Between being seriously behind on my sleep, and not having enough time to get things done, I tunnel-visioned right past that terrible tragedy in France and Lebanon. I saw news of it mere minutes after hitting the Publish button on my last post.
Since then the sadness and turmoil have taken me by degrees during my busy Saturday. I posted a couple of brief remarks on Twitter and Facebook, talked to my loved ones, and said a prayer or two, but I really need to write about if I can hope to sleep. So this post is more for me than it is for you, but I hope it helps you too. Don’t look for my best English spelling, grammar, and punctuation here though, nor a lot of pics or YouTube videos. It’s late and I’m already behind on my sleep, so I won’t be polishing this post over much.
A couple of key points…
Now is not the time to talk about Gun Control in the U.S. in the context of this disaster in France, so those of you who are please stop. I will note that I read something last week from someone in Germany who was worried about the impact of armed refugees in his gun-less land. That may be a valid concern there, but politicking in the U.S. on that issue in the face of what just happened in France so recently is cold and heartless.
Many want to cut off their countries to refugees. This issue has emboldened the words of those in my country who want to take draconian steps to seal our own Southern borders. Seriously, how many miles of wilderness to the North, and unpatrolled coastline to the East and West do we have here in the U.S.? Illegal Hispanic immigration is a very totally separate topic. However, the issue of Muslim refugees has been very real for months both here and in Europe and has now taken on a new twist. Think though…these ISIL Wahhabists regard all refugees as traitors and would harm them if they had the chance. Please understand that “harm” in this context means kill all the men, rape all the women, and steal all their stuff. “Wahhabist” is Arabic for “Land Pirate”…well, not really, but it should be. Run-of-the-mill Muslims really don’t like them. So don’t blame refugees, they disagree with and fear ISIL as much as you and I do. That’s why they ran instead of staying home and joining up. Of course it’s true that some ISIL hide among the refuges, but what part of that surprised anyone? In what war in the history of this planet has this sort of thing ever not happened? Try this on and see if it fits…if ISIL wanted to stop folks from escaping to places where they could not reach them, they might manipulate a tragedy like this one to get frightened people in peaceful places to close their borders to those escapees and make them easier for ISIL to catch. By forcing people to stay home and never become refugees, we grow ISIL’s numbers. So, please, let’s get all of the friendlies and innocents out of the way so that the worm has all the room that it needs to turn.
Some have asked why we are painting our Facebook profile pics with French flags, talking about the French, praying for the French, but not Lebanon today, or other places where violence is more common. I’ll speak for myself, and I think any folks here in the U.S. who are like me, by saying that we grieve for the slavery, death, and suffering of those other places constantly. I know those of you who are closer to other, more violent parts of the world (including some areas of the U.S.) may not understand that, and I completely sympathize. This sort of thing rarely happens to France, so like 9/11 did here it comes as a much greater shock for the French. We take our peace and security for grant it and it is not so much the violence that pains me, it does, but the violence in the world is a constant ache. I grieve specifically for France today because I know that for them this is a new pain, fear and insecurity that they are not accustomed to feeling. I felt it in 2001 and those wounds have not yet fully healed. I live in a place of peace and so do the people of France and together we all wish that all people on planet Earth could live in places as peaceful and safe as ours.
Lastly, there is this issue of religion. I really don’t like it when folks label me for things done by other Mormons, or U.S. Citizens, or Republicans, or Science Fiction authors, or tall, sarcastic, wordsmiths with black hair and hazel eyes. So understand how as a religionist and devout Christian I really don’t appreciate being lumped in with these barbaric Wahhabists just because their Abraham is my Abraham. Agency is God’s first gift to us and He doesn’t withdraw it just because some of us misuse it. How would just rewards and punishments work if He did that? How could a perfectly just God do that? Wahhabist barbarism shouldn’t be blamed on religion in general, or even Islam in particular, just because they’ve licked Muslim stickers and slapped them on their foreheads.
Oh and if I pray for the victims, either individually or in a group like Twitter, please don’t take my expression of faith personally or as some kind of an insult just because you don’t believe in God. I’m directing my prayers to God, not to you. So just ignore me like you would if you caught me talking on a cell phone or something. 😉