Today, I’m disappointed in my home State. Texas Governor, Greg Abbott announced today that Texas would not accept any Syrian refugees, at least for now. I get the concern, but this is either a political gesture, fear, weak leadership or a combination of these. Neither is a reason to ignore the human desperation of many of these Syrians fleeing unbelievable horror.
The fear that ISIS fighters could sneak through the ranks seems to be the driving factor in Abbotts (and other US governors) decision not to take in refugees. Of course, there needs to be prudence and a strategy to ensure this doesn’t happen. Maybe I’m being idealistic, but I think this can be done.
Could you not start with the thousands living in refugee camps now?
Couldn’t you do your homework with organisations and charities on the ground who have spent time with these refugees who can provide verification?
What about orphans and children?
What is the alternative for those fleeing war? Doing nothing will only exasperate the problem. Instead of thinking of the worse case scenario, think of the possibilities.
Think about the needy finding rest.
Think about children, now safe.
Think about the compassion they would experience. Think about the story they could tell.
Think about how the church could respond.
Think about how Texas could set an example of leadership.
I’m not suggesting there wouldn’t be a risk. Risk often accompanies mercy. Love can be abused.
So, today I’m disappointed by the decision taken by Texas. We can do better. We can engage. We can lead. Remember, Jesus himself was a refugee fleeing certain death by Herod. Thankfully, he had a place to go.