I've noticed a recent trend on social media that is especially ridiculous even for social media standards. It goes something like this: "People who oppose abortion (or sometimes specifically, 'Christians who oppose abortion...') and who also express concerns or opposition to accepting Syrian refugees are stupid and / or hypocritical." This is, of course, as I noted, ridiculous and, in fact, in many cases hypocritical itself.The logic (albeit, flawed) in this thesis is that if you really cared for the innocent people in the world, as you suggest by your opposition to abortion, you would undoubtedly and unquestioningly support the unbridled acceptance of refugees from around the world into our country. The problems with this thesis and perspective and attitude are numerous, but I list a few here:
1. Getting on your high horse and proclaiming to the world that our government should help a certain people group is not the same as actually helping said people group
The interesting thing about these individuals is that they are taking a stance regarding the moral obligation to help a people group - in this case, the refugees primarily from Syria - but for all intents and purposes none of these individuals are actually doing anything to help them. It's literally as hypocritical as you can possibly get. Our social media / soapbox / holier-than-thou culture has created an entire nation full of people that are able to proclaim their (usually popular) beliefs for all their friends and fans to see, get a lot of "likes" and supportive comments, all the while doing absolutely nothing tangible or practical in terms of benefiting anyone whatsoever. Literally. They soak up all this glory and credit and praise and appreciation while doing literally nothing for anyone. These same individuals (holier-than-though, soapbox people) are also able to kill two birds with one stone - (1) appear to be compassionate and loving by proclaiming their support for someone else helping these people in need as noted; and (2) insulting another group of people that are becoming increasingly sidelined and hated and insulted in our culture - Christians. This is the holy grail of the typical secular progressive. Well done.
Alternatively, if you are serious, and you do indeed want to help someone, then please help them (#5 below lists some ways to do that). Don't simply insult other people for either not wanting to help them or approaching the situation from a slightly different angle - otherwise, you are just a hypocrite looking for acceptance and praise from people who agree with you.
2. There is overwhelming proof that ISIS and other Islamic terrorist organizations have infiltrated the ranks of the refugees
This should not be a surprise to anyone who thinks logically and not solely emotionally. ISIS is an organized, structured, large, growing organization that has managed to take control of a huge swath of the territory in both Syria and Iraq. They have taken control of the oil industry across a significant portion of this area and have been successful in continuing operations and growing an increasing stockpile of war money. They have impressive, modern, high-quality media development and technology groups that are responsible for web development, hacking, as well as designing, printing and distributing propaganda and other media that has been extremely effective at recruiting additional terrorists to their ranks, as well as instilling fear in the local populations and to a lesser extent populations around the world. Their goal is to convert or kill all non-Muslims - as well as other Muslims who do not support their specific interpretation of the koran - and implement Sharia law across the globe. They have demonstrated their commitment to this through ruthless beheadings, live burnings, rapes, and murders across the Middle East and now into Europe starting with Paris. Why on earth would anyone assume that this organization which has proven itself to be exceptionally capable - significantly exceeding the capabilities of Al Qaeda in terms of organizational effectiveness and expansion - would not take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity to send thousands of their terrorists into enemy territory largely undetected? Of course they will, and of course they have. They are here in the United States, they are in Europe in large numbers, and it is just a matter of time before we see additional proof that this is the case. And until we implement fail-safe checks and balances on any and all refugees, it makes absolute common sense to put the brakes on this particular method of helping these people at least for the time being.
3. These are not your everyday criminals - caution is warranted
Here's the reality: the terrorists we are confronted with in ISIS are not your average, everyday criminals. In general, they cannot be rehabilitated or integrated into Western culture and thinking. They don't want to talk. They don't want to negotiate. They don't want to establish a treaty or an agreement. They feel that they have a mandate on their lives to kill, mame, torture or convert every single person possible. They want to kill you and they want to kill me. And their so far sustained success is proof enough that these aren't just nut-cases, but they are very capable nut-cases. Surely this warrants strong caution and robust procedures and review systems that have been proven before taking the chance of letting these people into our country, at least at this point in time. Surely.
4. Innocent unborn children are fundamentally different from terrorists bent on the destruction of our civilization and way of life
This should really go without saying, but increasingly my assumptions regarding common sense and decency are not in-line with the majority of our culture. To compare the absolute, objective innocence of the millions of unborn children who are killed in this country to the hordes of refugees flooding into Europe and other parts of the world is absolutely insane - this is simply not a valid comparison. The unfortunate truth is that there are definitely innocent people suffering and dying in that region, and some of these people are seeking asylum as refugees in Western countries. Not to discount that sad truth, but this is true not only in Syria and Iraq, but also in all other parts of the world that are dominated by Islamic thinking and practice. Make no mistake, this is not just the result of the extreme version of Islam as represented by ISIS, but innocent people are suffering (as compared to Western perspectives on lifestyle, etc.) throughout the Middle East as a result of the implementation of Sharia Law (a mandate for all Muslims, not just ISIS). This includes the common practice of men marrying underage children (including rape), the public stoning of people for various reasons, the abuse and relegation of women to a lower class position in society, as well as the beating of women by their husbands for "insubordination." The list goes on and on. As compared to typical Western standards, people are suffering as a result of the Islamic faith all over the Middle East and Africa, and many of the the refugees no doubt believe in some implementation of Sharia law and at least at some level believe and support some ideologies and perspectives that Western culture would consider to be abusive.
Of course ISIS has taken all of this to new extremes with sex-trafficking, child rape, child sex slave trade / sales, the gruesome murder of anyone who doesn't buy into their extreme version of Islam, etc. And these are the very people who are among the rest of the refugees, along with many other more moderate Muslims who support some level of Sharia law, and together they represent the people group that some are comparing to innocent unborn children. Sorry, they are not the same. Yes, there are innocent people among the refugees, perhaps many, and yes we should help them as we are able, but this is simply not a fair comparison. Nor can the definition of "help" be relegated to the narrow option of accepting them blindly into our country. If you want to actually help these people, keep reading below.
5. There are other ways of helping the refugees that actually make a lot more sense than simply relocating them throughout the world in communities that are completely unlike their homes
There is simply no rational, logical argument that can suggest that being cautious and concerned about the unbridled acceptance of refugees into our country given the current political climate in the Middle East is hateful or bigoted or hypocritical or unloving. It is, in fact, wise. As I noted in some of the points above, there are real, objective reasons that we should be cautious about who we admit into our country. The role of American government is, first and foremost, to protect the people in this country. I simply do not see a rational basis for pigeon-holing what it means to "help" someone by insisting that the only way to help is to allow tens of thousands of unknown people into our country, while at the same time allowing for another to come in and murder people. This simply is not the only answer to this problem.
If you truly want to help, there are actual ways of doing this besides just tweeting about it or posting it on Facebook. The following is just a smattering of a few good organizations that are making a real impact by helping people in Syria and other war-torn regions of the world:
Karam Foundation (www.karamfoundation.org): The Karam Foundation is helping of people in Syria on the ground (i.e. not from afar on their facebook page). They are innovating ways of distributing aid in ways that maximize the portion of that aid that actually gets to the people who need it. They provide donors a means and opportunity to sponsor an actual Syrian family in need. They are building schools, and seeking to improve systems and develop organizations within the country that can help educated and support the local population.
Hand-in-Hand for Syria (www.handinhandforsyria.org.uk): Hand-in-Hand for Syria is dedicated to helping people in Syria to stay in Syria. They provide medical supplies and relief. They provide food and water. They provide educational opportunities and support to those who need it.
International Medical Corps (internationalmedicalcorps.org): This organization primarily provides medical care for injured or malnourished individuals in war-zones around the world, including in Syria.
Voice of the Martyrs (www.persecution.com): Voice of the Martyrs is an excellent organization dedicated to helping persecuted Christians around the world, including in Syria.
Again, this is just a few - there are many more that can be found by simple Google searches. If you find one that you are not familiar with and want to learn more, check out Guidestar.org and look them up - most American non-profits will show up on this site and you can get a basic check on them before supporting them.
Again, if you feel moved to help someone, then help them - you are doing nothing by insulting those who look at it slightly differently from you. In the meantime, if and when the refugees do come to our country, we should love them and welcome them the best we can.