Refugees. This one little word has launched a verbal civil war within America and within the Catholic Church. In my Catholic world, it seems to be mostly in the context of “You’re a good Catholic if you favor bringing refugees to America” or “You’re a bad Catholic if you oppose bringing refugees to America.” However, there are many faithful priests, bishops, and cardinals with differing opinions on this. Catholics have really let liberals frame the choices here, and that always ends in disaster. False dichotomy, people! There are other alternatives, not just these two. I really don’t have any concrete ideas to solve the crisis, but I think a whole lot of more questions and ideas need to be bounced around before we run headlong into a possible disaster for us and for the refugees. I’m sure I’ll be labeled “less than Catholic” by some. What I really am is a Catholic woman who wants to help these people in the best way possible for them AND for us. I’m going to emphasize “woman” here, because we tend to see social dynamics that men don’t always see. (Sorry to you gender-equal people who hate pointing out differences between men and women, but we are different and we have different qualities that complement each other, so deal with it.)
First of all, this whole discussion should have been framed as “helping refugees” or “not helping refugees.” I think faithful Catholics are all in favor of helping refugees. It’s the “bringing them here” where we start to differ. The “third option” (there are actually more, but let’s assume this for a second) is to help the refugees in their own country or near their own country. Why is it that we think we need to put them on a boat or plane to help them, especially to bring them to a land that’s having a bit of trouble taking care of their own right now? The majority of these refugees are not going back if we bring them to America. If we are taking Christian refugees, that would mean we just give up Christianity in the Middle East (although it looks like Christians are the only ones being denied refugee status). And if we’re talking Muslim refugees well, that means we’re spreading that faith all over the place.
So, back to looking at the “best way” to help refugees… Is it really wise to uproot them and move them to another country? Another culture? How does this differ for Christians and Muslims? This all needs to be looked at quite seriously before our goodwill does more harm than good.
Then, of course, there’s the vetting. Could we start off with just a little common sense? We can still help refugees, care for them, and provide for their safety, without being suicidal. How about, right off the bat, we set up a safe zone in Syria itself or one of the neighboring countries that has already set up refugee camps and take just a little more time to do our best to make sure they’re not people who want to kill infidels? Yes, it’s hard, but as I’ve stated before, Chaldeans, for example, have tattoos of crosses on their wrists. How about we start using this as one means of the vetting process, but without publicity? Relying on the Obama administration to properly vet refugees is a little silly, don’t you think? Which program of his has worked thus far? Plus, there are a slew of government agencies already stating that we’re blowing it. You know, the ones who are responsible for the vetting? And then there’s this: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/11/24/sen-sessions-reveals-15-refugee-jihadis-hopes-shrink-obamas-2016-refugee-budget/
Next, let’s talk about assimilation. That can be the word of the day. Can you say “assimilation”, children? Good, I knew you could. This is, by far, the most important thing to look at. Can we just agree that most Muslim countries have very different cultures than the West? Muslims from Muslim countries have a very hard time assimilating into Western Culture. Heck, I have a problem with this sometimes, and I was born and raised here, but I’m Catholic first, so that’s where my priorities lie. The Tsarnaev brothers are a perfect example of what happens when Muslims cannot assimilate. Then there’s Nidal Hasan. He was even born here but raised Muslim by his Palestinian parents. These Muslims never quite feel like they belong and end up getting drawn into radicalism while looking for people to whom they can relate. To some extent, our crazy, hedonistic, bully culture is to blame, but that’s a whole other blog post. As I have said before, sometimes I don’t fit in either, but my response is never to blow someone away. Unfortunately, there’s often not a loving thing we can do to make a radical change their view. Case in point: http://www.cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/barbara-boland/video-palestinian-mom-wanted-baby-become-martyr
Sadly, radical Muslims are really all in for their “cause.” They do believe in something, even if it’s evil. The youth, especially, are looking for something to believe in, and since America can be rather wishy-washy in many regards – patriotism, faith, etc. – they are drawn to the Islamic clear “truth” (again, not truth, but it’s vehemently put forth as such.) You’ve seen how many Americans have decided to throw in with them. Why? Could it be that they want the rigid rules of a faith, even if it is an evil faith? Could it be that they are looking for clear “gender roles?” You betcha! It’s too bad that all some can find is a confused version of these things, but again, our culture is partly to blame. While we’re changing the signs on our bathroom doors to be “gender inclusive,” they are doing the polar opposite and it’s attracting many lost sheep. That’s why it’s crucial the Church promotes true teachings and stop trying to make people feel good about every wrong thing they want to do. It doesn’t work! We want limits, whether we admit it or not. Failure to set them makes for unruly children. And why in the heck aren’t we listening to the warnings of this guy? http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2015/08/theres-no-such-thing-as-moderate-islam.html
Wake up! The cancer is at your door. They will destroy you. We, the Christians of the Middle East are the only group that has seen the face of evil: Islam.
Now, as far as the Christians in Syria go, their focus should be God first, right? Would that help them to assimilate better? I suspect yes, but that’s just a guess. That said, would I even think it a good idea to bring them here? Quite frankly, for what? We’re having trouble enough with our own poor, thanks to big government folks who’ve ruined the economy. Would I want their children to be put into a Catholic or public school? To learn what? Only some black lives matter? Shoot, bringing them here might very well save them from imminent death, only to lose their souls in our liberal school system. What if the Catholic organizations set up refugee camps in nearby areas, if not in Syria, and teach them there? Never mind, probably would still be the same stupid education. Remember, I don’t even put my kids in Catholic schools, but I digress. What could we give them here that we couldn’t give them closer to their home? Come on, people (especially Christians!), give until it hurts! Regardless of where they end up, that needs to be done. I’m definitely not advocating in any way that we don’t help the poor and war torn refugees. That absolutely has to be done. But how about we fund guys like this priest? http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/10/23/iraqi-priest-saves-thousands-isis/ or this one: http://dailysignal.com/2015/09/24/iraqi-priest-pleads-for-pope-francis-to-help-end-genocide-of-christians/ or these guys: https://www.youcaring.com/emergency-relief-in-syria-ats-pro-terra-sancta-437263? We also need to take stories like this into consideration:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3263593/Syrian-wives-mothers-left-condemn-men-fled-country-ask-free-protect-wrong-leave-country.html#ixzz3sQ9UrWcG. This isn’t the first time this has happened with our sloppy immigration policies, either.
Now for some more questions…Why, oh why, haven’t we taken refugees from Mt. Sinjar or Nigeria? How about Christians from Iraq? It’s like they’ve all been forgotten. My guess is there are a lot of Christians in that mix. It would make perfect sense for Obama to not want to do anything for them, but what about the Church? I mean, we did make a big stink about them, but why didn’t we push for everyone to take in these refugees? It’s like we’ve forgotten 300 young girls.
At this point, I’m all for making a Catholic “special forces.” They may have called them Crusaders in the olden days. And, yes, I’m one who doesn’t believe the revisionist history that the Catholic Crusades were a bad thing. Quick debunking link: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/11/a_note_on_equating_isis_with_the_crusades_dont.html Seriously, being Catholic, we would and should be more discerning, more caring, etc., than any other elite force, right? Might be time to get someone to go find those 300 missing girls or to rescue the remaining stuck on a Mt. Sinjar. I mean, could it be that hard to have some sort of elite intelligence force find them? For some reason, someone didn’t want to do a darn thing. How Christian is that???
So, I’ve posed a lot of questions. What about a solution after all the vetting that can be done? How about this? Why don’t we try to help the refugees save their own country, and protect, train, arm, and care for them while we do it??? Please, somebody, tell me where I’m going wrong here? They could then go back to their homes, or rebuild their homes (with our help), as well as their jobs, their schools, etc., when peace returned. They can feel at home in their culture and not out of place when everyone around them shares the same culture, not to mention a universal experience of a war torn refugee, whether they be Christian or Muslim. Think it can’t be done? Somalis have actually started going home after being harbored in nearby Yemen, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Millions of Syrians have even returned to their homes since Russia (and presumably now France) have set their sights on ISIS. However, it’s a lot harder to return home when you are thousands of miles away from your homeland.
Of course, all of this matters little. Obama is going to do what Obama is going to do, but we, as Catholics, should at least ask these questions.