Now this is how you control the political narrative.
Evangelical pastors have dubbed December 13 as National Refugee Sunday, a day to urge their flock to donate money to help refugees fleeing Syria, according to CNN.
The focus will be on resettling Syrian refugees in other Middle Eastern countries.
And even though the fundraising effort appears to be aimed at keeping the refugees out of the United States, the network focused on a desire by some to bring them into the country — a stance that is sure to drive a wedge between Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and evangelicals by putting them at odds with the candidate’s proposal to ban Muslims.
The article’s opening paragraph stated: “Days after Donald Trump called for a temporary ban on Muslim refugees coming to the U.S., some evangelical organizations are calling on churches to welcome refugees to the U.S.”
CNN insisted that “evangelicals are choosing to embrace refugees in spite of political calls to block them.”
Gabe Lyons, founder of the organization co-sponsoring the event, Q Ideas, explained that the effort is geared toward refugees who will remain in the Middle East.
“This project is a unifying effort where churches are expressing care and support for refugees and not letting politics get in the way,” he told CNN. “Churches cannot dictate who is given access to America’s borders, but we can be sure to respond to the immediate needs for the millions who’ll never leave the region.”
That doesn’t sound like a call for churches to “welcome refugees to the U.S.?”
On a side note, in a piece on same-sex marriage earlier this year, Slate.com said Lyons “makes a point of positioning himself against the old-school religious right, with what the writer David Sessions has called ‘an aura of progressivity.'”
CNN said another organization involved in the fundraiser, We Welcome Refugees, is urging evangelicals to “push back” on governors who support Trump’s proposed travel ban — see Republicans.
Franklin Graham, who heads Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, is quoted in the article as being supportive of the ban.
“For some time I have been saying that Muslim immigration into the United States should be stopped until we can properly vet them or until the war with Islam is over,” he said last week in a Facebook post. “Donald J. Trump has been criticized by some for saying something similar.”
“Our politicians are not listening to the truth — my prayer is that God will open their eyes,” Graham said. “This affects our security and the future of our nation.”
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