Someone Has to Pay

I am troubled by President Trump's executive order temporarily barring certain refugees.

I can’t help but think of the Jews who fled Nazi Germany in 1939 on the MS. St. Louis only to be turned away by my country because they were deemed a security risk. A Nazi spy previously tried to enter the U.S. pretending to be a refugee. This led to fear and paranoid fueled by the media, and thus these Jewish refugees were denied sanctuary and forced to return to Europe. Out of the 900+ passengers on the St. Louis, 254 were killed during the Holocaust.

 

I enjoy watching the wildlife in my small backyard. I’ve scattered seed on the deck to attract the songbirds and squirrels. It makes a mess, but I’m glad to help them out when the weather turns cold. When there is construction in the area, I wonder what happens to the critters who lost homes. I am not going PETA and arguing for animal rights over people’s, but someone or something always has to pay. Construction of a shopping center will give people jobs and bring income to the community, but the cost is borne by the environment. I don’t know what development would have looked like before the fall, but I don’t believe there would have been a conflict between human beings and the rest of God’s creation. One side would not have to suffer for the sake of the other. But nothing is free since the fall. Someone has to pay.

I am troubled by President Trump’s executive order temporarily barring certain refugees. I am concerned over the constitutionality of it. But I am even more concerned about the increasing polarization of Christians over this and many other issues. I am not expecting uniformity, but there seems to be an unwillingness to look beyond simplistic answers. As an American, I am not denying that security is important, but it comes across as callous when we fail to acknowledge the cost and who should bear it. It may be the military and law enforcement. But it may be civilians. It may be refugees who are denied sanctuary. There are no easy answers. Someone has to pay.

I can’t help but think of the Japanese Internment during WWII. For the sake of making the populace feel more secure, US citizens of Japanese descent were incarcerated without charge because of their race. This action was not taken towards German or Italian Americans. Japanese Peruvians were forcibly deported to the US on military vessels. When it came time for their release, they were told they were illegal aliens and would be deported to Japan even though they were brought to this country against their will. Some of them were Peruvian-born.

I can’t help but think of the Jews who fled Nazi Germany in 1939 on the MS. St. Louis only to be turned away by my country because they were deemed a security risk. A Nazi spy previously tried to enter the U.S. pretending to be a refugee. This led to fear and paranoid fueled by the media, and thus these Jewish refugees were denied sanctuary and forced to return to Europe. Out of the 900+ passengers on the St. Louis, 254 were killed during the Holocaust.

If there was an easy answer, life would be so much better. We wouldn’t have to wrestle with the tension of being dual-citizens of an earthly country and a heavenly one with very different goals and expectations. Maybe we would feel less morally conflicted. But perhaps this is the very thing we need, and I pray this time won’t be lost on the church. May God use it to teach us to:

– speak less and repent more.
– be humbled and mourn what sin has done.
– admit that we do not have all the answers and learn from others.
– not put our ultimate hope in princes or politicians, but diligently pray to the only One who paid the ultimate price to make things right.
– long for the consummation of His kingdom.

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 (NASB)

Persis Lorenti is an ordinary Christian. You can find her at Tried With Fire and Out of the Ordinary. This article appeared on her blog and is used with permission.