February 7, 2017


I'm Pro-Life, and Pro-Refugee (Scott Arbeiter, Feb. 7th, 2017, NY Times)

I am an evangelical Christian, and central to that is my belief in the sanctity of all life -- a belief that, like millions of other evangelicals, I have expressed through my opposition to abortion. Over the past 40 years my wife and I have joined silent prayer walks and have given to crisis pregnancy centers. We have written to our elected leaders, debated with friends and family who disagreed with us and sought to influence our culture to value life at every stage, especially those not yet born. [...]

[T]ake another issue, right now in the news and central to my work: our country's response to the global refugee crisis. I understand the concern that many of my neighbors have about security. But how can I demand absolute security for myself (which I do not expect or demand in any other part of my life) while 65 million people are fleeing the very terrorism, war and persecution that are the antithesis of life?

The fact is, no refugees can simply choose to come to the United States. They can enter the United States only if invited by the State Department. More than that, they must generally undergo 18 to 24 months of vetting by the Department of Homeland Security, F.B.I. and other agencies.

Since 1980, three million refugees have been resettled in the United States. In that time not one has taken the life of an American in an act of terrorism. The conservative Cato Institute estimates that the likelihood of an individual American being killed in an act of terrorism committed by a refugee is one in 3.64 billion a year. Somehow it does not feel truly and fully pro-life to be unwilling to give up one-3.64 billionth of my security to make room for someone bombed out of their city, someone who is homeless, cold and unwelcomed.

Posted by at February 7, 2017 6:20 AM