There has been a lot of hubbub bantered about lately about the United States taking in refugees from war torn countries. One of our candidates for president has advocated for building a wall on our southern border to keep the undesirables out. The same man has used an old analogy about a bowl of candy in regards to the middle east refugees.
As his version of the analogy says the refugees are like a bowl of Skittles. In the bowl of one hundred Skittles there are one or two that are poisonous. If you eat one you will die. Who is brave enough to grab a handful and munch away?
He is correct in as much as there is no perfect way to check every refugee to ensure he or she is a peace loving person who wishes us no harm. People who wish to kill us are going to slip through and innocent Americans will die as a result. We are much safer as a nation if we do not allow any refugees into our country.
It is easy to hate a group of people when you don’t have to look at the person. Instead of Skittles imagine one hundred starving children. These children will die if you do not come to their aid and give them food to live on. One of those children will grow up to be an Adolf Hitler and be responsible for the death of tens of millions of people. Do you allow one hundred children to starve to death in order to save the tens of millions?
A leader of a country has to put the good of the country as first priority. The people have to be protected. The needs of the many out weight the needs of the few or the one. We must do whatever is necessary to protect the tens of the millions from the one. This argument sounds as logically sound as the bowl of Skittles argument and it is just as wrong.
It is never just or acceptable to use an evil act to stop an evil act. The good intent does not negate the evil of the act. For a Christian who honestly follows the teachings of Jesus it is never permissible to allow the ninety-nine to die to prevent the one from doing evil. It isn’t even permissible to allow the one to die to stop the one from doing future evil.
Jesus gave us the corporal works of mercy. As his disciples, we have been told to feed the poor, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, give shelter to the homeless, visit the sick and imprisoned, and bury the dead. Jesus did not say to do these things only for those who wish you well. Jesus said to do these things for all in need, friend and enemy alike.
“Whatever you have done for the least of these you have done for me.” – Matthew 25:45
Do you think Jesus will be accepting of the excuse that we did not provide for the refugees in their time of need simply because there were men with evil intent among them? Would Jesus have eaten the poisoned skittle? A quick glance at a crucifix gives us the definitive answer.
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” – Matthew 16:24
If we are true followers of Jesus we have to be willing to eat the poisoned skittle as well. We have to care for all those in need regardless of the intent in their hearts or the actions they have done. If we are to be a moral and just nation, we must recognize the importance and dignity of the individual. A society begins with the individual, not a group. Even a mass murderer has dignity that must be respected.
Jesus prayed for his persecutors and told us to do likewise. He told us to care for all life. Christians throughout this land have a mandate to care for those in need, including our enemies hiding among the innocent or posing as refugees. We have the duty to care for those in need outside of our borders and have been given the means to do so. If we fail in this mission we will receive justice instead of mercy when we stand accountable before the throne of the Lord.