Charity Begins At Home

There’s never a cloud without a silver lining. If the Viet Nam war divided America, then the Vietnamese refugee problem seems to be uniting us again. In the halls of Congress, in the public media, and even in our local church, we have heard all kinds of arguments. The wonderful thing is how thoughtful people, starting from different presuppositions and pursuing different routes, seem to be able to arrive at the same position, which can be roughly summed up as “Charity begins at home,” sometimes paraphrased as, “What, me pay?”

Senator P. Crassus Malgubernans, famous for his promises of federal generosity in election years, pointed out tactfully that most of the refugees would probably really be happier back in Viet Nam, once they had overcome their initial adjustment difficulties. Congressman L. Avidus Crispus, from a Western state, said that it would be immoral to help foreigners while we have so many dissatisfied people here at home. A leading spokesman for economy in the Senate, M. Tullius Avis, stated that personally he had the greatest sympathy for refugees from tyranny anywhere, but that this is a bad year for the U. S. economy and the price of oil is continuing to rise. One noted ecclesiastic, himself a spokesman for an easily identifiable minority group, stated that Vietnamese refugees are all right but that something must be done for our own people first.

Retired general L. Severus Vindex, who directed the famous “seek and demolish” campaign during the years 1966–68, stated that personally he has nothing against Vietnamese but that we don’t need anything to remind us of our past failures. Noted conservative spokesman M. Pecunius Lupus warned that, deserving though the Vietnamese may be, support ...

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