Syrian Refugees and the GOP

It’s early for the political silly season but then the GOP political candidates have been pretty far out there for a while. Now their governors have joined the party. They should serve crackers and cheese with all the whining they’re doing.  They whine about debate moderators. Now they’re whining about the Syrian refugees possibly bringing terror to America. They whine incessantly about everything that President Obama says. Ted Cruz says if Obama wants to insult him, do it to his face and debate him. Did Cruz buy his degree from Harvard Law or did he skip class when Constitutional Law was taught? Maybe he doesn’t know about American law because he was born in Canada. [No offense to my Canadian friends.] I’ll put my Georgetown JD up against his Harvard (?!) degree and let him know that allowing Christian refugees into America but denying Muslims entry runs afoul of that picky little detail about religion in America’s First Amendment.

I suppose we could excuse non-lawyers Trump (shut down the mosques) and Ben Carson (no Muslim president) for being unaware of American constitutional provisions. But as President of the US, there really is no excuse. Many, if not most of those Republican governors that want to keep out suffering Syrians are probably lawyers as well. They should know better. For all those supposedly evangelical and otherwise devout types among GOP presidential candidates and their supporters there is another little problem–what the actual religious leaders say about the matter.

The National Association of Evangelicals says this:

“Of course we want to keep terrorists out of our country, but let’s not punish the victims of ISIS for the sins of ISIS,”  Leith Anderson, NAE president.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops says this:

“I am disturbed . . . by calls from both federal and state officials for an end to the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States. These refugees are fleeing terror themselves—violence like we have witnessed in Paris.

. . .

Instead of using this tragedy to scapegoat all refugees, I call upon our public officials to work together to end the Syrian conflict peacefully so the close to 4 million Syrian refugees can return to their country and rebuild their homes. Until that goal is achieved, we must work with the world community to provide safe haven to vulnerable and deserving refugees who are simply attempting to survive.” Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration

Ah, but those politicians know what voters want, forget what the religious leaders think–what do they know anyway!

Hey, if it were up to Trump and some of the others, if they were in the White House they would probably round up all the Muslims and put them in an internment camp annex to Guantanamo. Too dangerous to lock them up in America! None have proposed that publicly (yet) but you know some of them are thinking it.  It worked for the Japanese Americans in WWII; why not the Muslims now, eh? I suppose I shouldn’t be giving Trump, Carson or Cruz ideas–but if you happen to be Muslim, you should  just hope none of them are living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next year. Maybe the DSM will add Islamophobia to its list of psychiatric disorders soon.

4 thoughts on “Syrian Refugees and the GOP”

  1. A very delicate topic here John. I don’t think it’s about not wanting to let in Muslims as it is as much fearing what evil sneaks in with the good. It’s the same mood here In Canada. The whole unfortunate part of this situation is that we can’t rely on proper screening to cipher out the bad apples from the good. I don’t think our countries have the manpower or know-how to properly screen everyone, and it only takes one extremist to filter through the cracks to spread the disease. I believe this is what the deep-rooted fear is in everyone, safety of the homeland. It’s a terrible dilemma because these refugees have suffered plenty and it’s not their fault that these radicals have taken over their own homeland, so the question remains, how can we open our hearts freely and feel secure at the same time. Fear breeds wrongful hatred.

    1. It’s true that there is the possibility that a terrorist might be among those who are refugees. It is also difficult to screen all of them to ensure that there are no terrorists among them. Yet these people have suffered greatly at the hands of terrorists. Denying them refuge and security inflicts even more suffering. A poor analogy perhaps, but what if we declined to issue driver’s licenses to anyone under 25 because they are more likely to cause accidents? In America states impose various restrictions on those under 18 for their first license, but as they get into their 20s the impediments ease. It’s difficult, not impossible to screen potential terrorists. Canada and the US are more likely today to have attacks by lone wolves than organized groups because of heightened security and a more assimilated population of Muslims than in Europe with concentrations of Islamic immigrants than in North America. So most are not as disaffected here as there. There will always be risk but we play into the terrorist’s hands by a knee jerk response that makes us appear afraid and xenophobic.

      1. I suppose it’s going to be an ongoing dilemma, but I wholeheartedly agree with your last sentence. The media is giving them so much attention, they thrive on it.

        1. Worse, they are sophisticated enough with messaging that they take clips from the media–including the talking points of politicians, and use them in their next recruitment video on the web. They have a glossy magazine which featured the mastermind of the Paris attacks and that video of him with a goofy grin sitting in a driver’s seat, apparently of a truck behind which he was hauling bodies of people ISIS had killed (that part wasn’t shown on American TV but they can use the clip anyway). So disaffected Muslim youth can be provided a clip of Donald Trump suggesting (today’s news) creating a database of Muslim-Americans. Great recruitment tools!

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