|On board 'The Veendam' (1952) -|
my Dad is on the far right.
So, why are many Canadians raising red flags about refugee settlement? Have we learned nothing from history? Are we embracing protectionism and fanning the flames of xenophobia? The likelihood of bringing a terrorist among the refugees is similar to the risk of bringing in Nazi sympathizers, and those guilty of committing atrocities against the Jewish people. It did happen - ex-Nazi soldiers and those who denied the Holocaust were among the boatloads of economic refugees. But, Canada didn't flinch. While it's true that not all sponsorship stories are lined with butterfly kisses many stories do reflect the unselfishness that most of the sponsors possessed.
If we choose to ignore the political or economic refugee, we choose to hoard our wealth. We are hoarding the wealth of Canada that the sponsors of our immigrant families chose to share, if we deny the same to the Syrian, Iraqi, Palestinian, or Sudanese refugee. Look back in history, and to more recent times, to the refugees from Hungary, Vietnam, Serbia, Croatia, Kosovo, and Somalia. Have all these people committed atrocities or perpetrated violence in their new homes? I'm willing to go out on a limb and say no more so than the 'natural-born' Canadian.
But, it's much more than forsaking the memory of our sponsors. If you believe that you were rescued from slavery into a land flowing with milk and honey i.e. slavery from death and sin into eternal life, then welcoming the foreigner, stranger, and alien within our collective walls isn't an option. It's a command. In fact, if your truly believe that you were rescued from sin and are now alive in Christ, love for the foreigner, alien, and refugee will be a natural outpouring of your gratitude for God's free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. Remember - God's love didn't end with simply sponsorship. He met us at the cross, picked us up, and paid the ultimate price so we could live.
Ours is a nation flowing with milk and honey...wine and cheese...beer and wings. Share the wealth and don't flinch now, Canada!