I was awake tossing and turning last night. I am finally coming down with the cold virus my sons have been fighting the last week and a half, so I was awake a lot coughing and feeling uncomfortable. Periodically while awake, I perused social media. This is never a good idea in the middle of the night. Particularly when things are inflamed as they are right now (as we can’t seem to get away from for more than a week), following the Paris terrorist attack, among others, and the massive Syrian refugee situation. It only added to my unrest.
And, to be honest, I’m not the most savvy political and world event follower. These days, I’m in a bubble with my kids, trying to not have the scary news on, and, honestly, trying to not be overcome with anxiety and worry, myself. I was always prone to this before, but it only gets worse after having kids, because I no longer have just myself to worry about. It has been a major struggle for me, and I am aware that the biggest reason for this has been infrequent time with the Lord, not allowing His truth and peace to be in charge of my worldview and giving me significant peace. So in my effort to actually sleep at night, in general, I try to minimize the amount of news I get, for the time being, because it only feeds my flesh and my fear. Of course, I’m not trying to be unaware or uncaring about the plights of the world at large, or our own citizens, with the intense chaos and hate that is stirring everywhere.
I have even said on Facebook that, while I struggle to keep my own mouth shut, I believe Facebook is not a great medium for discussing our political views, because it is so easy to be flippant and inflammatory. It’s easy to bully by typing a glib sentence. It’s easy to offend with a fancy meme over a picture. And to never have to actually have an honest, fruitful dialogue with another human being, face to face. But, I confess, it’s tempting, and I fall prey to the constant arguing and bickering easily. And I am trying to keep my mouth shut, even though it may be the only platform I have at the moment to share my views.
But, I do have one thought that is burning in my mind since this discussion about whether to bring over the thousands of Syrian refugees. And I am trying SUPER hard to only express this one thought, because I’m feeling too crummy to get into a day-long argument about whether I actually believe we should bring them over or not. BUT here is what I urge everyone: DON’T ASSUME.
We have already had multitudes of things to be divided on lately. And this issue is creating even deeper chasms, and challenging the fundamentals of how we feel about humanity and what is the morally right thing to do. A house divided amongst itself will not stand.
Here’s my concern-which is not really a new concern, since there has always been a tendency to believe that conservatives have no compassion and that liberals have no caution-but this is a division I see happening between conservatives: assuming that those that do not feel bringing refugees onto American soil is a mistake feel that way out of hate and discrimination is not a fair assumption. Assuming that bringing them here is the only “Christlike” thing to do is not fair. Assuming that those who want them to come are the only ones that truly love them, is not fair.
I’m seeing several posts on Facebook and on Instagram that are insinuating that those who are concerned about bringing the refugees here are not living as Christ would want us to live. That they should be ashamed of themselves. Equating them to the past history of hate crimes and treatment of German refugees and Jewish refugees.
It’s obvious, I’m sure, where my perspective on this leans, but I haven’t made any conclusions about what exactly I think should happen. Of course we shouldn’t live in fear, we shouldn’t lose compassion on the destitute and hurting. There is certainly SO MUCH more that I can do. BUT having concerns about the wisdom of bringing in the masses in a hurry, despite the very real issue of security concerns DOES NOT MEAN I hate them or want them treated unfairly. If anything, I am concerned that the innocents will not be treated well enough here, and I don’t want that to happen, either. I FEAR FOR THEIR PROTECTION HERE, AS WELL AS IN THEIR HOMELAND, because we have enough crazies here that are letting rage and fear get the best of them, as well. I’m not sure they are as safe here as they should be. Especially if people are truly afraid there are terrorists amongst them…which I believe is a valid concern, even if the percentages and odds say there may “only” be a FEW. Of course, I’m not saying that I CONDONE any hateful behavior toward anyone, on our soil or elsewhere. But it’s a reality I fear…given so many horrendous crimes that have happened within our borders in recent years.
So, all that to say, regardless of your perspective, be so careful with your words. Be careful when linking how Christ would want us to act as a judgment of whether someone is on the right side of the fence on this. I don’t think it’s as simple as that. We need to consider that question for our individual choices and worldview, for sure. And I would LOVE for a Godly worldview to be guiding our nations behavior and decisions. But it is not fair to assume that an opinion in support of not accepting refugees IN THE MANNER IN WHICH IS HAPPENING is a blanket opinion of hate and discrimination. It is not fair to assume that those that want them to be allowed in are the only ones that truly care. And it is not fair to assume that those that want them to be allowed in have no concerns of safety, either.
It’s a tricky issue, and not a clean answer. So don’t cause division by making assumptions. Assuming hate only breeds hate. And please don’t be broken hearted that I may have a different perspective of the issue, because it must mean I have no compassion on the children facing these atrocities. DON’T ASSUME. It only makes the whole thing more difficult. If you have an opinion, call your senator about it. It may be the only true action you can take.
I have hesitated to say anything, because I’m seeing dear friends posting from all angles of this, and I truly think the general consensus is that we all WANT our nation to take up the defense of the refugees. We WANT to be a benevolent nation. We WANT to see our nation take a strong stance against hate and have the courage to do what it takes to help the defenseless. So I just want to urge that we handle the debate on HOW to do that with grace and diplomacy…not political correctness but true patience and understanding. What we post on social media makes such a difference to setting the tone for either peaceful discussion or rousing anger and division, even without intending to. PLEASE, just make sure what you write and say is without assumption of the intent of someone who has a different view.
That is all. 🙂 I’m sorry for my LOOOOONG absence from the blog. I have something else I have been wanting to post for over a month now, but have just not had the energy to sit down and make it happen. I will try to post again soon. 🙂