I have been particularly bothered this week by the recent announcement that Tennessee, along with 25 other states, will refuse to allow Syrian refugees enter.
For one, I am bothered because many of the students I counsel and teach are refugees and immigrants. By and large, the refugees and immigrants are the well-behaved, driven students that do not cause problems. From an academic perspective, they are the ones who are incredibly motivated and dedicated to learning and creating a better life for themselves. From a counseling perspective, they are the ones who have seen horrific scenes and dealt with losses that I would not wish upon anyone. But these kids are the ones fortunate enough to have made it out, to have been taken in by America. They also happen to be some of my favorites.
While thinking about this situation, this verse from Matthew continually came to my mind. As a believer, I do not feel peace about turning thousands of people away. I realize that safety is an issue, but it seems completely unfair to turn away tens of thousands of endangered people based on the actions of a few. And The Bible does not say that you fed the hungry, when it was convenient for you. Or cared for the sick, when there was zero risk of you catching the sickness that they had contracted. It simply says that the love shown for the least of these is love shown for Jesus Christ.
I will admit, I have been annoyed by the Facebook rants about this situation. I just do not think Facebook is the appropriate platform for political debates, but I came across this article that was posted by a friend who I respect, who also happens to have spent a great deal of time in the middle east. Having personally seen the atrociousness of the concentration camps after the fact, I cannot imagine that anyone in their right mind would have kept these people there instead of letting them come to the U.S.
So, not that that anyone who makes decisions will read this, but I want to be able to say that I did everything I could do for the least of these. Don't you?!