I just had a discussion on Facebook with a woman who has become a Trump loving Christian zealot. I asked how Trump’s ban on immigration from seven counties aligned with her Christian values. That was a bit of a taunt I will admit, because I knew that she would have great difficulty defending Trump’s action from that point of view. (When dealing with right wing Christians I have found it best to use arguments which hit close to home.) Understandably she avoided the question and responded to another point of my post. The following was my answer:
“You are avoiding the central question of whether this executive order issued by Trump is morally in alignment with your Christian values. How did Jesus instruct us to treat “strangers in a strange land”. How would Jesus instruct us today to treat refugees and their children who left their homes and most of what they owned to flee from fighting and who have spent years in tents in refugee camps while being vetted by multiple US agencies. Was Jesus a coward who took extraordinary steps at the expense of others to protect himself, his apostles, and his followers? No, of course not! On the contrary he took extraordinary risks to preach his gospel despite the fact that he must have known that it would lead to his death. His apostles and followers were also well aware of the risks, but that did not keep them away.
Not one refugee from the countries covered by the executive order who was vetted by US government agencies has emerged as a terrorist. All of the 9/11 terrorists came from countries, mainly Saudi Arabia, which are not covered by the ban. Most of the recent terrorist attacks were carried out by home grown American terrorists born in the United States. The one exception was the wife of the San Bernardino terrorist. She was born and raised in Pakistan and arrive via Saudi Arabia. Neither of those countries are covered by the ban.
So what is the actually risk that refugees entering from the banned countries will turn out to be terrorists? The answer: Very minimal at best. In evaluating issues, Christians are supposed ask themselves, “What was Jesus do?” If we were true to our Christian values we would judge this executive order to be the work of moral cowards who refuse to take even minimal risks and defy Jesus’ instructions to care for others who need out help and “do unto others what we would have others do unto you”.