However, someone shared this piece by Taylor Marshall with me on Facebook and asked me to comment. So I did. Quickly and off-the-cuff. And then someone else asked me to share those comments here.
So: this is not a blog post. It is quite literally what I just put up on Facebook with the slight alteration of the link placement. I'm not even changing the font:
I had someone ask what I thought of this piece. My reply: it's pernicious nonsense. I'm not blogging just now because fiction writing is taking up all of my time, but here's a few random observations:
1. There are, according to the UN, 9 million Syrian refugees. Even if every one of them was an observant Muslim bent on imposing Sharia law on America, and even if our nation granted them instant citizenship (two very big "ifs"), there aren't enough of them to create a 51% voting majority. Now, perhaps Marshall is arguing that eventually there will be enough of them to do this (given a few generations and assuming no American assimilation whatsoever). But I'm pretty sure St. Thomas Aquinas wouldn't allow us to neglect charity in the present to avoid, preemptively, a potential future ill.
2. It is arguably true that a greater threat to the common good of our nation (as Catholics understand it) exists right now from militant secularists who are already voting in their own "Sharia law" of sexual license and rampant immorality (and taking steps to punish those who disagree). Yet these, mostly, are our fellow citizens by birth. I do not think St. Thomas Aquinas would advise us to go all Maccabees on reckless secular humanist revolutionaries' hindquarters even though they threaten public morality and virtue way more than a Syrian widow and her children do. It would sort of be against order and whatnot.
3. Marshall falls off the rails with his "homeless person" analogy and his "Good Samaritan = hotel accommodations" analogy. To take the latter first, the Samaritan paid to put the wounded man up in a hotel because the Samaritan was traveling on business and presumably far from home, not because he cravenly feared having a wounded man in his house, which is so blindingly obvious I'm surprised it even has to be said. To go back to the first: I think that it depends on who the "homeless person" is. If you refuse to open your home to a homeless person who happens to be, say, your own son, brother, nephew, cousin etc. who is in dire need and who promises to respect your property and live according to your house rules (and you have no legitimate reason to suppose he won't keep those promises) then you would indeed be sinning against charity if you refused. But how does that relate to the analogy of the refugee? No one is demanding that we turn our homes into *either* homeless shelters OR refugee shelters. Some extraordinary individuals actually do invite the homeless or a refugee to share their homes, and this heroic charity models Christ better than all of our fearful formulations do. But such an act of charity remains the proper discernment of the individual. What the Christian *state* ought to do, in terms of both homeless shelters and refugee populations, is ask itself, "How can I welcome the stranger?" not "How can I make sure that none of my personal tax dollars are going to bums or Muslims?" Alas, we are not a Christian state.
Okay, then! Back to noveling. :)