December 11, 2015

EDITORIAL: Syrian Refugees are a Test of our Nation’s Values

by Theodore Cardinal McCarrick

Some five years ago, between Thanksgiving and Christmas—the holiday season we are celebrating now--three distraught mothers came to see me about the chance of helping to free their children from a prison in Iran. They were the mothers of three young American hikers. The State Department has suggested to them that a religious channel might be helpful, as political channels had failed.

Working with several other religious leaders—Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, and Jewish—over time we were able to influence the Supreme Leader of Iran to eventually release the Americans and reunite them with their parents. It was evidence that faith communities must stick together in defending the rights of human beings, regardless of their religious beliefs.

Five years since those mothers visited me, we now see that some Americans want to close our doors to Syrian families—some who are trying to reunite with loved ones in the United States but all who are fleeing for their lives.

The strong opposition to Syrian refugees coming to the United States is an expression of the fear Americans justifiably feel from the horror of the Paris attacks. In times such as these, we must be careful not to let our fear cloud our judgment as to the best way forward, and, in so doing, sacrifice our values as a nation. For the full blog, click here.

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