The ISIS/ISIL/IS (could we please agree on a convention, folks? -- see below) terrorists in Paris have finally pushed America over the top, it would seem.
Well, let the reader decide. Here are just the straight facts:
1. The President proposes to increase the number of refugees authorized to immigrate here by up to 100,000 per year by 2017. This year alone, at least 10,000 will come from Syria.
2. More than 96% of the Syrian refugees the President and the State Department are bringing in identify themselves as Muslim.
3. Since over 70% of the civilian mass murders in recent times have been carried out by Muslims; since ISIS/ISIL/IS proclaims itself to be the re-establishment of the ancient Islamic caliphate; and since ISISILIS (let's just call it that: pronounced I-SIS'-I-LIS, to rhyme with syphilis) has announced its intention to bring Paris-style terrorism to these shores, many Americans think that to bring tens of thousands of Muslims into America from a country where ISISILIS operates is a particularly bad idea.
4. The Republicans in the House, led by their new Speaker Paul Ryan, have introduced a bill that supposedly requires the Government to check all new Syrian emigrants before approving them for travel to the US and resettlement there. The bill is a sham, because its vetting requirements are mostly meaningless, impractical to carry out, and may be evaded with a simple certification.
5. The President, however, is not one to allow the House Republicans to show him up as unconcerned for America's safety. He has announced he will veto the Republican bill -- before he even has seen what it will finally say -- because his administration is already taking the necessary steps to protect us. And the media, as usual, are right behind him.
6. At the same time, the chief religious denominations in the US are also joining in castigating the Republicans for trying to put limits on the resettlement of Syrian Muslims -- even if some of the immigrants might prove to be terrorists traveling incognito. That is just the price we will have to pay for our upholding Christian principles of charity toward all strangers -- "be not afraid!"
7. Other religious groups and House Republicans -- a definite minority in both places -- point out that it is a little hypocritical for the majority denominations to speak of "simple Christian charity", because it is precisely the Syrian Christians who are being persecuted and driven out of their traditional regions. At the same time, the State Department, pursuant to Obama's direction, absolutely refuses to open up any refugee resettlement slots for Christians.
8. President Obama and the major Christian denominations say that admission to America must never be based on any kind of "religious test" -- regardless of the fact that our immigration laws require that a refugee's religion be taken into account, since one of the most prominent forms of persecution in refugee areas is religious persecution: just as Syrian Christians are, as you read this, being persecuted and driven out of their homes by Syrian Muslims.
9. Evangelical Christians add that they do not need any of their fellow Christians rescued, as they are already "eager to share their faith with [the non-Christian] new arrivals." So the suffering Christians should apparently just go on suffering, as far as their evangelical brethren are concerned.
10. Meanwhile, as all this takes place, Obama's unilateral changes last year to immigration enforcement policy are allowing over 80% of those already here illegally to stay without fear of deportation.
The end result is that President Obama and his State Department, joined by the media and major Christian denominations, want only Syrian Muslims brought into the country, regardless of their backgrounds. The House Republicans, meanwhile, want to be seen as opposing this policy while also doing nothing to stop it, or to help Syrian Christians. All of them do not want the immigration laws enforced as written -- if doing so would mean that most Syrian Christians would qualify for resettlement here. The Christians, as a consequence, are left to perish.
As Dave Barry always says, you cannot make this stuff up.