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Refugees Grow Up to Make Trouble

Governor Dennis Daugaard is taking no stance on whether South Dakota should accept Syrian refugees, perhaps wisely, since states have no authority in determining who can cross their borders, refugee or otherwise.

But remember: refugees have a track record of growing up and making trouble:

After the scholars were gone, God’s angel showed up again in Joseph’s dream and commanded, “Get up. Take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt. Stay until further notice. Herod is on the hunt for this child, and wants to kill him.”

Joseph obeyed. He got up, took the child and his mother under cover of darkness. They were out of town and well on their way by daylight. They lived in Egypt until Herod’s death. This Egyptian exile fulfilled what Hosea had preached: “I called my son out of Egypt” [Matthew 2:13–15, trans Eugene Peterson, The Message].

Remember, Rep. Wiik, Rep. May, Rep. Noem, and all you other nervous defenders of the border: your God’s Son was a refugee, and He upset an empire.


  1. larry kurtz 2015-11-17 08:30

    Gene Abdullah, Jim Abourezk, Hani Shafai, the Shamas and Besharas who emigrated to Deadwood are all descendants of refugees.

    South Dakota: Land of Infinite Vituperation.

  2. happy camper 2015-11-17 08:52

    Are atheists so outnumbered they feel they must cower to religious ignorance and intolerance and conversely use religious arguments, when in fact religion is the problem? There’s no god yet in the name of tolerance we have to accept all these crack pot, violent prone religions? All while they use fabricated beliefs to murder mass number of people. It’s a crazy world made so in large part by religion and a belief in something that doesn’t even exist.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-17 09:08

    Hap, I do not speak for atheists in general. I speak for myself. I view South Dakota Christianity not as an enemy that must be destroyed but as a currently prevailing worldview with whose adherents I can find common ground in governance. Rather than exerting myself in the futile effort to prove God does not exist, I can gain more ground for good public policy ideas by pointing out to people of faith the history and tenets of their faith and questioning whether they are speaking and acting consistently with that faith.

    But I will not tolerate all worldviews. Any beliefs that induce adherents to do what the killers in Paris did should be refuted, reformed, or eradicated.

  4. happy camper 2015-11-17 09:41

    Finding common ground is fine but using this specific argument as a non-believer is disingenuous and goes back to a time when the introduction of Christian beliefs did lead to turmoil and violence.

    There’s no god. You say that over there and they’ll kill ya. Not just the ISIS killers either. Drink some wine and they’ll lock you up for a year. Give you some lashes.

    With what we’ve done we have some grave responsibilities, but the bigger problem is we by and large still see ourselves as heroes ready to wash our hands of it all rather than the ignorant disrupting force we really are.

  5. bearcreekbat 2015-11-17 13:13

    Wasn’t Steve Jobs the son of a Syrian refugee?

  6. mike from iowa 2015-11-17 14:21

    You say they worship the wrong god over there and they will kill you,too. Radical Muslims are no better/no worse than wingnut kristians who are always willing to get someone else’s kids killed just for the hell of it. That is right-war is good as long as OUR kids don’t have to fight it.

  7. Don Coyote 2015-11-17 15:06

    @bearcreekbat: Jobs biological father was a Syrian immigrant. Not all immigrants are refugees. While attending university in Lebanon he was involved with a pan-Arabic political group the Al-Urwa Al-Wuthqa Association. After graduation he decided to continue school in the US because his father did not want him to study law in Damascus and the shaky political atmosphere in Syria. Here’s a good article on Abdul Fattah Jandali and it doesn’t mention any refugee status.

  8. Richard Schriever 2015-11-17 15:34

    Albert Einstein was one of those German Jewish refugees that were so despised in the US in the late 30’s.

    “Although Einstein was not in Germany at the time, Nazi fanatics still had his property seized and his books were among those burned on the famous May 10, 1933, as a symbol of purging an “un-German” spirit.

    He fled to the United States on October 17th of that year…..”

  9. jake 2015-11-17 19:01

    Things started changing, didn’t they, when we as a country got rid of the draft to fill our militaristic needs, It had a tendency to sorta level the field and make all people in basic training potential cannon fodder. Now, with all volunteer forces, we don’t seem to spread the pain and we also go to war on credit cards!

  10. John 2015-11-17 19:04

    “If we only had a seasonally appropriate story about a Middle Eastern people seeking refuge turned away by the heartless.” – Oliver Willis tweeted

  11. jerry 2015-11-17 20:01

    Here we are, a country that everyone and their brother has at least two guns to protect themselves from something, they are now afraid of unarmed immigrants. What a bunch of girly men.

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