3 Faith Stories in Focus: Refugee Realities, Holy Heist, Our ‘Fearful’ Founding Documents

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You can count on Christian News Journal to keep you informed on faith-infused stories and other important news of the day.

Here are three stories in sharp focus right now.

ONE: REFUGEE REALITIES AND THE DILEMMA FOR CHRISTIANS

The Biden administration has announced that it wants to raise the refugee resettlement cap from 62,500 people to 125,000 people for fiscal year 2022, which begins Oct. 1.

Church World Service, a Christian humanitarian group with 23 locations in 17 states, has praised the move, as the Christian Post noted. Yet the arrival of tens of thousands of Afghan refugees in this country and their movement throughout the U.S. without special status or government funding for resettlement puts increased “responsibility on Christian donors and volunteers,” as Christianity Today reported.

The prior administration of President Donald Trump had maintained a resettlement cap of 15,000. The Biden administration had already raised that cap to 62,500 individuals for the current fiscal year, noting that the policy would apply to “fully vetted refugees fleeing horrific conditions.” However, news reports have indicated the U.S. does not know much about many of the people flowing into our country in this manner.

“We are working quickly to undo the damage of the last four years. It will take some time, but that work is already underway,” Joe Biden insisted in May in response to the Trump administration’s lowering of the number of refugees to be admitted into the U.S.

Related: 3 Faith Stories You Can’t Miss: Prayers for Petito, Hillsong Heartbreak, Abominable Abortion

In addition, scores of family units and single individuals from Haiti, Chile, and many other countries are continuing to enter the U.S. through the porous southern border as of this moment.

The Biden White House says the flow of illegal immigrants is due to “a broken system,” but the Trump administration had maintained a stay-in-Mexico policy as well as the building of a border wall—most of which the Biden administration overturned immediately once it came into office in January.

Today, the southern border is “out of control,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum on Wednesday on “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”

See these tweets for more information on, and reaction to, the Afghan resettlement issue.

TWO: HOLY HEIST

An ancient clay tablet dating back 3,500 years is on its way back to Iraq after spending the better part of two decades in the U.S. A ceremony was planned for Thursday, Sept. 23, at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., to mark the rare object’s return to its place of origin.

Hobby Lobby, the arts and crafts retailer, acquired the object at auction in 2014 for display in the Museum of the Bible in D.C., which opened in 2017 and is funded by the owners of Hobby Lobby. But in 2019, U.S. officials seized the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, saying it had been stolen and had to be returned to Iraq.

Hobby Lobby had not known of the illegal provenance at the time it bought the object. The company turned it over to authorities.

The tablet is among some 17,000 looted antiquities the United States agreed to return to Iraq, The New York Post and NPR reported. In July, some ancient objects already went back to that country.

“By returning these illegally acquired objects, the authorities here in the United States and in Iraq are allowing the Iraqi people to reconnect with a page in their history,” said Audrey Azoulay, director-general at UNESCO, in a statement.

The clay artifact from modern-day Iraq was stolen from a museum there after the Gulf War began in August 1990, said UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization). Later, it was illegally shipped to the U.S.

The Gilgamesh Tablet contains inscriptions in Sumerian, a civilization of ancient Mesopotamia. It features fragments of a Sumerian poem, the “Epic of Gilgamesh,” which forms parts of stories told in the Old Testament—“making it one of the world’s oldest known religious texts,” said UNESCO.

Plans call for the object to be displayed at the National Museum in Baghdad.

See these tweets for more information.

THREE: REPUBLICANS REBUT ‘HARMFUL CONTENT’ LABEL ON AMERICA’S FOUNDING DOCUMENTS

Forty-five GOP representatives, in a letter dated Sept. 21, 2021 and sent to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), are demanding that “harmful content” labels be removed from the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights.

The Republicans say the National Archives should “preserve” America’s “shared histories and educate future generations” through these founding documents—not “deny, change, or demonize” the country’s past by labeling these documents as “harmful content.”

“Unfortunately, by employing a harmful content label, the National Archives and Records Administration has abandoned these responsibilities, adhering instead to a leftist perspective that judges our past, discourages honest conversations about our history, and obscures the truth: that these documents were written to protect individual liberties and fundamental rights, and that the nation they established grew into the world’s greatest republic,” the letter also said.

Related: The Freedoms and Sacrifices That Unite Us

The Daily Caller obtained the letter to the National Archives from the GOP representatives.

That outlet also reported that NARA added the warning labels to our founding documents because of a recommendation from an internal “task force on racism”—which was convened after a Biden executive order championed training within federal agencies on “diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.”

See these tweets for more information on, and reaction to, this story.  

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—By CNJ Staff

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