Thank you. And thanks for taking the time to read it.
People here have been overwhelmingly respectful and kind. It's probably impossible to talk politics and religion in depth without some heat, or even the occasional flame war, but I assume goodwill and genuine intellectual curiosity most of the time. I can think of a few times where someone has hurt my feelings or really offended me, but I'd guess even then it was may have been more own sensitivities or misunderstanding, instead of real spite on their part.
@Tarheelboy - Thanks. We often use throw these terms around in an interchangeable way. I guess I'd add "a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial, ethnic, or religious group) with hatred and intolerance.
Yeah. Thinking out loud here a bit.
In Europe and with regard to Muslim immigration, countries like France have obligations to colonies like Algeria who may have sacrificed for French interests. I can see how valuing them is in a sense valuing people who fell under French control. That's an older situation, and it's easier for people to relate to.
On the other hand we have this global emergency with people fleeing for their lives from groups like ISIS. It's not only a situation of national responsibilities vs global interests. AND we have a group of refugees, a large percentage of them, who hold very un-western ideas about freedom. It's one thing to say, we don't discriminate based on religion, but we have a group - some of which anyway - have no tolerance at all for MY religion, hold beliefs that don't mesh well with American or European Culture... "the primacy of the rule of law; the sanctity of personal rights, faith in the democratic process."
That's why I put this thread up, because I can't decide what to think.
Part of me sees this large population of really nice Persians in my area and I think I'd really want to help them if they were having a huge humanitarian crisis. They're nice, ordinary people raising families here. Many have become Christians, or are really secular, I just don't see any extremism to worry about. Does anyone know why that group of Muslim immigrants seems to have been so successful at immigrating to the US? @loppar? I'd guess they were already more affluent, educated, and Westernized but I don't know a lot about the history of these different parts of the Middle-East. A friend of mine was a college student here when the Shah fell and she never returned there to live. She told me that the Iran of her youth was already very Western in terms of culture, dress, education of women....
Anyway, then I read about the radical jihadists and I wonder what we're supposed to do, and I feel some empathy for people in Europe who are afraid, and who worry about preserving their freedoms or culture. My church does not take a political stand on specific immigration policies, numbers etc.. BUT we are involved, along side many other relief groups, in tremendous humanitarian aid to the refugees there. My local congregation just shipped containers full of coats and blankets.