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What to do about refugees? a sermon illustration

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The International Rescue Committee gets a lot of good press. Nicholas Kristof, who ought to know, lists it as one of his three particularly trusted charities. In this time of fear (see my post about Marilynn Robinson’s essay “Fear”), the easiest position to take concerning refugees is the Trumpian “kick ’em all out” and “build a wall.” In the current climate, it’s so easy to go that route.

A very different angle is offered in this account of a successful businessman, Sean Wankel of NYC’s Wankel Hardware (I’ve shopped there), who makes a point of hiring refugees and has done so for years. Colored pins on a wall map in the store indicate all the countries they’ve come from. Two weeks ago Mr. Wankel hired a Nigerian fleeing from the Islamist sect Boko Haram which he (the refugee) says is worst than ISIS. Wankel does not hire at random, though: he trusts the International Rescue Committee and Catholic Charities to do the screening. Here’s the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/18/nyregion/a-manhattan-hardware-store-welcomes-refugees-as-governors-seek-to-shut-them-out.html

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