Obama Uses Thanksgiving to Win American Hearts and Minds on Syrian Refugees

For many years, we have associated Thanksgiving with the first meal shared between the Mayflower pilgrims and the Native Americans in the 17th century. But in reality, this is a fairly new construct.  Around 1900 with the discovery of Miles Standish’s manuscript and Longfellow’s poem Americans began having interest in the connection. As I reported yesterday, Thanksgiving was instituted not as a remembrance but as a time for the nation to reflect, be thankful, and pray. And instead of focusing his speech on that line of thinking, Obama used his Thanksgiving address for an entirely different topic.

The Daily Mail reports

Barack Obama has compared Syrian refugees to Pilgrims on the Mayflower in his Thanksgiving address – and urged Americans to show generosity to those fleeing the war-torn country.

The President said those who came to America in 1620 were themselves fleeing persecution before quoting from citizens who said they were ready to accommodate refugees.

Obama’s plan to accept 10,000 refugees from Syria became a lightning rod for political criticism after attacks, claimed by ISIS militants, killed 130 people in Paris two weeks ago. The United States is leading an international coalition fighting the group in Syria and Iraq.

Now, I have struggled with this issue personally. I do not want to turn these people away, especially those who are in real need and danger. I think that it is both inhuman and unchristian to turn our backs on those in need. Yet, at the same time, when I see the pictures of all these young, healthy men abandoning their country and their people, I cringe.

And now, these men, who seem cowardly, are being compared to the courageous men and women who braved a deadly sea voyage. This seems to be the height of disdain for American history. That we would look at these people in the same light as the Pilgrims and the Puritans is not just ignorant, it is deceptive.

What’s more, is that this comes right on the heels of the announcement that the states will have to take them.

ABC News reports

The Obama administration said Wednesday that states can’t legally block the resettlement of refugees, according to a letter from the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement sent to state officials.

In the letter, the agency said states are bound by the Refugee Act of 1980 to provide “assistance and services” to refugees “without regard to race, religion, nationality, sex or political opinion,” and cannot cut off ORR-funded services to Syrian refugees.

Additionally, the letter says refugees are protected by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which “prohibits discrimination on the bases of race and national origin” in all programs that receive federal financial assistance.

As I reported, the states have no say in whom, when, or where the refugees will be located. They cannot refuse them. They cannot determine where they will be located. And is this not how a dictatorship works. With one hand, you are stroked and manipulated to agree with the policy. With the other hand, the policy is thrust down your throat. Just like all the other policies Obama has pushed on us, this too will have to be tolerated.

ABC continues

“Nearly four centuries after the Mayflower set sail, the world is still full of pilgrims – men and women who want nothing more than the chance for a safer, better future for themselves and their families,” the president says. “What makes America America is that we offer that chance. We turn Lady Liberty’s light to the world, and widen our circle of concern to say that all God’s children are worthy of our compassion and care. That’s part of what makes this the greatest country on Earth.”

On this, I am in full agreement with the President. We are the greatest nation on earth. We have beckoned all to come. But, when we see clearly that there are people in that group who want to kill us, we have to look harder at our situation.

Obama said, “No refugee can enter our borders until they undergo the highest security checks of anyone traveling to the United States.” But the one problem that neither the administration nor DHS has sought to answer is, how can you check without a database?

Syria will not cooperate with us in do background checks on those seeking asylum, and the FBI has told us that. These checks are flawed because these people can only be verified since they left Syria. We cannot know if they had terrorist links while there.

So, this leaves us with a somber question. Would the Native Americans have allowed the Pilgrims in if they knew then what they know now? Not likely. And do not think that this will end differently.