League City, Texas, recently banned the processing or housing of any refugees within their boundaries. There is a humanitarian crisis going on in our border region. The United Nations has now classified this as a refugee crisis. No country likes having a refugee crisis on their border. The difference is that most countries allow international authorities to set up refugee camps and to become involved. In fact, the United States has helped out quite a few countries that have ended up with refugee camps within their borders. More than one president, Republican and Democrat, has sent aid to refugee camps and supported their existence because they saved people from a worse fate.
Until, of course, a humanitarian crisis sent refugees in our direction. All of a sudden, many of us are saying the exact opposite of what we have told other countries. We have asked other countries to receive the refugees and to be patient until the situation that began the refugee flow could be resolved. Now, in our own back yard, many are wanting the exact opposite to happen. They want the refugees sent back without any aid in resolving the issues that sent them flowing in our direction in the first place. One commentator to an article on this issue said angrily:
Nothing like a bunch of Christians showing their true colors. Yes we Americans are exceptional but in the wrong way. I am sure Jesus would be applauding these Hypocrites.
He is correct. Sadly, the very people who most claim American Exceptionalism have shown themselves only to be exceptionally lacking in compassion. [Note that there is one positive example and that is Glenn Beck who has consistently insisted on a loving and generous treatment of the children flooding in.] As you know, about a week ago, some protesters even blockaded a school bus taking American children to a YMCA summer camp. I noticed that when stories were written about that incident that it was said that the protesters “terrorized” those children. Yes, when it is American children, they are being terrorized. If they are foreign children, they are only being blockaded! But, I digress.
Sadly, what should be dealt with in the same fashion as we counseled other countries with refugee crises has become another opportunity for the partisan blame game. So another community has taken the opportunity to assert that the Federal government has nothing to say to them. The law is unenforceable on its face, as it tries to prevent the Federal government from doing that which is within its purview. Recently the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, sent the National Guard to the border. He said it was to protect the border from incoming drug lords. Of course, he has no proof that this is happening to any greater degree than has happened before. He even admitted that the troops could not and would not stop the refugees, but would give them a helping hand and take them to a processing center. Frankly, the Border Patrol can use that type of help, but the words Gov. Perry used to announce his decision were clearly, and only, political words about “drug lords,” etc. Nothing like stirring up people by claiming an increased influx of serious criminals with no proof.
As Christians, we need to take Glenn Beck’s advice. Those of us who are for amnesty need to make our case using words with passion but without anger. Those of us who are for a different solution to immigration and the border need to make our case using words with passion but without anger. All of us need to treat the refugees in a loving manner, ensuring that they have more than sufficient food, clothing, and shelter. All of us need to have said of us that Jesus would be applauding us and that we are not hypocrites. We can disagree passionately but without hate. We can fight for different solutions, but without distorting our opponents views, and without terrorizing the innocent. In our anger, let us not sin.