Was our Lord not Exploited? [Thoughts on refugees]

The events of the past several days have been discouraging, to say the least. The terrorist attacks have reached a new high, reaching Paris, Beirut, and Egypt, all in the same week, bringing death and injury to people who were simply living out their lives. 

In the wake of these terrible events, there has been no shortage of shouting from various sources, calling for the US to not accept refugees from Syria, to accept only Christian refugees, to claim that Western Europe, not the US, ought to be the refugees’ destination. There has also been a disappointing slew of political personalities using the terrorist attacks to promote their own popularity and stir up controversy over issues such as gun laws, climate control, and welfare.

Issue 1: self-promotion in the wake of another’s tragedy is morally wrong. 

For example, I will say that I understand the argument put forth by climate change experts that growing scarcity of resources will lead to greater terrorism. Yes, if greater flooding and depletion of natural resources in already unstable areas does happen, then I can understand how that phenomenon would lead people to carry out terrorism in order to lay claim to more territory and resources.

However, Mr. Sanders, you are not a scientist, you are running for President of the USA, and there is therefore no way to view your statements as anything other than self-promotion as the candidate of the environmentally conscious. You stand to gain too much from your claims for them to be seen as anything other than vain.

Likewise, I understand the argument that more concealed carry permits would make people think twice before pulling a gun on a crowd of people.

But, Mrs. Coulter, you are being inappropriate. Completely inappropriate. This is not the time for your tirades.

Issue #2: Christians ought to know that we will be exploited if we follow Scripture. And they ought to accept that consequence. 

Saying that one wishes to give aid, while at the same time stating one’s unwillingness to actually take in and support the recipients of that aid is simply an attempt to save face. It is an attempt to create an appearance of sympathy, while remaining personally uninvolved and unaltered by the situation.

This is the problem: regardless of whether or not any one country accepts refugees, they will still come. And refusal to accept them means that, while we give some symbolic financial aid to the cause, the actual consequences of the situation will be felt by other people, wherever these refugees end up finally settling.

When we say, “we won’t accept any refugees”, we aren’t just protecting our own citizens — we are saddling the citizens of some other country with all the consequences of the situation. Those recipients of the consequences are equally as undeserving as we are of the hardships and headaches associated with taking in thousands of immigrants. 

It’s hypocrisy at it’s finest — claiming to be generous while making sure none of the consequences of generosity (the actual giving up of our own stuff) fall to us.

Furthermore, the expectation that we would grant aid and remove any risk of being exploited is preposterous — both practically and scripturally. Was our Lord not exploited when he came down from Heaven? Did he not bear all the punishment that we were due?

My brothers and sisters, in light of such sacrifice, we can do better. We can sacrifice a bit of our comfort, so that others can live in peace. Yes, that aid may be exploited from time to time, but that does not absolve us of our obligation to get our hands dirty.  

If we continue down this path, though we may believe that our financial aid is commendable, we run the risk of making the problem worse for many more across the world. As as we sit at home, having gained a world of wealth and comfort for ourselves, we will be fatefully unaware of the loss of our souls to indifference.

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