Franklin Graham has said that Jesus’ teaching about welcoming strangers had nothing to do with refugees. President Trump obviously agrees with him. I know better.
In 1974, I worked with my church to host a family of Thai Dam refugees. The family had originally escaped Communist rebels in North Vietnam in 1956. Since then, we have also helped the father’s family of seven immigrate. His brother, wife and young son lived with us for three months in 1982, as I campaigned to become lieutenant governor of Iowa.
More recently, I had the opportunity to work with Iraqi refugees in Des Moines, Iowa. One family included two teachers. The father’s school had been attacked and the father had been shot. Like my Thai Dam friends, they will benefit our country for generations.
I believe that Trump’s recent actions to forbid entry to refugees is only an attempt to justify the hatred he spread during his campaign.
Through refugee resettlement programs, Buddhist, Christian and Muslims have loved one another as Jesus and other religious leaders have taught.
Let’s do everything possible to change the president’’s dangerous decisions and reduce fear and hate in our country.