The Corner

National Security & Defense

The Pharisee and the Publican, Refugee Edition

God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this critic of refugee resettlement.

The UN designated today as World Refugee Day. The White House used the opportunity to justify its policy of resettling increasing numbers of Middle Eastern refugees in the United States. Hillary tweeted “let’s reaffirm our commitment to welcoming them.” And the usual collection of Hollywood numbskulls is pushing a petition that asks governments to:

  • Ensure every refugee child gets an education.
  • Ensure every refugee family has somewhere safe to live.
  • Ensure every refugee can work or learn new skills to make a positive contribution to their community.

Even if these goals were the responsibility of the American taxpayer, what do they have to do with bringing refugees here? And yet that’s one of the chief goals of what amounts to a campaign of moral blackmail against the general public’s skepticism about refugee resettlement. If the purpose of such a campaign were to actually do the most good with the resources available, then resettlement in the West wouldn’t even be considered; each dollar spent resettling a refugee here (including, almost certainly, Omar Mateen’s father) could have helped 12 people in their countries of first asylum.

The real reason for the push for refugee resettlement is virtue signaling, both to others and to the signalers themselves. I submit Resettlement, Inc. is actually worse than the sanctimonious Pharisee in Christ’s parable because, while he boasted that “I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess,” today’s Resettlement Pharisees send refugees to live in other people’s communities and tithe, as it were, with other people’s money. And the boastful figure in the Gospel was at least boasting of doing something good and honorable, whereas the Resettlement Pharisees are feeding their vanity (and, in many cases, their wallets) by pushing an immoral policy of rewarding the few at the expense of the many.

I make no claim of going down to my house more justified than the resettlement-pushers; we’re all sinners. But they set a new standard for self-righteous vanity.

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