When "leaders" at all levels of government make it acceptable for one group to discriminate against another, this is what inevitably happens.
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Alabama has no Syrian refugees, so it's hard to know what they are so afraid of, but afraid they are.
Alabama's governor, Robert Bentley, has declared his intentions to reject any refugees the federal government might try to locate in his state, saying:
“I will oppose any attempt to relocate Syrian refugees to Alabama through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm’s way.”
Alabama Senators Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions both voted for ending visas for people from countries “at a high risk for exporting terrorists.”
Senator Shelby even co-sponsored legislation to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to give governors the power to reject the resettlement of refugees in their state.
And then there's Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, stoking the fear of middle eastern refugees within the torch and pitchfork crowd as a campaign strategy. Put all that negativity in and over time, something dark and fetid is bound to crawl out.
The Alabama Baptist printed this letter from a pastor who is angry at Christian clergy who advocate welcoming Syrian refugees. Pastor Ted Sessoms (photo below) of Arbor Springs Baptist Church in Samantha, Alabama, (Photo above left) argues that the Muslims looking to us for safety are the very people God ordered Christians to destroy:
"At the risk of being an outcast or considered a narrow-minded bigot, I must express my disagreement and disappointment with out Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) leaders in regards to the Syrian refugee crisis. I am against allowing the refugees the rights to America’s soil and my neighborhood. These are the same people that hate America, hate Christians and have vowed to take over the world by destroying our way of life. Perhaps our leaders should study the Old Testament when God gave specific instructions to destroy these people (even their women, children and animals). Why would He give such instructions? Because He knew the impact these idol worshippers of false gods would have on His people. It is not a matter of loving your neighbor. My neighbors are the people that value the same standards of life and way of life that I value.
"We owe it to our children and grandchildren to make good decisions for their future in America. And opening up our country to ten of thousands of refugees with their unknown background but known hatred for Christianity and America will destroy any future our children may have.
"These are the same people that are willing to give their lives to carry out their commitment to Allah. They don’t have to be considered terrorists to hate Christians. Their religious conviction cause them that hatred.
"What we will see is not more SBC churches being established but more mosques. What we will see is their way and their customs being forced on us to either observe or make way for us to give up our rights to observe their rights. They are victims of a more powerful force of Muslims within their own country but they are not victims when it comes to their lifelong hatred of us and our belief in Christ. It makes no sense to say to them, “I know you hate us and I know you want to destroy our country and way of life, and I know you will eventually find a way to kill us, but come on it anyways and live among us until you gain the strength and power to overcome us.” Has the SBC been turned over to a reprobate mind?"
Ted Sessoms, Pastor
Arbor Springs Baptist Church
It should be noted that many mainstream Baptists denounced Pastor Sessoms, including Dean Inserra, lead pastor of City Church in Tallahassee, Florida, who called the letter "garbage."
Dr. Daniel Akin, president of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, called it an “embarrassment to the gospel.”
Quite simply this is an embarrassment to the gospel and the one who told us to love our neighbor and our enemies. https://t.co/vExlBjdyAD— Daniel Akin (@DannyAkin) January 27, 2016
But no matter how many people reject or renounce Pastor Sessoms, his evil has already escaped into the world, infecting other people. And it isn't hard to trace that license to hate back to "leaders" like Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, Richard Shelby and Robert Bentley.
They made Pastor Sessoms possible.
Refugee Photo from Genocide In Syria Facebook page
Photos of Pastor Sessoms and his church are from his Facebook album