As I start this blogpost, I will apologize to Luke for my literary license.
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? …
A certain group of refugees went down from Syria, and fell among terrorists and political repression, which stripped them of their homes and of their raiment, and took their worldly goods, wounded some of them, and departed, leaving many of them dead or half dead.
And by chance there came down a certain group of American State Governors that way: and when they saw them, they passed by on the other side saying “We don’t want them here.”
And likewise a group of senators and representatives, some of whom wanted to occupy the White House, when they were at the place, came and looked on them, and for the sake of political expediency passed by on the other side lest they have their political images sullied.
But a certain President of France, as he journeyed through the valley of the shadow of the deaths suffered in a horrific terrorist attack, came where the refugees were, and when he considered them he saw their need, and he had compassion on them,
And he said to them, my country will do our part, we will find room at the inn. While we mourn and feel our pain, we will not hold hostage those who can least help themselves. We will help bind up your wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set you on our country’s beast, and bring you to our inn, and he committed to take care of 30,000 of them.
And a certain Utah Senator said of these refugees: “We must know who is coming into our country. It's irresponsible, particularly after Friday's attacks, to reduce this issue to one of mere compassion. We cannot allow terrorists to take advantage of our benevolence." Thus said Senator Hatch. (editorial comment – Do you think he meant malevolence?)
Which now of these, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto them that fell among the thieves?
And he said, He that shewed mercy on them. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Certainly, this is not a simple, concern free action. But it isn’t for the many European countries who have willingly allowed many of these refugees into their borders. It’s not easy, but it is right.
Americans want to be perceived as the “good guys” in their efforts around the world. Well, the “good guys” don’t turn away the truly needy. They use the voluminous resources of the United States to deal with their concerns while opening their hearts and borders to a portion of these refugees.
Personally, I am grateful that Utah Governor, Gary Herbert, was not among the governors who cold heartedly vowed to keep the refugees out of their state. Not that this reprehensible action is within their power to so do, but the intent is aimed at the “least of these.”
We have seen reminders, over the last few days, of America’s tragic rejection of European Jews before WWII. This is not a time to see history repeat itself.
There have been cries from some of the wannabe presidential candidates calling for a religious litmus test. Are these refugees Christian? I would respond, is that action Christian? Certainly, this is one of those times when the question might be asked: “Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?” Hopefully, the answer will include, “Remember back in November of 2015?”