It’s hard for many of us to imagine the world without our daily comforts, without our family and friends, or without the right to stand up for what you believe in. Sadly, the world we live in is quite the opposite from the world that countless others live in, including those who live in Syria. They live in a world of war, hate, violence. If you could imagine being trapped in this world, I want you to be yourself. Don’t change your beliefs, your clothes, your accent. Would you be afraid to live there? Would you pray for someone or something to save you?
If you are Christian and believe that Jesus died for you to save you, you know Christians were once persecuted for preaching love for each other. Does the suffering of those innocent people, of good people, people whom we call saints and martyrs, move you? As Christians, Jesus taught us to love one another. How are we preaching that love by persecuting those who believe their prophet called them to “love your neighbor what you love for yourself?” Does that not sound familiar to us?
If you are Jewish, do the memories and monuments of the Holocaust still hurt your heart? Because they hurt mine. These World War II and Holocaust history lessons taught us the depravity and cruelty that humankind is capable of while also impressing the necessity for compassion and acceptance upon on our hearts. And yet, it seems that we wish the same horror and genocide upon another religion.
Is not the God of Judaism merciful and forgiving, so much so that He forgave David for his murder of Uriah and adultery with Bathsheba? Why is it so difficult for us to show mercy towards those who don’t even seemed to have transgressed against us? Are the children of Aleppo so much a threat that we won’t show them mercy even though they have done nothing wrong?
If you are an American, does the horror of September 11 still moves you to tears? Thousands of Americans believed in freedom and justice for all, unaware that their belief was also their death sentence. Senseless murder and it breaks my heart. We cried out for justice. We cried out for revenge. Then after the grief and anger subsided, a darkness grabbed hold of us. Instead of calling for a continuance of justice, we’re calling for security, for a continuance of an overbearing government so that they might “protect us” from the horrors outside our American walls.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” I ask you, by banning Syrians from our country, do you feel safe? Do we know the ban will end right there, as a ban? Shall we round up all our Muslim Americans next? How about anyone with Islamic or Arabic decent? They might have ties to ISIS, after all. And you know what, all Irish have been tied to the IRA, so let’s round them up also. They could be dangerous. We’re doing this in the name of protection.
Friends, family, strangers who read this, I’m imploring you to see reason. By banning Syrians from our country, we are not protecting ourselves. We are sounding the death knell of innocent people. We are persecuting people for what they believe in. We doom them to a life of war. We give up our American ideals of freedom and refuse them to others. We live with darkness in our hearts. How does that make you feel as a Christian, a Jew, an American, a human being?
If you feel moved to help, I ask you to share this article. I ask you to sign this petition or to donate to this organization. I ask you to host a Syrian family and treat them as your own. I ask you to stand up for what you believe in.