As I sit here writing, my heart feels heavy. My heart cries out for all the victims of the recent terrorist attacks no matter where they occurred; for their families, friends, and neighbors who are affected by these great tragedies; to all those who are living in fear, not only of further attacks, but for those who are living in fear for their lives and well-being because they are wrongly being associated with the terrorists; and my heart cries for all those who are falling victim to all the hate and fear propaganda being spread by politicians, religious leaders, and others, not only in other countries, but in America as well.
It would be hard for many Americans to even imagine what it would be like to be ripped from their families, their homes, losing everything they have, and to have their lives drastically changed in an instant. We in America have been fortunate in that we have rarely had to experience the genocides, wars, and terrorist attacks that other countries consistently undergo.
We know that the early American Indians experienced genocide and thousands upon thousands of Indians were forced into slavery and/or slaughtered. Those who lived were forced to move and live on Indian reservations and to suffer intolerable conditions.
Black slavery in our country began in the early 1600’s when the first African slaves were shipped to North America. Countless slaves were beaten, raped, and/or murdered. Even though we’ve come a long way since then, many blacks still experience bigotry.
In the 1930’s, there was the holocaust in Germany where millions of Jews, gypsies, disabled, mentally ill, and others, were yanked from their homes, put in concentration camps, and millions were sent to their deaths in ovens and gas chambers. Even though this didn’t happen in our country, it concerned many here who had families losing their lives in these atrocities.
In the 1940’s, here in America during WWII, over 127,000 Japanese, including women and children, were ordered to relocate to concentration camps. Almost two-thirds were Japanese Americans and had never even been to Japan. If they tried to flee, they would be shot.
These are only a few examples from our history and are nothing to be proud of.
Today, there are those who want to rip over 11,000 million men, woman, and children from their homes forcing them to be refugees in another country. They want all Muslim-Americans to register with a database, and/or mandate that they carry special identification cards to note their faith, even though it has been proven over and over that the majority have nothing to do with the terrorists, and most Muslims are condemning the actions of those who are killing in the name of their religion. There are also those who are literally calling for the deaths of others who they do not agree with just because of a difference in beliefs and/or lifestyles.
How soon we forget. Many claim that we are a Christian nation, but the words and actions from so many are making us anything but. I am not meaning for this to be political; instead, I’m writing this as a humanitarian and compassionate issue.
I’ve said it numerous times before, but Jesus commanded us to love one another. When the teachings of Jesus are taken out of Christianity, then it is no longer a religion whose foundation is Jesus. It becomes a man-made religion based on man’s personal beliefs, prejudices, and agendas. Jesus said, “…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” He also said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."
We need to stop demonizing and dehumanizing our beautiful brothers and sisters on this great planet Mother Earth. It is only fear and ignorance that is separating us. Do not let those living in total fear brainwash us into destroying the lives of whole groups of people. When would it stop? The next time, it could be any one of us!
Even though it seems that so much ‘evil’ is happening in the world, in reality, there is so much more good happening than not, and so many people doing more good than not! On top of that, all these tragedies are uniting people all over the globe and it’s teaching us to love! We’re just not hearing about it in mainstream media! Please do not give up on humanity! Love will prevail!
Nelson Mandela said, “Our human compassion binds us the one to the other, not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” Sending love and light to all the world over!
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper November 27, 2015.