Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Refugees and Responsibility

And so it begins, as I knew it probably would.  But oh, how I had hoped we might avoid ugliness.

Now the chorus of governors who say, "Not in my state."  Now the Facebook posts of people who say, "No more refugees until we take care of homeless Americans."

We have enough for both refugees and for our homegrown homeless.  Look at your own garbage cans if you don't believe me.

We have enough room for everyone who might want to come here.  There are huge swaths of the U.S. that are empty.  Some are truly uninhabitable, but some were once inhabited.

I understand that these arguments are not based in rationality.  I understand the scarcity consciousness behind some of them.  I understand the fear of those who are different.

But I also understand the richness that we all bring to the pot of stew where we live.  One ingredient does not make for anything interesting.

The U.S. has traditionally done a good job of integrating refugees into our larger culture.  Sure, we could have done better, but our less-stratified society actually makes our country a better candidate for refugee resettlement than much of Europe.  And the U.S. still has a wide variety of social service groups that are dedicated to refugee resettlement--another argument for why it should be this country.

Of course, there are plenty of refugees to go around. 

We are close to Advent and Christmas, a time when many of us will be hearing the words of the ancient prophets who call upon us to bind up the broken.  The season of Christmas will be bring a story about another set of refugees, about an ancient family forced to travel and then forced to flee.  We will hear about ancient governments who bear more than a passing resemblance to our own.

Those of us who are fortunate enough to be in countries that offer us stability--we have a duty to speak up for those who do not.  A variety of religions are very clear on that point of similarity.

Let us pray for the courage of those convictions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We have laws in the US. No where does our Constitution say or imply that we are to accept all people as citizens.

If you really believe what you say you would not have locks or keys. Your home would be open to anyone, you'd leave your keys in your car for anyone to use.

Simply put ... you are a hypocrite. Please do not lecture me like the A-hole we have as President.