Friday, March 20, 2015

Refugee (and asylum) crisis: does the Syrian issue transport to the same for gays?

David Miliband has an indicative story on p. A17 of The Washington Post Friday, March 20, 2015, p. A17, “How to aid Syrian refugees”, titled “U.S. should boost resettlement of Syrian refugees”, link here. There is a related article on WND Faith from December 2014 here
It’s his Third suggestion that gets attention.  Milibank mentions Syrian communities in the US in states like California, Michigan and Pennsylvania.  He says some persons in these communities would be prepared to sponsor and house refugees and support them.  This sort of idea is difficult for the administration to propose, because it would put individual Americans in the moral spotlight. So it’s not talked about.
Imagine the same idea with refugees from anti-gay places (Russia, Nigeria, Uganda, Gambia, not to mention most of the Muslim world).  It was talked about in southern states in 1980 with respect to the Cuban refugees then, but did not work out particularly well. 
Curiously, on a brief volunteer experience yesterday at a local church, this exact topic came up in conversation.  Word spreads fast.  I actually heard this on the Crop Walk in Arlington last October, too. The faith-popular word for this idea is "radical hospitality".  
On the Russian anti-gay law, remember how far downhill Putin has gone since it was introduced, with all of his aggressive "nationalistic" moves, and now weapons deployment.

Update: March 22

This morning, Fareed Zakaria noted that the US took in only 588 refugees in 2014, compared to the millions hosted by Jordan and Turkey, which even try to provide free health care. 

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