What if We Paused to Ask a Few Questions?

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.

 

 

 

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15 thoughts on “What if We Paused to Ask a Few Questions?

  1. “I’m going to emphasize ‘woman’ here, because we tend to see social dynamics that men don’t always see.
    GRRRRRRRRR!!!!! This whole business about “social dynamics” has been the determined excuse for blasting a man for disagreeing with a woman for a good 30 years now.
    I agree that there are profound differences between men and women in some ways; the ability to understand different solutions to difficult questions is NOT one of them!

    So now we have the tangle about what to do with people from Syria–or the Middle East in general–who theoretically want to go…somewhere else.

    I see many parallels with the crisis we have on our southern border with Mexico. Many of the same reasons have been given: People looking for jobs, people looking to escape violence, people seeking to escape political or social oppression, whatever.
    …And the Church seems insistent about believing that everyone coming has the best of intentions, even though we’ve had various acts of terror committed against various locations in the West.

    For some time now, I’ve wondered why we didn’t require people to declare themselves political or social asylees, with the intent of returning to their home nations when problems finally get sorted out. …I’ve also wondered why we didn’t seek to provoke would-be refugees to work on solving some of their own problems in those countries themselves. …I’ve wondered too at why we didn’t allow a very few to visit for a short time, learn to handle firearms properly, then send them back with the ability to fight off the various brutal interests that would create threats to their safety and well-being.
    I’m sure someone would throw a screaming fit about that, “we don’t want to encourage violence”, or similar nonsense, but we seem determined to ignore the fact that…life in that area is ALREADY pretty violent and people need most to be capable of defending themselves.

    I’ll be blasted again for saying that I don’t think we should take in ANY refugees without definite plans to help them to return home, but I don’t believe that it makes sense to keep them here indefinitely. I do not know how much cultural strain it takes to rip a nation apart, but from what I’ve been seeing of America these last 15 years, I’m not so sure that we won’t become as violent as every other place easily enough.
    Multiculturalism has not been the saving grace that academia, cultural elites, political officials (and some Church leaders) would like to insist.

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    1. I think you may have misunderstood the “social dynamics” comment. Here’s an example of how the sexes differ. If I walk into my teens gathering of their friends I think “Hmmm…those two aren’t getting along.” or “That person is clearly trying to annoy the other one.”, “Well they like each other!”, etc. My husband walks in and sees that the chip bowl is empty and the drinks are running low and fixes that situation.. He pretty much misses (probably intentionally – lol!) the crowd of teens.

      It’s not agreeing or disagreeing about a solution to a problem. It’s more about taking in all of the social facets of the situation instead of the crisis in general. Yes, there is a crisis. We all agree but not many have stopped to see the plight of the families due men leaving the Syrian area without their families and assimilation problem is another one that needs to be looked at very carefully. Why are so many youth becoming radicalized in our country. Looking at the social dynamics is, indeed, important.

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      1. “Looking at the social dynamics is, indeed, important.”

        Considering social dynamics to the degree you suggest has never been very effective at solving problems. We know very well that families in Syria have a serious problem because they’re living through a bloody civil war. We also know that many youth have been radicalized for various reasons, including being repulsed by a militantly secularistic society and our refusal to admit that various strains of Islam might actually propose violent behavior.
        Examining social dynamics won’t reveal anything that we couldn’t solve by simply removing our (often politically imposed) blinders.

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        1. Sorry. I disagree. I think we should examine social dynamics to figure out the best course of action to pursue. One tactic taken for one group of people may not work for another group.

          Also, as i pointed out, just about nobody is examining the fact that we are breaking up families and leaving women to be single moms to fend for themselves. That is never a good thing.

          Yes, many things need to be examined before making rash decisions that don’t do much to truly help refugees or our society.

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          1. Examining social dynamics for 50 different people will lead to 50 different solutions; providing workable solutions will require focusing on a relative few common problems.

            “Also, as i pointed out, just about nobody is examining the fact that we are breaking up families and leaving women to be single moms to fend for themselves. That is never a good thing. ”

            WE, the People of the United States, have not broken up any families that I have heard about for which WE can be held to account. I have heard many charges about breaking up Latin American families by raiding workplaces; such charges refuse to recognize that we do have legitimate law in place to address these concerns.
            We cannot force men to remain faithful to their families if they choose to abandon them.

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          2. Got it, John. You don’t believe in studying social dynamics. I do. It’s ridiculous to think that there are not cultural differences attributed to different areas of the world which make it hard to assimilate – yet another point made.

            Also, yes, I have heard from priests in Mexico and South America that our lack of immigration policy enforcement is leading to many broken homes. In fact, I hadn’t given it a thought until a priest who does missionary work in those countries on his vacation time gave a homily about it. Men come to find work here illegally, send money home for awhile and then completely abandon their families after time and take up completely new families here. The point I’ve made from the start is that we need to find the best way possible to help people in need rather than just to do it willy nilly.

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          3. “The point I’ve made from the start is that we need to find the best way possible to help people in need rather than just to do it willy nilly.”

            Yes, I’ve heard this kind of argument many times before. I’ve grown very weary of it. At the core, many of these problems stem from someone else’s irresponsibility. If someone abandons a family elsewhere, we have little or no real ability to compel him to behave virtuously. If our wider culture held a greater expectation of moral virtue, we might not have as many problems, but our political, cultural, and spiritual leaders seem insistent about avoiding those concerns.
            Social dynamics concerns may tug at our heartstrings, but no amount of empathy from me or you will solve the underlying problem.
            Sadly, the Church doesn’t seem willing to admit to that.

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  2. OOOOPS. I tried to post this but somehow it wound up in a different place. Here goes again:

    Actually, I recently found out a really sad truth about the current help these refugees in places like Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc. are getting. As it turns out, there are two parties to getting each person and/or family relocated into our country, one being the State Department and the other being Catholic Social Services. The person reporting this to us, gave the impression that if the Bishops in our country really wanted to, they could use CSS to do so and would be successful in a very short time. If we used all those Catholics in our government to apply even the slightest pressures, the oiled wheels would turn smoothly and these people would be coming to our country. His indictment, and yes, I choose that word for a reason, as a priest and a citizen of these States, against those who can do something but refuse. is valid. They lay the blame entirely on the State Department. But wake up sleepy Catholics – we do have social service structures in place that IF they were employed in this situation, Christians being actively persecuted in other lands by Muslims and others would be relocated here. Our Parishes could easily find families able and willing to act as Sponsors of immigrants to give them a place to go while their paperwork is pending. This is a necessary item in the refugee process and I have absolutely no doubt that if there was an appeal made by the Bishops of this country to the Catholics in our parishes to open their homes to these nearly Martyred refugees, there would be a very large outpouring of charity towards them. Our homes would become theirs in a heartbeat. The priest doing the reporting said that he was actually shamed by the responses he got when he contacted some in Catholic Social Services. There are no plans in their future to help and they are the most able.

    I was a stranger, and you took me in………………………And when did we see Thee a stranger,…………Depart from me you cursed, into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels…………For….I was a stranger and you took me not in……Matt 25:35-43 (Douay Rheims version)

    It’s that important.

    God bless. Ginnyfree.

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    1. Ginnyfree wrote: “As it turns out, there are two parties to getting each person and/or family relocated into our country, one being the State Department and the other being Catholic Social Services.”
      Sort of. It’s a bit more complicated than that, at least in the experiences I’ve had with refugee resettlement. In an ideal situation, State is in charge of making recommendations on refugees to admit, within certain quotas and guidelines. We work with other international organizations, usually the UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), to identify people who are actually refugees (vs. other types of migrants) and to screen them. The Department of Homeland Security also gets involved in admitting the refugees into the country. Only after the USG structures have identified the refugees to admit, and put the wheels in motion, do the orgs like CSS get involved with welcoming the refugees, getting them settled in, and integrating them into U.S. life to the extent possible.

      Where the USCCB could place pressure on the front end is by raising a stink about all the Christians who are being beheaded and persecuted, but who have not been given equal treatment with others. Lobbying Congress, as well as working with State and UNHCR, could be an effective way of getting things moving. I will also note that the refugee resettlement process takes quite a while.

      Ultimately, the goal is to find a “durable solution” to refugees. UNHCR usually identifies return, resettlement in a third country (outside the initial point of refuge), or integration into the country that first offered refuge. At least the people I have worked with (and it’s been years) emphasized that the refugee needs to be able to integrate wherever they settle. Obviously, that’s easier when the culture is more similar, although there are successful cases of integration into different cultures.

      Not knowing how accurate the reports are about Christians being excluded from refugee programs, it is nevertheless a great shame for the Department of State that this is the perception, and an even greater shame if it is true.

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    1. Dear ginny,

      Thank you for ordering a copy of our book. :^) I am so grateful. I hope you will be edified by what you read.

      Once again OMM, I thank you too for helping us out. You have been so gracious and kind to us in doing so.

      BTW, after hearing something in a sermon earlier this year, another person (Mrs. Steichen) has suggested a second volume as well. I don’t know. This writing business is, as you probably know all too well, very taxing at times. ;^)

      (The comment was something along the lines of “There is not very much *historical data* in the gospels. So much of what Jesus supposedly “said” cannot be proven that He really said it.”) [palm smacking forehead]

      That statement brought me to this excellent document on the topic:

      https://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCGOSPL.HTM

      Yep, says just the opposite of what was said in the sermon.

      God love you both!
      Catechist Kev

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Kev. Wow! The Author! I’m awed. Wondering if there might be a telepathic way you could autograph the work for me…………hmmmmmmm……………………
    I heard a good one you might already know about: guy was talking about Halloween costumes he’d seen at parties over the holiday. He was a man dress up as the Grim Reaper complete with sickle and hooded cape, etc. Only one difference. On the back he had a sign that read: “Spirit Of Vatican 2” Now that’s a hoot. I’d love to have a pic.
    God bless. Ginnyfree.

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