Unless you’ve been living in a cave you’re probably aware of the controversy spinning around from President Trump’s executive order to temporarily restrict refugee entrance from 7 Middle Eastern nations into the U.S. for fear of a potential terrorist cell infiltration or possible terrorist attack. Now, the Catholic Church does not endorse this recent executive order and many Catholics are outraged that Trump would be so inconsiderate to suggest such a thing. Ultimately, I’m going to follow the Church on this one, but I think the average Catholics that oppose Trump’s move tend to be overly naïve about the full context of what is being asked here by the Church. I don’t think people really grasp the problem of the threat that terrorism poses. Rather, people approach this topic with an overly emotional compassionate sentiment. However, as soon as they do this they become unaware to the full scale of the problem and make themselves gullible to the deception of the evil scam artists in terrorism. So, in this article, I will demonstrate the problem (by citing many sources – so read the embedded links in this article) and offer a common sense, Biblical solution to the problem in part 2 of this article.
This situation is reminiscent of that scene in Matthew’s Gospel (20: 20-24) where a group of people ask if they can “sit on Jesus’ right hand in heaven.” Jesus response to them indicates that these people don’t have a clue about what they are asking. These people think that sitting side by side with Jesus will be an emotionally uplifting experience. Well, while sitting side by side with Jesus is the upright noble thing to do, the process of being right by his side is not emotionally uplifting and in fact, it requires much pain.
Jesus response to these people indicates that being right beside him means that you are signing up to be brutally persecuted – just like he was. This, of course, will not feel good at all. So, carrying out Jesus’ teaching is not an automatic no-brainer. Indeed, carrying out Jesus’ teaching will cut the opposite way in which your feelings tell you to go. So, in today’s situation, many Catholics think that the Church’s teaching to embrace and serve the refugees is an automatic no-brainer. They also think if you don’t embrace this teaching and support the ban you clearly must be a selfish, horrible person. As I will outline in this article nothing could be further from the truth. These Catholics that think this way can be compared to the people that believe sitting at Jesus’ right hand will be somewhat easy. They think this because they are primarily guided by their feelings, thus, they tend to be naïve in not fully understanding why the Church teaches what She does. In other words, they don’t know what they are signing up for much like those people who wanted to sit at Jesus’ right hand didn’t know that they were signing up for intense persecution.
Yes, we as Catholics need to serve others and be compassionate and welcome refugees and immigrants. However, given the context of the terrorist element, this is not a no-brainer. In fact, the reason we need to take in the refugees ultimately is not what people think. I will get into the reason why we need to take in refugees later but for now, I think it is helpful to be fully aware of the context of the refugee situation. This situation has become more complex given that there is an evil element in terrorists that cunningly use people’s compassion against them. Scam artists are always looking for a way to sucker emotional and naïve people so they can get away with their corrupt deeds. In almost every area of life, people are always skeptical of potential scams. I’m in sales and every time I contact people to solicit my product, they naturally have their alert button on and pose a skeptical response. Now, when people react with skepticism they are not saying all salespeople are con artists. What they are saying is that because a small minority of salespeople have proven to be manipulative they must naturally treat all salespeople with suspicion. Now, there is nothing controversial about being skeptical of emotional appeals from others. We do this all the time in our response to clever marketing techniques and to those who approach us for money with some dramatic story. This is not controversial because when you become aware of such scams, you naturally will be skeptical. Indeed, there are all these stories of people scamming others on gofundme.com because people continuously fall for emotional appeals (read here and here for examples). What these stories tell us is that as soon as you think solely based on emotions, then, from a con-artist perspective you might as well have the word “sucker” on your forehead. The same holds true with the refugee and terrorist situation. However, the reason the Church wants us to accept refugees is not to put the work “sucker” on our forehead, it is to put the word “martyr” on our forehead – much like Jesus and his apostles did. Now that we know this, let’s unpack this situation clearly.
We as Catholics want to help out and serve homeless people. However, I suspect few people will ever pick up homeless people on the street and bring them into their home without first vetting them in some way. This especially holds true for people who live in major cities that encounter many homeless people – Chicago, New York, San Francisco, etc. If you’ve lived in a big city, you’ve learned the hard way that you need to be skeptical of homeless people. Sadly, a few bad apples tend to compromise the integrity of the whole bunch. So, if a homeless person were to come up to the front door of your average Catholic in a big city and ask if he can please come in for food and shelter, I would bet the average Catholic would be skeptical and as a result of their skepticism would want to heavily vet this person at the front door. Now, we wouldn’t fault the homeowner for their skepticism on the homeless person and their insistence in wanting to thoroughly check him. After all, the homeowner has children in their house and their first instinct is to protect their children and home. Plus, the situation would be even more complicated if the homeowner was aware of incidents where criminals were posing as homeless people in order to break into their home to steal, and in some cases rape those in the home. Given this, the homeowner would be a gullible fool if he responded to the homeless person’s request with an overly emotional ga-ga-goo-goo response. In this instance, the feeling of compassion takes a back seat to the feeling to protect one’s family. And this is unfortunate, but notice the reason that compassion has to take a back seat is because of the evil con-artist is taking advantage of people’s empathtic response. However, instead of directing criticism on the con-artists (the terrorist) many are directing criticism to those who want to fix the problem. Do we notice know how people ignore the real cause of the problem (terrorists) and instead place blame to the one who is at least attempting to fix the problem (Trump)? As we will later see, the devil is a master at making the bad guy look good, and making the good guy look bad.
Given what I’ve outlined thus far, the mild manner Catholic that says we need to welcome refugees with open arms, needs to answer the question would you welcome a homeless person into your family’s house if you had knowledge that several home invasions had occurred from people that were posing as homeless? I highly doubt anyone would be so susceptible to do this. Thus, this showcases the hypocritical logic of those that are outraged by the Trump executive order – you yourself would support it if applied to the scenario above.
The Tactics of the Devil
In order to see the evil connection of ISIS and other terrorist groups, it is helpful to compare their tactics to what the apostles and Jesus himself said about the nature of evil in the Devil himself.
Firstly, if we look at the brief exchange between the serpent and Eve in Genesis 3:1-7, we can notice 4 ways in which the Devil tricked her. In sum, the 4 ways he tricked her are:
- twisted the truth by changing the words – “not to eat from any of the trees”
- used emotional words that sounded pleasing to hear – “pleasing to the eye”
- he tried to come across as the good guy and make God out to be the bad guy by focusing on the negative of God’s instructions and taking out the positive
- he had her focus on the lie that she would selfishly get something out of it – “you will be like God”
Let us now notice in step 3 how the Devil switched good guy to bad guy and bad guy to good guy. While not a direct comparison to the refugee situation, do you now see how the real cause of the refugee problem (the terrorists) have now snuck away from the blame and the fault has been cunningly shifted to someone who didn’t cause the problem and is simply trying to fix the problem (Trump). Do you also see how in step 2 the Devil plays on people’s emotion by duping them through emotional words? A modern day example of step 1 and step 2 is Elizabeth Warren’s emotional rant on the executive order as a “Muslim ban.” It’s obviously not a Muslim ban because the ban doesn’t include the 40 other Muslim majority nations – it only includes those nations that are basically being run by terrorist groups. What is interesting is that the 5 wealthiest Muslim nations (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain) have refused to take refugees (read here and here) also. Therefore, it’s not a Muslim ban as Warren tries to make it out to be. It’s a terrorist ban. Spinning the truth by using emotional words and clever word crafting is literally the oldest trick in the book – just ask Eve.
The Devil is described as “the father of lies” (see John 8:44). How does the Devil deliver lies? He delivers them by way of his cunningness (see Genesis 3:1) in making his teaching pleasing to hear (see Genesis 3:6, Matthew 4:8-9). He is called the “deceiver of the whole world” (see Revelation 12:9). Now, when someone deceives someone else, the deceiver naturally has to come across as nice and harmless in order to do the deceiving. The same holds true of the Devil, only on a much larger stage. So, whenever you hear the word false prophet or deceiver in the Bible, it is a reference to the Devil. Now, Jesus declared rather plainly, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but underneath are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7: 15). Also, Paul asserts,“For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Bingo – when evil comes to us it will likely hold same methods of the Devil as Paul and Jesus indicated. So it is crucial to understand that Satan is a master of deception, adept to hiding his darkness behind the mask of being nice, and sweet when in fact, he is incredibly dark and ugly.
Now that we see the devil’s tactics we can more clearly view the current situation for what it really is. Therefore, let us look directly at how the ugliness of the Islamic terrorist groups mirrors the Devil’s tactics in carrying out their darkness through the deception of appearing as harmless refugees.
What is Islam?
Firstly, while Islam is called a peaceful religion by some there are some highly concerning elements to it. Rather than get into the sordid history of Islam and how it came to rise by military conquest, one needs to understand that in Islam the primary way to spread the faith is by means of force. Indeed, the word “Islam” means submission. And if one does not submit on their own, one must submit by force. This idea is stated rather plainly in the Qur’an (Sura 2: 191-194)
“And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you then slay them. Such is the reward for disbelievers. . . . And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except wrong-doers”
Moreover, the language gets even more intense further in the Qur’an (Sura 9: 5-14)
“Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them captive and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. . . . Fight them! Allah will chastise them at your hands, and He will lay them low and give you victory over them, and He will heal the breasts of folk who are believers.”
Sadly, this idea of submission by force and to “slay the unbeliever” in Islam has led to the rise of Islamic terror groups in the last 30 years; most recently Al-Qaeda, Hamas, ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), and many other smaller cells. Now, not all Muslims are terrorists, however the data is pretty evident that most terrorists are Muslims.
Practically every week there is either an attempted terrorist attack or an actual terrorist attack carried out by some Islamic terrorist groups. If you doubt this I suggest checking out investigative reporter Robert Spencer’s site Jihad Watch in which he carefully documents the numerous attacks perpetrated by Islamic terrorist groups. We’re all familiar with the attacks on U.S. soil from 9/11, Fort Hood, Boston, Garland, Chattanooga, Orlando, San Bernardino, Etc. In fact, Spencer has documented there have been 30,000+ violent jihad attacks worldwide since 9/11.
Europe has become on edge from the persistent terrorist attacks both big and small (see here for a brief run down). Two major truck attacks have shaken Europe over the past year. In December, 12 people were murdered and 50 injured after a terrorist plowed a truck through a busy Christmas market in Berlin at high speed. And in July, 86 people were brutally killed and hundreds more hurt after a cowardly jihadi drove a lorry into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice
Earlier this month a man attacked French soldiers at the famous Louvre Museum in Paris yelling “Allah Akbar” – a common phrase in Islam that means “God is greatest.” (see here) In this Paris attack, the news reports that investigators believe the man who launched the attack, is a 29-year-old Egyptian who entered the country on a tourist visa. He posted on his twitter and Facebook account “In the name of Allah… for our brothers in Syria and fighters across the world,” In another post on Twitter, he cited a Koranic verse that promises heaven to those who are killed fighting for the sake of God (see here).
In Europe, we can witness the widespread problems with migrants assaulting women in Germany, one of the latest victims being the daughter of a European official, who was raped and drowned. Have we not heard about the sharia law courts Muslim immigrants have created in England and the schools where Muslim children are taught barbaric practices? Also, there is the highly problematic statistic that migrant rape cases jumped up 133% in one year in Europe (see here).
In addition, there is the troubling statistic that Anti-Christian attacks increased 245% in France (see here). There is even more proof that the terrorist problem associated with the migrant/refugee angle. It has now been reported that the majority of the Isil extremists who carried out the November 13 Paris attacks entered Europe while posing as migrants. This is according to Hungarian security officials have reported that seven of the attackers, who killed 130 people and left more than 360 others injured in Paris, slipped through Hungary’s borders while posing as migrants (see here).
Let’s also notice how migrants from Muslim nations have committed violent attacks in the U.S. In February 2016, Somali Muslim migrant Mohammad Barry stabbed multiple patrons at a restaurant owned by an Israeli Arab Christian. Also, Ahmad Khan Rahami, a Muslim migrant, set off bombs in New York City and New Jersey in September 2016 (see here).
Additionally, Arcan Cetin, a Turkish Muslim migrant in September 2016 murdered five people in a mall in Burlington, Washington. Then there is Dahir Adan, another Somali Muslim migrant who in October 2016 stabbed mall shoppers in St. Cloud, MN while screaming “Allahu Akbar.” Moreover, there is Abdul Razak Artan, yet another Somali Muslim migrant who in November 2016 injured nine people when he drove a car into a crowd of people then stabbed others at Ohio State University.
Then, we have these three independent, extremely credible reports from different periods of time all outlying that Islamic terrorist groups are entering in through the refugee disguise (see here here and here). Plus, there is a recent report that 300 refugees are subjects of an FBI investigation in connections to the Islamic State terror group (see here ). Moreover, ISIS operatives have openly announced that they have smuggled thousands of terrorists into Europe by posing as refugees (see here ). And if the reader is not fully satisfied with this mountain of evidence Syrian President Assad recently said in an interview that some refugees are “definitely terrorists” (see here).
Well, this data confirms the claim that evil scam artist are posing as innocent homeless migrants. Hello people! By sneaking in via migrant status the Islamic terrorist are pulling a move out of Homer’s Illiad with this trojan horse sneak attack on unsuspecting naïve people.
In fact, there is another troubling report that “since 9/11, 72 individuals from the seven mostly Muslim countries covered by President Trump’s ‘extreme vetting’ executive order have been convicted of terrorism, a finding that clashes sharply with claims from an appeals court that there is ‘no evidence’ those countries have produced a terrorist” (see here).
Given everything laid out in this article, I hope the reader grasps the immensity of the situation. Also, notice how our situation mirrors what Jesus indicated that the wolf would come in sheep’s clothing. Now, I cannot think of a clearer example of the wolf coming to us in sheep’s clothing than the situation we face today as evil foreign terrorists are posing as innocent refugees migrants in order to carry out violent attacks. If a person is too naïve and gullible to see this then sadly, this person might as well have the word “sucker” placed on his or her forehead.
People that are outraged by the Trump ban are so because they aren’t approaching this topic by thinking logically. Instead, their response is based on knee-jerk emotions, not rational thinking. This is the wrong order. You don’t understand a topic by feeling, you gain understanding through rational thought. Then, after your receive knowledge, your authentic feeling comes in. Feeling is not a way to get at facts, feeling is a response to facts. Approaching a topic based on feelings is exactly what the evil con artists want. Because when you are all feeling, you become an easy prey for them to manipulate. Now, these people who are emotionally rejecting to Trump’s ban may have good intentions, but the fact that they are playing right into the hands of the scam artists show they are causing more harm than good.
Now that we understand the problem in the next part of this blog we will see how Jesus and his Church deal with the wolf that comes in wearing sheep clothing. While the answer is in line with the Church the reason won’t be what you think. Recall, Jesus doesn’t want us to be suckers, he wants us to be martyrs. To be continued…