Christianity, Church and State Issues
Does Christian compassion conflict with national security?
Remember, the role of the state is to protect the citizens from terrorism by enforcing the law, so that the citizens, including Christians, can have freedom of religion to “welcome the stranger” who has been vetted and is truly in need. First Amendment rights apply to citizens only. Acts of murder, theft, and fraud are not protected by freedom of religion, but are subject to civil law. ~C.D.
Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land. ~Doctrine and Covenants 58:21
‘Welcoming the stranger’ in an age of civilizational jihad and terror
Does the biblical mandate to “welcome the stranger” mean that faithful Christians must support immigration policies that arguably could not only harm citizens, but also threaten the nation’s very existence?
When more than half of U.S. governors announced they wouldn’t take in any more Syrian migrants until their security concerns were addressed, President Obama responded with a moral rebuke, declaring, “Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values,” and is “not who we are” as Americans. (Obama’s values are not American values. ~C.D.)
Church and State Defined
State Responsibility: VET incoming migrants; then, Christians can welcome those who are truly fleeing oppression
But David French, an evangelical Christian known for his National Review columns and books on Islam and terrorism, argued there is “no contradiction between personally welcoming the ‘strangers’ among us while our leaders endeavor to protect us from a genocidal terrorist force that uses refugee status as a shield and disguise to perpetrate brutal attacks against innocent civilians.”
Edward J. Erler, professor emeritus of political science at California State University, San Bernardino, observed a moral trend that has muddled the debate over the Syrian migrants, leading to what he believes are irrational decisions regarding national security.
Moral Relativism of Diversity
In a speech at Hillsdale College last fall he said Americans “have abandoned the morality engendered by what the Declaration of Independence called the ‘Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.'”
Erler said progressivism has eroded that foundation, leading to a morality of value-free relativism that insists reason cannot prove that one value is superior to or more beneficial than another, leaving society only with “idiosyncratic preferences.”
“In this value-free universe, the only value that is ‘objectively’ of higher rank is tolerance. Equal toleration of all values—what is called today a commitment to diversity—is only ‘reasonable’ position,” he explained.
He noted that the “tolerance of those who are willing to tolerate you does not earn you much credit—it doesn’t require much of a commitment or sacrifice.”
This reality, according to Erler, helps explain why many Westerners, including religious believers, are so eager to take in the Muslim migrants while demonizing those who disagree with them.
“If, however, you are willing to tolerate those who are pledged to kill you and destroy your way of life, tolerance represents a genuine commitment,” Erler said. “Only such a deadly commitment signals a nation’s single-minded devotion to tolerance as the highest value by its willingness to sacrifice its sovereignty as proof of its commitment.”
Concluding his argument, he said the “common-sense citizen is forgiven for thinking this train of thought insane.”
“But what other explanation could there be for the insistence of so many of our political leaders on risking the nation’s security—in light of what we see in Europe, one might even say their willingness to commit national suicide—by admitting refugees without regard to their hostility to our way of life and their wish to destroy us as a nation?”
Erler noted that Western leaders have shown no such enthusiasm for rescuing Christian refugees from Middle Eastern violence.
“These refugees, of course, represent no danger to America. Only by admitting those who do represent a danger can we display to the world ‘who we are as a people,’ a people willing to sacrifice ourselves to vouchsafe our commitment to tolerance.”
Daniel Greenfield, an Israel-born author in New York who focuses on radical Islam, argued the only authentic refugees are Christians and Yazidis who do not have a country to call their own in the region. Sunnis Muslims can flee to Jordan or Turkey, and Shiite Muslims can take refuge in Lebanon.
“Talk of resettling them in the United States or Europe has nothing to do with ‘persecution,'” he wrote in a column for FrontPage Magazine.
“It’s economic migration. And economic migration in this case is a euphemism for welfare migration,” noting the refugees specifically seek out countries such as Germany and Sweden with generous welfare states.
But the national-security threat is not limited to keeping out Islamic terrorists.
Counter-terrorism expert Andrew C. McCarthy, the former U.S. attorney who prosecuted the “blind sheik” terror case, points out the threat posed by populations that develop, encourage, aid, abet and materially support terrorism.
Shariah conflicts with the Constitution
But even more significant for the long term well-being of the United States, is the civilizational threat posed by the resistance to assimilation and the promotion of a system of governance—Islamic law, or shariah—that conflicts with the U.S. Constitution.
McCarthy warned in a National Review column that highly influential Islamic leaders have embarked on a conquest strategy known as “voluntary apartheid,” meaning the establishment of shariah enclaves that would eventually merge into an Islamic state that dominates Europe and the United States.
McCarthy noted France’s problem with its unassimilated Muslim community, asking, “Why should we voluntarily replicate it here?”
He quoted the highly respected political scientist Giles Kepel, who found dozens of French neighborhoods “where police and gendarmerie cannot enforce the Republican order or even enter without risking confrontation, projectiles, or even fatal shootings.”
These “no-go zones” include the Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, which harbored the terrorist cell that carried out the multi-pronged November 2015 attack in the French capital that killed 129 people. Of the 1.4 million who live there, 600,000 are Muslims.
Dr. Ben Carson believes creating safe zones in Syria is a better way to deal with Syrian refugees than resettling them in the United States.
While 10 percent of the Syrian population is Christian, only 56 of the 10,801 Syrians accpet to the U.S. as of last September were Christians—about one-half of 1 percent.
A Christian leader who has been kidnapped by jihadists, and who has an ISIS bounty on his head, spoke with Whistleblower about the challenge of answering the seemingly conflicting calls of welcoming the stranger and also caring for love ones and neighbors.
The England-born vicar of Baghdad, Canon Andrew White, who now is in exile from his Baghdad congregation, has been caring for hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians who have fled ISIS.
More than 1,200 people who once worshipped with him have been killed in recent years, including four boys who were beheaded because they refused to convert to Islam.
“I think our first priority as Christians is to care for our family: We have to care for the Christians,” he said. “and what America is very bad at doing is understanding the needs of persecuted Christians.”