A Sunday Thought on the Syrian Refugees

There's always a good reason not to help someone if you think about it hard enough. The drowning child in the riptide? Who's to say if you pulled her out that she wouldn't grow up to take drugs? Yes, at first glance the parable of the Good Samaritan seems to be about seeing past tribalism, and about how helping strangers is a good thing, but think about it: Jesus says a traveler on the road to Jericho falls among thieves. He never says if the thieves are caught.

Sounds to me like Jesus is saying the Middle East is full of violent street criminals. And now President Obama wants to bring Syrian refugees here? Here's how much it doesn't make sense: It doesn't even make biblical sense.

Shouldn't we attack this problem at its roots, by bombing the road to Jericho?

Sure, we could help the traveler. But Jesus isn't looking at the big picture. Wouldn't it be cheaper -- and moraler in the long run -- to have the CIA train the traveler to fight the thieves himself? Is moraler a word? If not, why not?

Okay, that's not what Jesus said at all. He said everyone is your neighbor, stupid. But what about our security? If America is destroyed, who will help (or decline to help) people in the future? We have to help everyone by helping ourselves first, by not helping anyone.

While the Gospels indicate that we should let the refugees in, the flight crew says, in the unlikely event of decompression, you put your mask on first -- then the child's -- and the implications for policy are pretty clear. You put your own mask on first. You put the child's on second, if at all.

The quality of mercy is not strained. It's the quantity that must be strictly controlled.

For everyone's safety.

President Obama is also obsessed with bringing the Gitmo prisoners onto American soil.

Admittedly, in chains. But what if the Syrian refugees busted them out?