Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Cash For Christian Compassion?

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Two weeks ago, a Wall Street Journal op-ed commentary took issue with "More than 10 governors" who sent letters to the Obama administration refusing to accept Syrian refugees, calling their position un-American and lacking compassion.

Christianity Today published a similar article condemning the governors, and anyone else who has reservation about mass Syrian refugee migration into the US, telling them to read their Bible.

However, the strongest voice, aside from President Obama, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis) advocating mass Syrian migration into the US is that of 9 Christian and religious organizations that will be paid to resettle the refugees.

The payment amounts are significant. Very significant.

In fiscal year 2015, the State Department, through the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, spent more than $1 billion on these programs.

Of the 100,000 refugees resettled in the US in 2014 under the Resettlement program, an estimated 40% were Muslim.

Much of this $1 billion in annual revenue goes to voluntary agencies that assist in resettlement.

They are referred to as "VOLAGS."

These agencies include in the top 9: Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services, World Relief Corporation, Church World Service, and Domestic and Foreign Missionary Service of the Episcopal Church of the USA.

Five of the top 9 are Christian based organizations. The other 4 are Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, International Rescue Committee, US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, and the Ethiopian Community Development Council.

These organizations provide three or four months of resettlement services, while being highly compensated by our federal government.

Ann Corcoran with Refugee Resettlement Watch wrote recently that this arrangement benefits the agencies, but gives little comfort to Americans worried about terrorists infiltrating the unvetted ranks of the Muslim refugees.

She details how beneficial the resettlement program actually is for the agencies involved, in that they receive money from the federal government for each refugee they bring over, but have almost no real responsibilities for the refugees once they arrive. The sponsoring organizations are not even required to know where the refugees, most often Muslim, live once they are here.

Refugee Resettlement Watch says some "Americans feel the federal government's mission is to import terrorists to the United States under the false flag of Christian compassion."

It's difficult for me to personally believe leadership in our government would purposefully do that, however, there is good reason to be vigilant regarding this matter.

The Watch says there are multiple ways these organizations (VOLAGS) generate revenue from this government program. This is one example:

a. $1,850 per refugee (including children) from the State Department.

b. Up to $2,200 for each refugee by participating in a U.S. DHHS program known as Matching Grant. To get the $2,200, the VOLAG need only show it spent $200 and gave away $800 worth of donated clothes, furniture, or cars.

c. The VOLAG pockets 25 percent of every transportation loan it collects from refugees it “sponsors”.

d. All VOLAG expenses and overhead in the Washington, DC HQ are paid by the U.S. government.

e. For their refugee programs, VOLAGs collect money from all federal grant programs – “Marriage Initiative,” “Faith-based,” “Ownership Society," etc., as well as from various state and local grants.

The program is so lucrative that in some towns the Catholic Church has lessened support for traditional charity works to put more effort into resettlement. It uses collection offerings to promote the refugee resettlement program.

Some reports indicate the president wants to bring as many as 100,000 refugees from terrorist cultures into our country. Others are advocating for 250,000.

President Obama, far left Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and newly elected Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis) are all expressing it is "un-American to deny entrance to these almost exclusively Muslim refugees---It's not who we are," they say.

A recent Pew Research Poll found approximately 14% of Muslims in 11 major Muslim majority countries sympathize with ISIS. Using this measurement, you can do the math on risk assessment.

Two questions emerge.

First, is it biblical to abandon wisdom in face of the evidence and simply open the borders to this many who hold these views regarding ISIS and America, when our own government agencies are saying they cannot adequately vet the refugees?

It is not. Biblical teaching does not indicate that we must abandon wisdom, allowing masses of unvetted immigrant refugees from Muslim countries where 14% of the people support ISIS terrorists whose mission is to destroy the United States.

Wisdom and compassion are not mutually exclusive. A biblical Christian can be wise and compassionate. And biblical. Neither does the Bible teach against the use of common sense.
The Patriot Post described it with a picture that says, "Syrian Refugee Situation Explained."

The picture shows 10,000 M&Ms which says, "Only 10 contain poison that can kill you."

"How many would you like to Eat?"

Secondly, have these organizations that were originally organized to serve the needs of their own local communities, now been remade into a useful vehicle of the far Left secular progressives who often see both Christianity and Conservatism as an impediment to "progress?"

Breitbart News said this: "The irony is that these leading private Christian charitable organizations which were organized to serve their local communities have now really lost much of their original purpose and have become agents and supporters of the Federal government bureaucracy's efforts many see as an attempt to Islamicize America."

Breitbart concludes, "They are now no longer agents of private charity, but a new version of federal government 'Beltway Bandits'."

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Wise. Be Prayerful.