A false dichotomy is when we are given an either/or choice when there may be a third or even a balance between both choices. The current refugee crisis is a case in point. To declare that no refugees are welcome is not a Christian choice. The party that pretends to be Christian is playing the hypocrite when it denies all Syrian refugees. On the other hand compassion must be balanced with wisdom. If there is a danger of terrorists mixing in with the widows and orphans or even of some of the widow and orphans being terrorists, we must be more cautious than we have been.
The heartless right and the careless left may be an unfair comparison, but in this crisis those are caricatures being played out by the media. Now the media is not in the business of discovering truth, but selling newspapers and television advertisements, while at the same time protecting their own cash cow, the advertisers. So, it is a given that the news media that relies upon advertising revenue is always biased. Nobody wants to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, advertisers.
For those of us who are Christians, our concern ought to be answering the old question, what would Jesus do? We know what Jesus taught in regards to the needy and strangers or foreigners, to treat them with kindness. We also know that the Old Testament is filled with stories of Israelites naively treating foreign enemies with kindness. In Matthew 10:16 Jesus taught his own disciples that they were to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. That teaches that between the two extremes, there is a balance.
Democrats have lost Christians over the years due to disingenuous arguments about a woman’s body, while ignoring an unborn baby’s body. They have also lost Christians due to mixing gay human rights and redefining marriage. From a balanced point of view, gays should have the same rights as anyone else to declare who should be their inheritors and who should be seen as a beneficiary of health insurance. However, that is a far different issue to what kind of union should be declared a marriage. But, the battle is lost for a generation or more and we must move on. The damage to the Democratic support from conservative Christians will also last a long, long time.
Republicans have lost Christians over the years due to their heartless approach to the poor, ethnic and gender bigotry, maltreatment of foreigners, and support of greedy oligarchs. Christians understand the lies that have been spread about poverty wages and welfare. While economists say that we need foreign labor and statistics prove that foreigners (legal and illegal) start more businesses and hire more Americans than native born people, Republicans continue to lie about illegals stealing American jobs.
In the end of the day, Christians are left in a quandary as to who to believe in this Babylon of non-Christian values and misinformation. The same is true of our current refugee crisis. The answer is not on the left or right, but in a balanced Christian approach where we care for the needy and closely monitor them as individuals. One such idea comes from Australia. Why not build special refugee housing centers (detention camps) rather than try to assimilate them immediately? Then, only after a thorough background check is completed grant them asylum and an entry visa, whereby they may leave the camp and enter society. While in the camp I would plant microphones and cameras everywhere and anyone overheard being part of a terrorist plot would be expelled from the country immediately.