Well said, Mollie

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway herein shares some tips about how to have civil and consructive conversations about the refugee issue.

These people are trying to flee ISIS. Some of them are children. On the other hand, Paris showed us something we should already have known: that terrorists exploit such opportunities to smuggle themselves and contraband into the country.

I worry about anybody on either side who is not at least a little conflicted on this issue.

ADDENDUM: It strikes me that one word of dissent from Mollie's piece- or at least qualification of my endorsement of it- should be made. It concerns a point which a great many conservatives miss, but which I think it's crucial in discussing the ethics of government action from a Christian point of view.

Mollie says- and I agree in principle- that even if the implications of the refugee question for Christian ethics were unambiguous and crystal clear, that would still not mean that the government necessarily needed to act. Now, I thoroughly support the notion that other than the functions specifically named in the Constitution, where something can be done as well or better by individuals or by churches or by private enterprise than by the Federal government, it should be.

But sometimes it can't be. I would argue that the Preamble's declaration that the very purpose of the Constitution is, in part, to "promote the general welfare" means that where something needs to be done, and only the Federaj government can do it, as a general principle the Federal government ought to do it. The world has changed enough since 1789 that we frequently encounter circumstances the Founders could not have foreseen. I think it's reasonable in that case to consider what they might have done in our shoes, as long as it doesn't directly violate what they actually wrote.

And if- snd I say if- it were the case that only action by the Federal government could deal in a safe and humane fashion with the refugee crisis, I would argue that as a matter of Christian ethics it would be the responsibility of Christians to advocate and support such action.

Comments

SteveH said…
Conflicted, sure. But not blinded to the facts. One terrorist with a dirty bomb will take out thousands of Americans.

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