Weighing in on the refugee matter


Screenshot from a video about a UNHCR refugee camp.

I try very hard to stay away from politics here at Steak and a Bible. That isn’t because I don’t have strong political opinions, I do. I avoid it because I do not want my political opinions to get in the way of God’s truth. The Bible and the truth it contains is essential. It is non-negotiable. That is my focus and it will remain so.

But occasionally a political issue (or current event) bleed so much into my faith that I feel compelled to say something.

This is one of those days.

The executive orders signed on Friday have caused confusion, turmoil and anger. I am not even sure I fully understand what each of them do and I’m certain that misinformation abounds.

That being said, although I may struggle to put this into words, I feel I must speak up today on behalf of vulnerable refugees. On behalf of all refugees no matter what country they’ve been driven from, or what religion (or lack of religion) they claim.

I’m not a legal expert, so I’m speaking from an ideological framework — not a legal one. I believe our country and our leaders have the right to determine who may enter. I am not opposed to having procedures in place that need to be followed or for increasing standards or vetting for those who wish to enter in light of terrorist threats. I support legal immigration.

But even if we can refuse to admit some group of people does not mean that we should.

In the case of actual refugees, these are people who have fled a homeland they wanted to stay in because of actual danger to their lives. There is a long process involved for applying for refugee status and being vetted before there is even a chance of being resettled in another country. And it is not up to a refugee which country they would be resettled to. I implore people to read Seeking Refuge to better understand the legal definitions and process surrounding this issue. I believe it is ignorance of the process that is in place that keeps unreasonable fears in people’s minds. Once you understand the refugee process the U.S. uses, it becomes obvious that this is not a likely path for terrorists seeking to enter the United States.

There has been a lot of misinformation passed around regarding the refugee executive order signed a few days ago. In my view, David French is a credible legal authority, so I’m willing to trust that this article he wrote is properly explaining what it is and isn’t saying.

It is my sincere hope that these restrictions on refugees are temporary and that the Syrian refugee prohibition is rescinded entirely.

Given the horror of that particular conflict and its immensity, it is my view that the United States should not turn its back on them. They are fleeing the same terrorists who inspired various attacks in our country. Islamic terrorism is a a very real threat. I will not minimize it. But I think our desire to protect ourself from possible risk should not come at the expense of all compassion towards Syrians whose country has been shredded in recent years.

As a Christian, I want to show love toward any refugee, especially those who come here. That begins by speaking up now. And my love towards them does not demand they be from some countries and not others, or of the same faith as me. God’s command to love my neighbor does not come with a caveat.

If they are not Christians, it would be my hope they may would some day come to understand the gospel and accept the salvation and liberty offered by the only savior, Jesus Christ. But even if they do not, I want to continue loving them.


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