I GOT TRASH TALKED THIS WEEK. And death threatened.
I guess I brought it on myself by asking a tough question in Tuesday’s blog article, Christian response to refugees.
Here’s the question that got me in trouble.
What’s the Christian principle at work that says it’s okay to tell the six million Middle Eastern refugees “No, you are not welcome here”?
I thought you might like to see what people wrote to me in published messages on my website and on my business Facebook page.
So far I have had to report one Christian Facebook-post writer to the FBI; death threat. I banned another for a mean, potty mouth. He didn’t claim to be a Christian, though I can’t tell Christians and non-Christians apart in this conversation.
The messages fall into one of two categories:
- refugees stay the heck away
- refugees come on in
I’ll identify by name the writers of kind words. But for the writers of unkind words, you’ll have to look them up on my Facebook page. I corrected some of the typing mistakes, which are common in social media because we are usually writing in a hurry.
It’s okay to turn away refugees
- Idiot. Stephen, you are either an idiot or a mason trying to manipulate people’s opinion using the word “Christian.”
- Fool. It’s nothing to do with religion you ignorant fool, it’s a vetting issue. Play whatever card you want.
- Enemies. These refugees are enemies of every single American Christian and should not be allowed to enter America. They are here and coming here for the sole purpose of destroying America. Anyone who feels they should be allowed here should lose their citizenship and be sent to live in the Middle East.
- Invaders. They aren’t “refugees.” They are invaders of mostly military age males.
- Pedophiles. How is not allowing their violence and pedophilia over here turning our backs to them? Is it Christian to jeopardize your family’s safety?
- Murderers. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that I should invite people from a murderous cult into my home, even if not all of them are murderous.
- Cult leader. [You are] a cult leader, putting people’s lives at risk to satisfy your sense of morality. Just how Christian is that?
- Propaganda. Truth is truth. It doesn’t matter what the source is or how often I’m exposed to it. And…it doesn’t make me “fearful.” It makes me pi$$ed. Play with your kids’ future. Not mine.
- Satan Media. You really need to open your eyes to what is going on in Europe. Not what the mainstream media presents. They are a tool of Satan.
- Go live with them. You should go over there where the refugees are coming from….I will pray for you!
- Traitor. After we found out that you are getting paid big money to bring terrorists into this country, we’ve passed the word about you. Get a real job, you traitor. [I had to ban this guy from Facebook. He had other posts with more colorful language. But he has potential as a fiction writer.]
There’s no Christian principle to justify turning away refugees
- It is frustrating to me as a pastor to preach on the subject of “Love thy neighbor” to even get “Amens” until we get to talk about refugees, homeless, “different” people and then it gets very quiet. Dennis Knight
- It’s not Christian at all [turning refugees away], but neither was segregation or Jim Crow. But people who called themselves Christian still believed and practiced it. Don’t they know where The Good News of Christ came to the rest of the world from? Antioch in Syria! The Church there was the launching pad for the missions that Paul went on. Kenneth Wayne Heady
- It’s not Christian, no matter how you spin it. Kathy John LaMaster
- And it is these comments [against welcoming refugees], the fear and selfishness at their core, not to mention the ethnic bigotry (implied or otherwise) that are the reason more and more people are distancing themselves from organized religion and its followers. To quote Ghandi, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.” Eric Noveskey
Steve’s reflection on the matter
I talked with the Hostiles until they became, well, hostile.
Once people start demeaning me or calling me bad names, I figure there’s no reason to continue the conversation. If they think so little of me that they’re going to treat me like that, I doubt they’ll take my advice.
Coming from a background in news journalism, I believe in the importance of going to reliable sources of information instead of one-sided, hateful propaganda that pollutes and paralyzes the brain.
One of the Hostiles who wrote me referred me to a website like that. The site reminded me of a wall covered with Wanted posters. It featured a bunch of short articles about terrible things Muslim terrorists had done. I didn’t spend much time on the website, but enough to see there was nothing about the plight of refugee children or the fact that about one fourth of Lebanon is now made up of refugees. When I reported this to the writer, he’s the one I quoted who said “Truth is truth. It doesn’t matter what the source is.”
If we feed our brain a steady diet of fear, prejudice, and intolerant propaganda disguised as news, eventually our spirit follows.
Last word, from a soldier
Hear the words of a soldier who has hunted down Islamic extremists.
I have no fear of the Arabs. However, I also hunted them down in Afghanistan for 18 months, and for the most part they were hard-working people just as we are. They have some of the same fears as most American people [about Islamic extremists]. There’s, however, is justified. I have seen what the Taliban does to those [Arabs] they even suspect might talk to us. I have seen whole Christian [Arab] families massacred because of their beliefs, some still clutching their Bibles…As to them [Arab refugees] coming to America, I see no real issue with some of them entering this country. All you need to do is look into the eyes of those who lived the pain. Jim Burkett
For more about helping the helpless
- Christian response to refugees
- Christians not afraid of getting blown to kingdom come
- Christians doing nothing for nobody
Blog subscribers who win books this week
- Lois Johnson
- Herman Wright
I give away free books each week.
Randomly selected subscribers to this free blog or to my free quarterly newsletter get the option of choosing my newest book: A Quick Guided Tour Through the Bible – among about half a dozen other titles.
Once again the Bible is right: There’s nothing new under the sun.
Here are some other refugees that have fled to America over the years — each one of which was met with fear and often outright hatred:
* Germans and Poles, who fled to the USA as their countries suffered civil wars and revolutions in the mid-19th century.
* Irish, who fled to the USA when politics and famine starved them out of their home country.
* Jews, escaping the pogroms of eastern Europe and the nationalism in Germany attempted to wipe them out completely.
* Cubans, attempting to escape an oppressive government (and who often were shipped right back to Cuba).
* Hmong Vietnamese, who fought on the side of the USA during the Vietnam War and then were massacred when the USA pulled out.
Stephen M. Miller
Thanks for the history lesson, my friend. As if human beings are capable of learning from the past.
So many people are like teenagers; they reject the advise of their parents, assuming that the situation is different for the new generation. It’s not.
Mercy is mercy. Prejudice is prejudice. Always has been.
Keep doing what you do…..someone has to be the voice of reason.
Stephen M. Miller
Thanks Diane. There are a lot of vocal people who ID themselves as Christians who are opposed to helping any of the 6 million refugees. I’m trying my best to understand them, given that I haven’t yet heard a Christian principle that justifies not helping. I have heard a lot of name-calling, though. But instead of feeling hurt, I’m feeling embarrassed for Christianity and I’m feeling pity for Christians who think all Muslims are terrorists who want to kill us.