Wedding Planning and the Refugee Crisis


Weddings are complicated affairs – and the more spectacular and creative they are, the more challenging and fraught they can become.


Planning a wedding involves a gazillion difficult decisions, headaches and potential conflicts. Ceremony, venue, invitations, food, music – you have to figure all this stuff out, and every aspect of the planning brings at least seven specific details that family and friends will form opinions about and probably make drama.

So yeah, it can be pretty stressful, but a loving couple accepts the challenge, because their most fundamental question has been answered; the most important decision has already been made, and that is whether it is right for them to spend the rest of their lives married to each other.

I’m thinking of marrying my sweetheart – If we can answer with confidence that, yes, being married is the right thing for us, we’ll figure out the details of the wedding, how to file our taxes, combine homes and whatever other logistical issues that need to get figured out. It will be stressful at times, but if we can be clear about the essential question, we can handle the details.

At least, that’s how it’s supposed to go.

You may have known a couple who did the frantic, complicated, detail-heavy work of planning a wedding, without actually understanding fundamentally whether and why they ought to be married. Those situations get ugly in a hurry. So get clear on the most important questions, and then tackle the details.

Right now there is a lot of discussion about the plight of refugees in general, and specifically the Obama administration’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrians in the U.S.  The discussion is especially delicate in light of recent terrorist attacks committed in countries that have welcomed refugees.

The logistics of bringing large numbers of Syrians into this country will be complicated, with many challenges, starting with how to keep Americans safe. There will be differences of opinion on how best to manage the components of the process, and probably passionate disagreements will come up as plans are made.   The process won’t be completely smooth, and people will blame each other for problems that arise. Not every Syrian who wants to come to America will make it here, and those who arrive might get a different experience than what they expect.

It will be a complicated process, to say the least.

But this process can be managed if we have a fundamental clarity about our answer to the most important question(s):


Should we welcome people who are displaced by war?

Should families whose homes have been destroyed be permitted to make new homes among us?

Should we open our doors to people who have nowhere else to go?


If we answer Yes to these questions, we’ll have a mountain of logistical stuff to figure out, and it’ll be expensive and stressful (dare I say, even worse than a wedding). But first things first, we have to understand what is the right thing to do. If we’re clear on what’s right, we can handle the details.

I say, YES. We should welcome Syrian refugees in the United States.


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