Accepting Syrian Refugees Is Not Compassion

November 20, 2015

by Dr. Randy White

**This article was previously posted by Dr. Randy White HERE and is used by permission.

One of the most hotly contested issues in America today is the President’s proposal to bring to America thousands who are exiting war-torn Syria for Europe and the United States. Many fear, with good cause, that among the thousands are scores of Syrian bred terrorists who hate all that we love and are committed to our destruction.

In the chorus of argument for or against the acceptance of these so-called Syrian refugees, not a small number of preachers and religious commentators have chided us for our lack of compassion. We’ve been guilted into believing that Christian compassion demands open borders. We’ve been told that Jesus would accept the refugees (in spite of the fact that Jesus told his Apostles to avoid the gentiles, and called one gentile woman a dog). We’ve been told that the only reason we don’t readily accept the refugees like a good Christian is because of our fear.

I’m a preacher who just doesn’t buy into this line of thinking. I believe we should always question the assumptions. Here’a s few questions I am asking.

  • When we suggest deporting illegal aliens from our American soil, we are scolded because we will “separate families.” Doesn’t it separate families when we bring Syrians nearly half-way around the world to settle in a foreign land?
  • When we send missionaries, we are told to leave our American thinking at home. Is it really the right thing to Americanize the Syrians?
  • Those who claim Christianity are (and have been) persecuted by all sides of the Syrian conflict, but we never heard a call to deport them to America. Why are we now suddenly concerned about the muslim population when we haven’t cared for our own?

I think real compassion isn’t to bring a token 10,000 to our borders, leaving the rest to die or defend their country. I think real compassion is to really take care of the problem.

And the problem, for starters, is a United Nations schemed Middle East that has no regard for people groups, religious convictions, or historical roots. Syria, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, and the rest of the Middle East was created by France and England and are modern and artificial borders with more regard for the needs of dead European government leaders than for any reality on the ground. As soon as the United Nations created the “peace” that established the modern map, war began…and has never ended. Let’s face the fact that the Middle East is equivalent to allowing the Chinese to set our local school zones based on proximity to Chinese restaurants. The United Nations created the Middle East mess, and it won’t really go away until people have the right to self-determination. The truth is, there is more historical precedent to allowing the Turks to reign supreme over the entire Middle East than there is for the messed up gerrymandered map that has been on the globe since post WWII.

Since the work of the UN is likely never going to be undone by anything other than WWIII, and since the USA has a compassion and police function in the world, here’s my suggestion.

First, refugees are women, children, the handicapped, and very old men. Any able-bodied male who claims refugee status needs to lose his man card. I’m a 50 year-old self-proclaimed wimp, but if my country was engulfed in a war with Jihadists, I would arm myself with a gun, a whip, or the biggest stick I could find and try to beat every last Koran-driven terrorist thug to a bloody pulp.

It isn’t compassion to give refugee status to anyone other than women, children, the handicapped, and old men….it is sheer stupidity.  We’ve taken this approach in the past, when any able-bodied American was called upon to fight the Nazis, or live in the shame of not serving in time of need. Why do we expect such behavior of our American boys but then call it a lack-of-compassion if we don’t give Syrian boys a place of escape? Why did we look with disdain on American deserters who fled to Canada in the Vietnam era, but consider it our Christian duty to be co-dependents for Syrian deserters? Why did our typing and penmanship classes (if you are young, google it) have this as the practice sentence: Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country? The truth is, we won’t solve the Syrian problem by removing able-bodied men, we will actually extend the problem…and that isn’t compassion.

Having determined what constitutes a refugee, let’s then create a place of refuge for them in Syria itself. Let’s use American resources and military strength to establish a safe-zone, and use American muscle to keep it safe. Let’s put the refugees into this safe-zone, and call upon American citizens to volunteer their time, talents, and treasure to feed and care for the refugees. I have no doubt that billions of dollars and millions of volunteer man-hours would be given to show real compassion in the Syrian safe-zone. We could feed, clothe, house, and educate the Syrian refugees on charitable contributions alone. It wouldn’t be hard to find a city or region in Syria that could quickly be occupied by American forces as a place for refugees to flee. We could occupy the zone in weeks if we had the will.

Finally, let’s arm every able-bodied Syrian to fight ISIS and rid the planet of this unmitigated evil. Let’s create the Syrian version of Paul Revere and Davey Crockett, men who will ride the countryside warning of the enemy, and will die to keep the dream of peace and prosperity alive. After ISIS is gone from the earth, those men will either take care of Assad or Assad will make the reforms he needs to make to bring Syria to safety and prosperity.

Real compassion isn’t bringing 10,000 suspicious Syrians to American soil. That’s nothing more than a facade to placate our feelings and satisfy a few politicians and preachers. It does no lasting good, changes nothing of reality, and has the potential to cost hundreds of American lives through future acts of terrorism. Real compassion is changing the paradigm in Syria, Iran, Iraq, and other terrorist-ridden havens of the Middle East.

We had this kind of compassion when we leveled Germany, pleased to destroy every last vestige of Nazi thought. We had this kind of compassion when we destroyed Japan, to rebuild it with a different worldview. And if we are ever going to see a peaceful Syria, real compassion is going to be shown in unequaled military might and an American resolve that is strong as goat’s breath.

Or we can just be wimps.

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Chris Parkin

Amen! No more Trojan horse.
Displaced people should be protected and supported as near to their point of RETURN as possible.


Just to bring in another piece to this problem. What is up with some Christians positioning this issue as a sort of litmus test on compassion, selfishness, etc? Even labeling it in some instances as whether or not a contrary view can be “Christian” What next? Church discipline over opinions on the refugee situation? Shunning? Where did this ridiculous authoritarianism and false piety come from? These lines in the sand? I cannot picture my parent’s pastor in their day and time daring to say such things to them. They would laugh at the utter arrogance of daring to position these issues in such a way. Then probably remind them that they don’t pay him to think for them.

What has happened to people? Are there not any adults at some of these SBC churches? Are they children waiting to be told what to think or they are selfish and uncompassionate as it is positioned it as a Christian litmus test? That we are only operating in “fear” mode. Is everything based upon hyperbole and emotion? Are they never questioned? Is there so little wisdom left out there?

They basically draw a line in the sand and say if you don’t agree then you automatically want them dead. They cannot envision any other solutions.

    D. Morgan

    Agreed. Saw this attitude play out on another Baptist board over this issue. While quoting Matthew 25: 25-40 and WWJD no one broached the reality of the situation across Europe within the islamic refugees they have already let in. In a word, disaster. Few assimilate, and many radicalize. This issue is much more complicated than bumper sticker solutions.


      It is also the front end vetting process that has always concerned me. It starts with the UN. We have no real intelligence from that area anymore. France welcomed Islamic refugees with open arms for years. One of the French dirty secrets over the last decade are the increased attacks on French Jews and Synagogues. Even the very pro Arab Vanity Fair did an in depth expose on it years back. It is an eye opening piece. The French played it down for years.

      France opened its doors to Islamic refugees but barely tolerated its own Algerian Jews when they fled from the Islamic takeover. Jews assimilate but most Muslims do not. Most Radical Islamists come out of time in Western culture. We see it over and over but fail to connect the dots.

      Some would be wise to read Ayaan Hirisi Ali who had to flee Holland from Islamic Radicals because she spoke up…as an elected member of parliament! She is saying we should look to Israel for advice on security. I know people who made fun of Israeli security 20 years ago on trips there that now get it.


Never heard of this guy before but brings a perspective from being on the the ground in Syria. Doubt if I would find him interviewed on CNN. :o) He is claiming the UN is doing the frontend vetting in the refugee process. Says the Syrian Christians do not trust the UN camps.

    D. Morgan

    Lydia, the reports from BBC and Sky news state that the Christian refugees are actually being forced out of the camps by the islamics. Again, this is an incredibly complicated situation that no one is properly addressing.

John K

I support refuges coming into this country as most everyone does. I think there needs to be a sufficient and effective vetting processes. We don’t have it yet. UNHCR does much of the vetting of the refuges, their agenda is not the American peoples agenda. DHS does additional background checks and has virtually no data that is verifiable. DHS is not even today to be able to track those that over stay their VISA in the US. They don’t know even today if people have left the US or not. No simple enter then exit data base for foreigners entry in the US under a VISA. How do we even know what their capabilities are to handle this issue when they have failed to do the most basic screening of VISA departures.

These Syrian refuges are out of harms way of ISIS. They go to Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan or even further north into Europe. They have already flied, they are not fleeing any longer from ISIS harm.

In the US there are poorly run and good resettlement groups.
Church World Service (CWS)
Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) (secular)
Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
International Rescue Committee (IRC) (secular)
US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (secular)
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
World Relief Corporation (WR)

They all lobby for amnesty for illegal aliens while being funded mostly by you, the taxpayer. Billions of US tax dollars are funding these organizations. They also need to be vetted and reviewed to assure the American people that they have American interest as a core principle, along with the refuges assimilation path to ensure they are able to adapt well into this society. Not just a dump and run and take the money organization, that some of these resettlement groups are known to do. I do want to emphasis some of these groups are doing a great job so they should have no issue in being reviewed.

And why is it that so few Christians (based on percentage breakdown of populations and true numbers) are not being allowed to immigrate to the US? This question needs to be answered!
And why is it that Governors (even Democrat govs) can’t find out where refugees are being resettled? How can the State assist with education and jobs if they don’t know needed information?

This is a complicated issue being more complicated by the lack of integrity by those who should be looking out for American interest.

    D. Morgan

    You may wish to research the problems Minnesota has had, and is still having from the Somalia refugees that the USCCB settled there. Odd though, all of the Huomong refugees that settled in my part of SC assimilated and are doing very well. I would argue that the underlying issue is islam. It is diametrically opposed to our Christian ( at least whats left of it) value system.


“They all lobby for amnesty for illegal aliens while being funded mostly by you, the taxpayer.”

I never really paid attention to this until a few years back. To give one example of how that plays out on the ground would be their contracting with service providers. For example the hiring of translators. Here, they would pay the translators 20 bucks an hour and that would not even include travel to various locations. However, the NGO was paid 100 bucks an hour by the Feds for each translator.

Christiane Smith

“Fear and compassion cannot co-exist” (Thomas Aquinas)

fear will always drive out compassion . . . and ISIS is counting on it

    Scott Shaver

    No Christiane:

    I’m not buying this diatribe either. How do you figure that ISIS is counting on the halt of immigration through “fear” to further their agenda when “fear” might be the very thing that cuts off unrestricted access to this country by those who would do it harm?

    In context, Aquinas didn’t know anything about ISIS and I’m not convinced they’re exactly what he had in mind when he said “Fear and compassion cannot co-exist”.

Scott Shaver

How come we never hear anything out of Washington or SBC leaders about “compassion” for American workers, tax-payers and legal residents.

I’ve not heard one person advocating at this time for open borders and resettlement of fleeing Syrians propose to personally house, feed and support these folks by welcoming them into their own homes.

    Christiane Smith

    SCOTT, my Church has already adopted a Syrian family. Not sure about your denomination’s plans, but many Churches ARE planning to live out the gospel by helping a family in need of asylum. We have a house for them, volunteers are fixing it up, there are multiple plans for helping the family assimilate to our ways, and many people wanting to be supportive of our new family. Ask your pastor about your own Church’s plans . . . you may be surprised to find that your Church also is wanting to assist refugees. It may not be ‘politically correct’ for conservative Christians to volunteer to help them, but in the Kingdom of Our Lord, many Christians of all stripes are drawn to answering the need of these suffering people. ‘Conservative’ doesn’t mean giving up the Golden Rule or failing to honor the Royal Law of Christ, no. Many who identify as ‘conservative’ are full-hearted and generous with their resources and their talents . . . and their compassion for people fleeing from persecution. Go and ask.

      Scott Shaver


      Respectfully, the idea that pure naivete and open borders constitutes the only adequate “Christian response” to current world-wide crises of language, border, culture and immigration is not only STUPID, it defies biblical warning for Christians to use their heads for something other than hat racks.

      Sorry, your interpretation of the meaning of “conservative” and your huckstering of “the Gospel” to imply that anything less than open borders, regardless of whether or not “assimilation” actually occurs is INSANE in my opinion and has nothing to do with “The Gospel”.

      Whatever “The Gospel ” means today at the hands of so many who want to use the term as market brand.


        Praying for you, Scott. May Christ have mercy on you in the age to come.


    The compassion you speak of Scott, does not bring headlines.

    And worse, you cannot draw a line in the sand with them declaring fear is driving the lack of compassion. Not wisdom. Wisdom is “mean”. Instead of settling them in a no fly zone nearer to their homes, it is wise to take them to other countries and restart there. This way, Syria/Iraq can remain ISIS territory of decades.

D. Morgan

This issue is much more complicated than 10 thousand refugees. There are forces at work here that many do not grasp. Dr. White pointed to many of the geopolitical issues within the region that work to keep the region unstable. Transplanting that instability to another country does not solve the problem. And i feel it is highly optimistic to believe that the majority of any muslim refugees brought into this country will convert to Christianity or assimilate into our culture. Europe has been allowing muslim immigration for several decades, and the reports from
There are not good. What we see is a self segregation and a refusal to assimilate. Given our current PC culture, i forsee major problems with bringing in any large number of refugees into the US. Another factor to consider is that every refugee we bring in will immediately try to bring in more family, and if i am not mistaken there is verbage in the documents Obama has had Dept of State draw up that will allow expedited visas for refugee family members to receive for quick entry. The 10 thousand will rapidly grow.
While i agree that true Christian compassion requires us to aid these people, the greatest aid we could give them is to destroy Isis and help them to rebuild their own country.

    Jim P

    D. Morgan, If I may without offense. Your last point, “the greatest aid WE could give them is destroy Isis and help them to rebuild their own country.” That perspective is confusing Church work with Gov’t work by using the word ‘we’ in the way you did. The church work is to live and show the gospel of the Love of God through Christ. Church people’s identity is to be ‘in Christ’ not in the ‘nation’ they live in. This confusion goes deep in the problem of Christians, particularly in this here US of A.

      D. Morgan

      Jim, the “we” in my comment was in response to the subject matter, that being the government of the us allowing 10 thousand refugees into the US. We was in reference to us as citizens, not Christians. I am well aware of the difference.

        Jim Pi

        Again, no offense intended but that difference is easy to ignore and will only add to the problem if it is.


“That perspective is confusing Church work with Gov’t work by using the word ‘we’ in the way you did. The church work is to live and show the gospel of the Love of God through Christ. Church people’s identity is to be ‘in Christ’ not in the ‘nation’ they live in. This confusion goes deep in the problem of Christians, particularly in this here US of A.”

Most NGOs resettling refugees are religious based. Mostly Christian. They are paid directly by the Federal government.

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