Today I unfriended someone on Facebook, someone I’ve known since back in high school, over his stance on the refugee crisis in Syria. This is how it started:
I get it. Religious extremists are dangerous. But I also get that the Syrian refugees were not the ones who attacked Paris. I get that there are a lot of little children in boats who are lucky to survive a trip to Greece, then hike through Europe to find a safe place just to live a normal life. Many of the children and their parents are also Christians. There are many Muslim refugees who are fleeing from Isis, too.
Our country was founded on a judicial system that was supposed to presume people innocent until proven guilty. Give the benefit of the doubt, until you have evidence that someone has done something wrong.
During World War II, Anne Frank’s family applied for a visa to the United States. They were turned down, and the rest is history.
I’m not a Christian, and I don’t pretend to be, but I admire the work that Samaritan’s Purse is doing in Greece and other areas to assist the refugees in need.
My response to the initial post:
In case you can’t read the photo on the page:
OP: Trojan Horse. These “people” will lie, steal, and cheat to kill everyone of us that will not bow down to Islam. Many of the terrorists that perpetrated the killings in Paris got there as fake refugees.
Now, you’ll note, if you can see the photo, that I’ve removed the original poster’s name and face from the photo. The thing is, he could be anybody. There are many people out there who agree with him, often because of the experiences they’ve had. The original poster is someone who served in the military and has seen some bad things.
But I have no interest in being friends with someone who has to dehumanize children and assume that they are ALL potential mini-terrorists, despite the rigorous screenings we put refugees through before admitting them into the United States.
I understand this is a touchy issue. I understand fear. But being brave isn’t just about fighting in wars, and killing perceived enemies. Being brave is telling your son that you are staying home, that things are going to be okay, because there are flowers to stop bad people. Being brave is refusing to be filled with hatred in the face of fear.
Being brave is about not losing your humanity when everything is falling apart around you.
Mr. Rogers (of the PBS children’s television show) put it beautifully in the following video:
When we reach the point where we have to put quotations around the word “people” when referring to those who suffer, there is no point in fighting anymore. Hatred has won.