Recently, in light of the shootings in Chattanooga by an Islamic extremist, Franklin Graham posted the following statement on his Facebook page:
“Four innocent Marines (United States Marine Corps) killed and three others wounded in #Chattanooga yesterday including a policeman and another Marine–all by a radical Muslim whose family was allowed to immigrate to this country from Kuwait. We are under attack by Muslims at home and abroad. We should stop all immigration of Muslims to the U.S. until this threat with Islam has been settled. Every Muslim that comes into this country has the potential to be radicalized–and they do their killing to honor their religion and Muhammad. During World War 2, we didn’t allow Japanese to immigrate to America, nor did we allow Germans. Why are we allowing Muslims now? Do you agree? Let your Congressman know that we’ve got to put a stop to this and close the flood gates. Pray for the men and women who serve this nation in uniform, that God would protect them.”
This isn’t the first time something similar to this has been suggested. But is this the right response? And if not, what is? I would encourage Franklin Graham, along with you and I, to ponder whether or not as Christians this is the best course of action. Here are 5 relevant questions we need to consider:
1: Shouldn’t we, as American Christians, be thrilled that the nations are coming to our homeland?
2: Does it not seem contrary to the Great Commission for Christians to suggest prohibiting people from a certain religious group from entering the country?
3: Even if certain people groups could pose a risk to someone’s safety—did Jesus not warn his followers about the risks involved in proclaiming the gospel?
4: Did Jesus not die for us when we were far off?
5: If Christ risked everything to come to us, can we not allow risks for those who need Christ—especially if they are knocking on our front door?
The thing that worries me is that if we’re not careful, we’ll be using the similar logic that many of the New Atheists used against religion, which looks something like: every religious practitioner is a potential extremist. Is that really the right direction we, as American Christians, want to go in? Furthermore, this attitude seems to call into question the proposed nature of religious freedom in America. Is that freedom only for Christians?
Food for thought.
(Thoughts? Comments? Feel free to share in the comment section or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org)