Local religious leaders weigh in on Syrian refugee issue

Published: Nov. 18, 2015 at 10:37 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 16, 2015 at 10:50 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - While President Obama continues to disagree on the topic of Syrian refugees with governors across the country, including Alabama's Robert Bentley, local religious leaders are looking at the issue from a moral standpoint.

Reverend Marty Jordan of the Morningside Baptist Church hasn't addressed the topic yet in his Sunday sermons.

"I'm not sure there's a quick Christian religious answer, or the Christian Answer," said Jordan.

 But he plans on answering questions very carefully.

"We are to have compassion and take care of the needy, and meet people's needs," said Jordan.

"But on the other hand the Bible never says that a country should not protect itself or defend itself."

He says the only wrong way to react, is to take a one-sided stance.

"I don't agree with some of the knee jerk responses people in the religious community have to this problem," said Jordan.

Like Rabbi Elizabeth Bahar, of Huntsville's Temple B'nai Sholom, who says we should let in all refugees, but only through a tough screening process.

"While still being open and welcoming and still being able to maintain security," said Bahar.

She's spent years living in Israel, and is familiar with the plight of refugees.

"We need to realize that our sacred texts are really about love, about love of the others, about caring for the stranger, about making sure the poor the widow and the orphan have their needs met," said Bahar.

Meanwhile Dr. Keith Burton, an expert in Christian-Islamic relations says we need to weigh church against state.

"We have a responsibility right now to show what it means to be American, but more importantly for those of us who claim to be Christian, we have a responsibility to show what it means to be Christian. To show what it means to love each other, even as God loved us," said Burton.
Several other pastors said it's a touchy subject, a balance between national security and compassion for others. Most said they would more than likely address the topic at their service this Sunday.

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