Millions of Syrians, mostly women and children, have fled the constant horrors of civil war and the savagery in ISIS-controlled areas.
Most Syrian refugees are taken in by neighboring countries — Turkey almost 2 million, Lebanon 1.2 million, Jordan 600,000. European countries are committed to take many thousands.
After the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, President Francois Hollande increased the commitment of France from 24,000 to 30,000. President Obama has agreed to welcome up to 10,000 to the United States.
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Which of the options below better portrays the true spirit and character of our beloved land of the free and home of the brave?
Option 1: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and 30 other governors, all Republican except one, have officially opposed accepting any Syrian refugees in their states, citing possible infiltration of terrorists who might outwit the rigorous vetting of every refugee.
Option 2: The words of the sonnet emblazoned on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Robert G. Landolt,
House refugee vote
The House voted 289-137 on Nov. 19 to heighten security measures on Iraqi and Syrian refugees.
Thank goodness we still have representatives with common sense, unlike the Star-Telegram Editorial Board.
Jim Hargrove, Fort Worth
Perhaps it’s time to root around in our sock drawers and dig out those formerly ubiquitous “What would Jesus do?” (WWJD?) bracelets?
If Jesus were confronted by a bunch of marginalized people from another tribe, would he risk embracing them with open arms?
It’s not such a abstract question — the infidel Syrophoenician woman, the abhorred tax collector, the suspect Samaritan, traitorous Judas.
“What did Jesus do?” is more like it. He risked loving and accepting them.
For a nation that calls itself Christian, we have convenient lapses of ethical memories.
And, interestingly enough, the group Jesus calls a “den of vipers” are those political and church elites who work to exclude the outsiders under the guise of protecting the nation.
I think I have an extra WWJD? bracelet somewhere in this sock drawer. I’d be happy to loan to those who are making political decisions on our behalf.
Kevin A. Johnson,
Not who we are
In the face of fear, all reason flees. And so it has in these United States.
Many Americans, their lawmakers and would-be future leaders have reacted in predictable knee-jerk fashion to the attacks in Paris, choosing to abandon our long-held principle of offering shelter to the oppressed rather than allowing calm and reason to prevail.
With all the world watching, America has turned her back on those most affected by the strife in Syria, driven from their homes by the violence. We have singled them out for exclusion without substantive justification.
In a foreign policy speech Nov. 19, Hillary Clinton said, “Turning away orphans, applying a religious test, discriminating against Muslims, slamming the door on every Syrian refugee — that is just not who we are.”
Unfortunately, it apparently is. It’s just not who we should be.
Robert Eaton, Fort Worth