christian principles of charity toward all strangers—“be not afraid!

7. Other religious groups and House Republicans—a definite minority in both places—point out that it is a little hypocritical for the majority denominations to speak of “simple Christian charity”, because it is precisely the Syrian Christians who are being persecuted and driven out of their traditional regions. At the same time, the State Department, pursuant to Obama’s direction, absolutely refuses to open up any refugee resettlement slots for Christians.

8. President Obama and the major Christian denominations say that admission to America must never be based on any kind of “religious test”—regardless of the fact that our immigration laws require that a refugee’s religion be taken into account, since one of the most prominent forms of persecution in refugee areas is religious persecution: just as Syrian Christians are, as you read this, being persecuted and driven out of their homes by Syrian Muslims.

9. Evangelical Christians add that they do not need any of their fellow Christians rescued, as they are already “eager to share their faith with [the non-Christian] new arrivals.” So the suffering Christians should apparently just go on suffering, as far as their evangelical brethren are concerned.

10. Meanwhile, as all this takes place, Obama’s unilateral changes last year to immigration enforcement policy are allowing over 80% of those already here illegally to stay without fear of deportation.

The end result is that President Obama and his State Department, joined by the media and major Christian denominations, want only Syrian Muslims brought into the country, regardless of their backgrounds. The House Republicans, meanwhile, want to be seen as opposing this policy while also doing nothing to stop it, or to help Syrian Christians. All of them do not want the immigration laws enforced as written—if doing so would mean that most Syrian Christians would qualify for resettlement here. The Christians, as a consequence, are left to perish.

As Dave Barry always says, you cannot make this stuff up.

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If only it were a bad dream after a night of spicy food…..

At least then we could swear off the offending nourishment, clean out the fridge and get on with life.

Cleaning out the government is a much nastier task, I fear.

[1] Posted by Jackie on 11-20-2015 at 03:13 PM · [top]

Given Obama’s attitude towards discriminating against refugees because of their religion (no Christians can come in), the answer is easy.  None of these refugees should come in.  And we still also need to expel all illegals.

[2] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 11-20-2015 at 04:17 PM · [top]

Perhaps Christians families, worldwide, threatened with death and dismemberment should look to the Episcopal Club for shelter within the quickly emptying U.S. church properties.

[3] Posted by Fradgan on 11-20-2015 at 06:23 PM · [top]

To answer the original question, I believe the majority of those in power have indeed transferred rights to their soul but believe, possibly naively, that the majority of the American citizens have not done so.

What we need to do is rear up and stand against the idiocy that is being used in an attempt to intimidate.

[4] Posted by Jackie on 11-21-2015 at 12:44 PM · [top]

I’ve been reading on this subject for months.  I’ve come to believe that this is not a Republican vs Democrat debate, but a megadonor vs common good conflict.  Large business megadonors (to both Democrats and Republicans) like the cheap labor provided by refugees.  Hence, Ryan’s bill is designed to appease the common people without offending the megadonors.

[5] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 11-21-2015 at 09:33 PM · [top]

Large business megadonors (to both Democrats and Republicans) like the cheap labor provided by refugees.

Good point, Jill, and we also need to consider the general downward effect that large numbers of refugees and other immigrants, legal and otherwise, are having on wages and benefits. I can testify to that; I’m earning a lot less at my current full-time job than I did at my previous job.

[6] Posted by the virginian on 11-22-2015 at 05:36 PM · [top]

#6— I agree that illegal immigrants are part of that, but a lot is also being caused by government sucking up an ever-increasing share of the country’s wealth for feeding itself, redistribution to favored constituencies, and passing and enforcing an ever-increasing amount of regulations which create problems for the private economy and divert more and more resources into government compliance.  The Obamacare disaster is only one example (and no, I haven’t been able to keep my doctor, he “retired” in October after sending a blistering letter to his patients that he was no longer willing to comply with the red tape and lessened payments of Obamacare).  Our government, which is essentially bankrupt, is sucking the life out of the country.

Ironically, I am making less than what I made as a first-year partner 28 years ago (and that is in nominal dollars, not adjusted for inflation).  And my health care premiums, which were then about $4,000 for family coverage, now are about $24,000.  (They had climbed to almost $30,000 from the effects of Obamacare, but then my firm cut benefits and increased deductibles, so it fell to $19,000 but has been going up again since.)

[7] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 11-22-2015 at 05:44 PM · [top]

Some members of Congress do grasp the gravity of the financial commitments the refugee program entails.  Rep Brian Babin has introduced H.R. 3314, which has 79 cosponsors, and Rep. Mike McCaul has introduced H.R. 3573, which has 104 cosponsors.  These were introduced before the Paris attacks.  If your Representative is not a cosponsor, please ask him/her to be.  It will be next year before these bills are considered. 
The only way to halt to stop the current wave of asylum-seekers from Syria is to stop the funding in the budget, which must be approved in December.
A short list of legitimate issues raised by the refugee crisis is here.

[8] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 11-22-2015 at 06:57 PM · [top]

It’s complicated, as they say.

We have a positive duty to welcome the stranger and love our neighbor. 

We have a relative duty to protect our families and neighbors.  I say relative because absolute safety doesn’t exist in this life.  Nevertheless,  while I may, sometimes must, lay down my life,  I’m forbidden to lay down your life, leaving a clear duty to love the neighbors closest at hand - family and friends.

Someone posted this article at MCJ and it set off a light in my brain.  Help these people in their own culture.  Don’t be dragging children across Europe or the Mediterranean in flimsy boats.  Don’t be forcing them to learn new languages and new cultures.

The economic development zones solves another huge problem.  There is nothing like honest work that supports your family to make a long term impact in the middle east.  I do think money we spend helping these people is well spent, since it fulfills or Christian vocation to live or neighbour, and also makes us friends in the long term.  20 years from now,  children cared for by Western doctors,  taught by Western teachers,  and fed from Western coffers won’t see us as “Crusaders”, but as friends.

[9] Posted by Words Matter on 11-22-2015 at 11:56 PM · [top]

How is the U.S. as a post Christian country any more righteous than ISIS? They kill thousands of innocents in terrible ways while we have allowed millions of innocent unborn children to be killed in horrible ways. Yesterday’s readings from Daniel and Revelation should remind us that we will be judged also. We no longer hold the moral high ground. Our compassion is misguided. We are becoming a morally bankrupt soup kitchen.

[11] Posted by Fr. Dale on 11-23-2015 at 08:32 AM · [top]

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