Reader Opinion: Up-close Christian compassion
I take exception to the March 7 letter's undocumented assertion that the "secular and religious left...think that American Christians who argue against welcoming Syrian refugees are hateful, bigoted hypocrites." In recent years, I wrote six piece...
I take exception to the March 7 letter's undocumented assertion that the "secular and religious left...think that American Christians who argue against welcoming Syrian refugees are hateful, bigoted hypocrites." In recent years, I wrote six pieces in support of welcoming as many well-vetted Syrian refugees as possible, and never implied such judgments. I claim simply to have a different interpretation of biblical morality.
Claims that the U.S. is "the most generous, compassionate nation on Earth" are valid only because we are the richest and one of the largest nations on Earth. My Google inquiry disclosed that on a per capita basis, in the last decade Germany, France, the U.K. and Canada have averaged over 1.5 times as much foreign aid as the U.S., and took in three times as many refugees-many more times this if only Syrians are counted.
More significantly, this reality is the context of what the letter-writer correctly notes as the root cause: "leaders who have failed in their God-ordained duties." The chief of these failures was the unjustified preemptive invasion of Iraq that set off the "Arab Spring," including the anti-Assad uprising in Syria and the spawning of ISIS.
Jesus said, "Love your enemies." Paul wrote to the Romans, "If your enemy is hungry, feed him." Taking such texts literally is only for starters.
Christians are called to be "salt" in nudging governments toward peace, taking care not to over-glorify their past. Christians are also called to non-violent courage, ready to suffer "for righteousness sake"-and to never cause suffering.
Almost all terrorists who caused deaths in the U.S. since 9/11 were radicalized in the U.S. For this, walls, bans, and "compassion-from-afar" are of no help. Better prevention is practicing up-close Christian compassion.