In keeping with his campaign promise, President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that temporarily bans some Muslims entering the country until they can be vetted more thoroughly than they currently are. The order, according to the New York Times, “suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocked entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.” We will see what the courts do with this, but Trump executive order is being hailed by millions both here in the States and in Europe.
Predictably, Christianity Today, at one time a periodical that was solidly Evangelical and conservative but has followed Neo-Evangelicalism’s drift toward the left, published an article reporting that certain “Evangelical experts” have condemned the executive order. To its credit, the author of the article posted comments from Evangelicals who agree with the executive order, such as Franklin Graham, but the thrust of the article was decidedly against Trump’s action.
The argument of the pro-immigration folks cited in the article was wrong on so many levels that it’s hard to know where to begin:
“'Our concern is that this action really does further traumatize a group of people that have already borne so much tragedy,' said Scott Arbeiter, president of World Relief, one of nine agencies that partner with the federal government to resettle refugees. 'The human toll is really crushing.'”
Yes, well, not on Mr. Arbeiter’s radar screen, apparently, is how the Ummah’s appearance in the West has led to nothing but trauma to Westerners. Acts of Islamic terror are so numerous now, with no prospect whatsoever that they will let up, that many Westerners are simply inured to it all, thinking that it is simply part of the “new normal.” Back in 2006 columnist Diana West penned in an article entitled Connecting the Dots on Islam what have become some of the most powerful, succinct and haunting thoughts on the matter: “Whether most Muslims wouldn't hurt a fly is an increasingly irrelevant footnote to the hostile aggression of other Muslims who, in a very short time, have actually transformed civilization as we used to know it.” She concludes,
If the will to resist allows us to manage the threat of violence, the will to connect the dots would compel us to eliminate it. How? By carefully examining and, I would hope, reconsidering and reversing, through foreign, domestic and immigration initiatives, what should now be seen, gimlet-eyed, as the Islamization of the non-Islamic world. Such an assessment, however, is all too vulnerable to catcall-attacks of "bigotry," even "Nazism" -- a deceptively inverted assault given the doctrinal bigotry and similarities to Nazism historically promulgated by the Islamic creed.
And that, of course, “Nazism” is the tag that the Left hopes to pin on all of us who agree with West. Her retort, however, does an absolute demolition on that bit of idiocy: if any religion is Nazi-like, it is the imperialistic and totalitarian religion of the false prophet from Mecca. Look at its books; look at its history.
Here’s another plank of the pro-immigration argument cited in the CT article:
Tim Breene, CEO of World Relief, acknowledges the security risks, but believes the administration’s action goes overboard.
"We live in a dangerous world and it is right that we take security seriously. The American people are rightly asking for transparency on the measures taken to safeguard our homeland,” Breene said. “However, World Relief does not believe compassion and security have to be mutually exclusive. While it is wise to always work to increase effectiveness, a lengthy and complete ban is not necessary to meet our commitment to security, transparency and compassion."
Which is of course shameless question begging. It is quite clear that the Western nations accepting Muslim refugees have heretofore not been able to adequately screen terrorists out, not to mention the niggling issue of those who become radicalized after they gain entry to our countries. Mr. Breene needs a little lesson on the petitio principii fallacy.
Here’s another gem from the article, this one from National Association of Evangelicals president Leith Anderson:
“Would we be willing to accept giving up a 1 in 3 billion chance of our safety in order to make room for them?” he continued. “Or would we say, ‘I am not willing to give up even the smallest fraction of my safety to welcome people who have been vetted very carefully, who have been proven as a remarkable population of people. Will I not make room for them?’”
Not only does Anderson beg the question regarding the quality of vetting in the same way Tim Breene does, but he cites some questionable statistic put forth by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank which in keeping with its libertarianism supports open borders. However, let’s assume the statistic is accurate for the sake of argument. There are two responses as I see it. The first one is that just because the odds of some terror event is one in three billion, it doesn’t follow that the state has no obligation to be as thorough as it possibly can in screening out potential terrorists. The chances of dying in an airliner crash is 1 in 11 million. Nevertheless, the airlines are subjected to strenuous safety regulations to ensure that everything that can be done to guarantee a safe flight will be done. This is just what the public expects, however irrational it might seem from the perspective of statistics.
My second response, and the weightier one as I see it, is empirically based, to wit, an argument from demographics. We in the West are now seeing, up close and personal, just what an existential threat the existence of the Ummah in its midst poses to the West. It is likely that many if not most of the Muslim refugees that have come to the West will not be repatriated. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a ticking time bomb, ultimately even more destructive to Western, Christian civilization than the aggregate of the individual terrorists shooting and blowing up this and that. Mr. Anderson and his friends are simply not looking at the long-term ramifications of their position.
Lastly, the article quotes Matthew Soerens, World Relief’s church training specialist.
“We have never had an opportunity like we have right now to reach people who are coming to our shores, in many cases from places we have no access to,” said Arbeiter. “The risk that we have right now is that we are closing the doors to the very people that we say we want to share the gospel with.”
I always marvel at the shoddy theology displayed by Evangelicals who think that the success of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is contingent upon our plans and schemes, and not ultimately upon the sovereignty of God. The Gospel is, in fact, making its way into the Muslim world, oftentimes miraculously. God is not hampered, ultimately, by the laws of the Dar al Islam, and it is not necessary for the West to allow the Trojan Horse of Islam into its midst in order to evangelize Muslim people.
Anyway, so much for CT’s report about the anxieties of Neo-Evangelicals. I mentioned Anglicans.
Over at the ACNA’s unofficial discussion page today, a priestess named Heather Jean Bakker Ghormley, who occasionally takes up center-left causes at that page in the attempt to baptize them, posted the Christianity Today article referenced above and commented as follows: "Many wonderful Anglican saints serve the refugees of our world. Please keep them and those they serve in your prayers during this time of hardened hearts."
Well, at least those of us who support Trump’s executive order aren’t Nazis according to Mrs. Ghormley. We simply have “hardened hearts”, doncha know, which is Christian code for lovelessness, something that ranks way up at the top of the things Christians consider sin.
In response to her post, I provided a link to a blog article entitled "Trouble" that I published last year, which takes to task the Neo-Anglican ministries to immigrants with which Ghormley and others in the ACNA are involved. I would encourage you all to read that article before reading further in this one. I also posted a comment to the effect of what I said above about the CT article being riddled with weak arguments. Both posts were summarily deleted by a moderator, and when I asked publicly why the posts were deleted, I received this private message from Mrs. Ghormley: “I think one (of the moderators) thought is that you are no longer a member of the ACNA and that your views are attacking our actual ministries and thus causing a hindrance to the Gospel and creating dissension from the outside, but I'm not really sure.” The moderator who actually deleted my comments has thus far had nothing to say to me, however, publicly or privately.
So, in addition to being “hard hearted”, I am hindering the Gospel. Strike two. One more strike and you’re out, headed to hell, Embryo Parson.
Chatter on certain ACNA clergy pages since the executive order was also predictable, as it contained the same question-begging, virtue-signaling, breast-beating sanctimony, effectively consigning those of us who agree with Trump’s executive order to the nethermost regions of lovelessness. That, and they trotted out those old, carelessly-exegeted texts about the “foreigner” and the words of Our Lord in Matt. 25:35 ff., a text that has **nothing whatsoever to do**, actually, with the issue at hand.
So here’s my question: is it too much to ask that our Anglican clergy: 1) know how to exegete Scripture responsibly; 2) know how to avoid common logical fallacies; 3) reckon responsibly with the news stories pouring out of Europe with respect to how well the European elite’s “compassionate” policies are working there; and 4) not be so quick to judge those of us who take a contrary position? More importantly, are these clergy willing to own their error if it turns out that the policy of allowing the Ummah into the West will eventually plunge it into chaos, civil war, and desolation? Because I’m telling you now, and you heard it here first, that’s exactly what’s going to happen if we do not adopt, and yesterday, the policy Diana West recommends of “reversing, through foreign, domestic and immigration initiatives, what should now be seen, gimlet-eyed, as the Islamization of the non-Islamic world.”
As one of the best political commentators around puts it, himself a traditional Anglican, "We won't save refugees by destroying our own country."