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Unfortunate that people are giving into xenophobia and fear by applauding efforts to deny those fleeing violence in the Middle East refuge in the United States. You’re giving groups like ISIS exactly what they want.

Quite the world we live in where the West can contribute to the seeds of war and when those seeds blossom, we wipe our hands of it.

Those looking to deny Syrians refuge cannot look back with disdain on our ancestors who denied Jews fleeing Nazi Germany refuge without being a hypocrite of the highest order.

People tell me, though, what if? What if a terrorist managed to get in? For one, the process for becoming a refugee in the United States requires extensive vetting that takes more than two years.

Secondly, it’s not the pretty answer, but it’s also the answer I apply to the discussion of guns vs. gun control and I think it’s apt to immigration/refugees vs. border controls: the price for a free and open society is that sometimes bad people do bad things and sometimes we can’t stop it. That doesn’t mean we don’t do everything we can feasibly do within the rightful restrictions placed on a government in a free and open society to stop it, but at the same time, I think helping the Syrian refugees and immigration generally, is a net gain to our society in terms of economically and morally.

I mean, we already do have controls on the border and as I said, it’s a long, tedious process to even get a few thousand refugees here. We also have incredibly increased the size of the government, as have other Western countries, in terms of surveillance and the various intelligence agencies to stop these things…and they can’t. Didn’t stop the Boston bombing. Didn’t stop the Paris attack. And more controls won’t stop the next one. But it will make us worse off if we care about a free and open society.

Too many of us for far too long have traded security fears and irrational hate for a free and open society. I desperately hope we change.

I’m also quite fond of this passage from the Bible I’ve seen going around. It’s of particular interest to me because too many so-called Christians are applauding efforts to stop Syrian refugees from coming here. If Christians can’t be reached through Jesus, then there’s nothing that will.

From Matthew 25:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

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