“This is a very reactionary time,” Joanne Kelsey, assistant director for advocacy for the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, told Politico’s Nahal Toosi in an article yesterday concerning the growing fracture between Christian charities and anxious conservatives. While several major Christian groups have stepped up to help refugees arriving stateside, concerned conservatives say these groups are complicit in bringing potentially dangerous people to the United States. There are fears that a wave of refugees from Syria might conceal the kind of terrorists who committed the recent attacks on Paris, leading to a fervent resistance to the idea of accepting refugees at all.
With hashtags like #NoRefugees and #IslamistheProblem, worried citizens have led a campaign against Christian charity on Twitter over the last several days, lashing out at any recommendation that Christians provide help to refugees.
There’s a lot one could say about the Bible, the Sermon on the Mount, the swiftness with which an organized network of terrorists in another country intimidated American Christianity out of its duty to take the teachings of Christ seriously, even when it’s scary, even when it’s hard. It is scary, it is hard—that’s the cost of discipleship—and yet still obligatory. As Jesus said, “And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others?”