Evangelicals, Republicans, and a More Excellent Way on Refugees
Caring for refugees should be neither controversial nor partisan.
At the White House #WelcomeRefugees event last week, I found myself in a much-needed conversation. Ironically, this White House and I are, on many issues, ideologically far apart. But this time, I was there to talk about welcoming refugees.
This visit, my Evangelical faith and my historically Republican positions aligned me with the White House and progressive Democrats rather than my normal compatriots.
I joined a few Evangelicals, and a few dozen others involved in refugee resettlement, in a meeting where we actually heard from refugees and those serving them. Listening to White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough speaking of our American responsibilities in the midst of this global crisis, I thought that at one time this could have been either a Republican or a Democratic administration, and Evangelicals would have been there, ready to serve.
Such a meeting wouldn’t always have been controversial. Evangelicals have had a long-term commitment to refugee ministry, caring deeply for the most vulnerable in the world. Republicans and Democrats used to agree on welcoming refugees.
Until this election cycle.
Now, caring about refugees has become both controversial and partisan.
Though I don’t think identifying as an Evangelical and as a Republican are always linked, they do statistically correlate. As such, I will speak to both groups – people like me – who need to find a better approach to discussing refugees. The urgency of this conversation is apparent, as leaders from around the world gathered for the U.N. Summit for Refugees and Migrants this week. It is time for leadership, specifically American, in the midst of this crisis.
Earlier this year, I asked Evangelical leaders to join me in declaring that we …