Amani, aged 12, is learning English, French and Arabic, and is also recieving psychosocial support to help her forget the conflict in Syria. Her family were displaced inside Syria for 2 years before moving to Lebanon six months ago. 

"I feel so happy that I'm now learning again", she says.

I visited the Millennial Mormons Facebook page during a lull at work today, and was interested to read the comments on one of their recent posts, “Millennial Mormons Should Support Syrian Refugees“. It was a very reasonable, Christ-like, brethren-backed post by Millennial Mormons, so it was surprising seeing so many church members taking issue with it in the comments section.

“How about I bake some cookies for ya’ll. only 2 will have rat poison in them. But you go ahead and eat em anyway, k?” said one lovely commenter.

Millennial Mormons (sorry, “Morms”, thanks to the church’s crackdown on people using the word “Mormon” in unofficial content) responded, “We are talking about people with families, not cookies with poison. And we have the support of the church on this matter.”

A great response, I thought. But the anti-compassion police weren’t having any of it. “The church is so wrong on this matter,” chimed in someone else. “We could be taking in terrorists and they could be blowing up the temples.”

Ah, the temples. Our top priority. If they blew up, how would people be with their families forever, right? Never mind the fact that living and breathing families here on the Earth at this very moment are at risk of dying because of violence and poverty in their home countries.

Fallacies from those who opposed Millennial Morms abounded for the rest of that comment thread, and it was clear that MM wasn’t going to get through to these people. (Did you know that data found on Buzzfeed can never ever ever be trusted regardless of the original source because Buzzfeed is ok with pornographic content?)

As MM continued to fight for the side of Christ, politically conservative internet warriors remained unmoving, with rhetoric about “finding another way” (please, give us your suggestions). One person simply said that they “don’t think it’s worth the risk”. For who? Who is more at risk here? (This girl also showed zero knowledge about the screening process for refugees, highlighting how little people feel the need to research before offering their opinions on sensitive issues.) The many statements about “helping people but not by letting them in” weren’t, I feel, made by people who will actually do anything to help.

Multiple people claimed MM was unrighteously using the “WWJD trump card”. Don’t you hate when people use the “be kind to others trump card”? Those bitches.

I have to admit — while I usually agree with commenters who say Millennial Mormons is too contentious, the fact that people were finding perfectly reasonable comments from MM “contentious” on this post was insane to me. Hopefully they don’t deter MM from continuing to take a more civil approach.

Other, more mild commenters seemed to take issue with Millennial Mormons discussing politics on a religious platform. (The irony is thick.) Despite the fact that MM was simply going off of a statement issued by the church itself, it was apparently “too political” of an issue to post about. Tell me, refugee-phobes, was it the implication that Christ would want to help desperate, impoverished people that you found too political, or the fact that the church dared issue a statement about the situation? Because either way, you’re in trouble with the God you claim to believe in.

It’s interesting — despite this obvious lack of support for the brethren from some church members, I’m yet to see a blog post rebuking people for not being faithful enough to trust them. Apparently it’s only gay marriage that is important enough to follow the brethren on — you’re free to ignore their counsel and think whatever you like in a typical Good Samaritan-ish dilemma. Forget about the judgment and unkind words that flew around toward people whose hearts were hurting over the new baptism policy for the kids of gay parents.

What we’re seeing here is classic cognitive dissonance between conservative Mormons’ ideas on politics and the church’s counsel. You have to minimize or dismiss one, and some are choosing to follow the Republican party, it seems. This is fascinating to me as a formerly devout member of the church, because I would never have valued my prone-to-weakness political ideas over the counsel of “inspired men of God”. I mean, come on — if you think the church is true, who’s more likely to be wrong?!

I’m all for people thinking for themselves and not being sheep to LDS leaders, but it’s depressing that this is the issue they care enough to oppose them on — an issue the church is approaching with love and compassion that I believe/hope comes from a really heartfelt place.

“We need to protect ourselves,” said one commenter. It’s like I’m listening to Christ himself weigh in on the issue. Have fun living the Law of Consecration.

 

Things Mormons Should Research

  • The refugee vetting process in the United States
  • What Europe is and why it has looser borders
  • The New Testament
  • “14 Fundamentals of Following the Prophet”
  • The so-called “other options” you feel are readily available for these refugees
  • How to implement these elusive other options

 

 



Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young
Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young
Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young would have been a millennial blogger, but she died in 1901. The wife of Brigham Young, and prior to that Joseph Smith, and prior to that Henry Jacobs, who was sent on a mission by Brigham before he married her, Zina loves writing, long walks on the beach, and playing the field.
  • Swagavad Gita

    I think the parable of the Good Samaritan is apt when dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis. Yes, they’re different from us. They’re the Others, after all. But the Good Samaritan was the Other as well; the person he saved was his Other. The priest walked on by and did nothing to help. You don’t only help the ones who are just like you. You have to be willing to help anyone and everyone.

  • Jaasiel Rodriguez

    A friend of mine, an insider in the church, undercover heretic, basically an atheist giving the value of community some credit, purifying the beast from within, once told me this profound comment:

    “If you think the brethren are in the engine, you’re wrong. They are in the caboose of the church.”

    The thing does what it wants, and it has to make no sense at all.

  • Bob Smith

    Wow. All this hate-filled rhetoric vs. the Syrian refugees and Muslims is just sick and wrong.

    Look people, you want to know the best way to give ISIS the middle finger? Do you know the best way to prevent radicalization of our own citizens (which is really the only way to truly protect America)?

    Give peace-loving Muslim people the respect they deserve. And accept Syrian refugees like a real Christian would.

    All we do by Donald Trump-style BS of putting Muslims on watch lists is create an environment that justifies their hatred towards us. So yea, keep it up, social conservatives. You are only fueling the ISIS fire, increasing the probability of attacks at home.

    Syrian refugees are not our enemy. Hate is our enemy — and if you are supporting hate, YOU are a part of the problem.

    PS: How about we put this whole situation into perspective.

    What happened in France was terrible — a complete nightmare. 129 people dead.

    But why don’t we put these incidents into perspective?

    Since 9/11, more US citizens have died from LIGHTNING STRIKES (~30 per year) as have died from terrorism on our soil (71 in the last DECADE):
    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/01/almost-no-americans-die-from-lightning-strikes-anymore-why/283046/

    On average 60 people die each year die from tornadoes. Those are also a nightmare.

    Hurricane Katrina killed 1,833 people.

    Oh yea, and ~30,000 people EACH YEAR die from gun-related deaths in the United States over the last decade (10x the number of people who died on 9/11).
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/oct/05/viral-image/fact-checking-comparison-gun-deaths-and-terrorism-/

    I get it. Lots of emotion and what-not over the highly-publicized terrorist attacks. It sucks. But if you can come to your DAMN senses for a moment and accept these 2 facts:
    (1) ISIS main weapon is it’s ideology, and if we hate on Muslims it only makes that weapon stronger and
    (2) You have a higher chance of dying from a lightning strike than getting killed by a terrorist on US soil. (and on average a 4000x higher chance of being killed by a gun fired by another US citizen)

    Then maybe you can realize that you are full of sh!t and you need to STFU. AND LET THE REFUGEES IN, DAMMIT!

  • Goldarn

    I remember some guy saying “If you have faith you shall not fear.” But all I hear from these people is fear. Be afraid! We’re afraid! Do what we say because we’re afraid and you should be, too!

    And when the men they sustain as speaking for Jesus Christ and God the Father say, “have faith”, the members respond with “no! We’re afraid!”

    • Jean Jacobs

      Fear and hatred are two sides of the same coin.

  • Loran

    Zina has here reached a level of advanced and typically wholly uninformed and bigoted anti-Mormon fluff the likes of which one would normally have to retreat to the worst of late 1970s Protestant Fundamentalist anti-Mormonism to fully appreciate.

    As with John Dehlin, however, it is really the responses to her essays that tell the deeper story.

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