Friday, July 22, 2016

THE "TRUE" SILENT MAJORITY

From My Own Little Corner I am watching the news about the shooting in Munich, and once again, I am heartbroken at all the senseless violence...the attack on passengers on the train between Ochsenfurt and Wurzburg, the truck slaughter in Nice, France, the bombing at the Ankara, Turkey airport, the ambush slaughtering of the public servants who have vowed to protect us, by several people who may have had mental issues, and the killing of citizens for what appears to be no reason, by a very few of those who are expected to protect and serve.  I feel old and I don't understand this violence.

We lived in Germany when I was a child...as a matter of fact, we lived in Ochsenfurt. My sister and I went to elementary school in Wurzburg.  We traveled all over each summer when dad had his annual 30 days off. We went to as many countries as we could.  We had friends that only spoke Deutsch and we only spoke English...we were friends and we found ways to communicate. When we first arrived, we didn't live in military housing, we lived in an apartment amongst the residents of Ochensfurt.  My first "boyfriend", Grundig, was a young German boy.  When we left to go to Ludwigsburg, he gave me an Indian head penny...I still have it.

We also lived in Turkey.  I was too young to remember, but I never heard my mom or dad say they felt unsafe.  We were a military family, and we went where the Air Force sent us.  We were part of the family of men and women that inhabit this planet, and we (for the most part) had each other's backs. Our reasons for being there weren't to take over or to try to force our ideals on the people who lived there, we were there to protect their interests and ours.

My niece, nephew, and a friend, as well as my aunt and her great nephews, just returned from separately timed trips to Italy, and while I was excited for their opportunities to see the amazing architecture, art, food, and lifestyle, I would be lying if I said I didn't worry every time I heard that there was another terror attack on foreign soil. I can remember being with my aunt when she and my uncle came to visit us when we lived in Germany, and the sights we saw are some of my fondest memories. I have friends that have spent the last week in Nicaragua, doing mission work, and I have been praying for the safety of all of them, not just while in Italy and Nicaragua, but also while on the flights to and from these places.

I just can't understand the kind of hatred people have for another to be able to do these kind of things. I simply don't... I turn on the news and see Donald Trump and the things he says are stirring a hatred that I thought we, as a nation, had made amazing progress against. But we haven't! There are people in THIS country, that are BORN here, RAISED here, who claim to love this country and ALL that it stands for, that have so much bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, and Islamophobia buried so deeply within their hearts that I don't know if they even realized it, until Donald Trump came along, and by words and actions, told them it was okay to discriminate against anyone who doesn't look, talk, walk, act, or think like they do. Many of these people claim to be Christians.  If they are true followers of Christ, then, guess what?  It is time for them to get on their knees and ask God to forgive them for the hatred in their heart, their minds, and coming out of their mouths.  We are not better than these people.  "Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall."  Proverbs 16:18  I pray that they come to realize that they are doing towards their fellow man exactly what Donald Trump claims he is going to protect us from.

We would all do well to remember (or if any have never read it, read now) what is stated on the Statue of Liberty, which by the way, was a gift from France, one of our NATO allies...

     The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand,
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightening, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon hand
Glows world wide welcome; her mild eyes command
the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
     Emma Lazarus

Notice especially this part of what is written:
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


Of course, there are those who say close the borders to keep the immigrants and refugees out, look what is happening in Germany, France, and Turkey, and yes, there are concerns.  However, those countries have had 100's of 1000's of Syrian refugees come into their countries.  The United States has much stricter rules regarding immigration and refugees, especially those from Syria.  For them to get into our country, they must undergo a rigorous vetting process, one that takes 2 years, according to Congressman Adam Schiff, member of the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence, which oversees, among other things, homeland security, and only then are they allowed to enter.  What they should worry most about is the ones that are born, raised, and taught here, in this country, toward their fellow Americans.  If you think that isn't a problem, take a look at this...

"There is a conventional wisdom that terrorism in the US is the province of foreigners and is seen as a problem of infiltration," says David Sterman, a senior program associate with the international security program at the New America Foundation. "And while there is certainly a reason for that perception, as the September 11 attacks were conducted by people who came in from abroad, in the 330 cases we’ve examined since September 11, we found 80 percent are US citizens."
September 11, 2001, marked the worst international terrorist attack on American soil, killing more than 3,000 people and wounding countless others. But 9/11 is an outlier. In the 14 years since, not one domestic terrorist attack has been committed by a foreign terrorist organization, including the latest mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. Omar Mateen was an American citizen.
In the same time frame, however, there have been 26 deadly domestic terrorist attacks perpetrated by homegrown terrorists. Homegrown terrorism commonly refers to terrorist acts committed by a government's own citizens. While sometimes used to describe an Islamic extremist threat, homegrown terrorism isn't tied to any one ideological background.  (1)
Donald Trump followers may say they are the "silent majority" and if that is true, then the country that I grew up in, that my dad defended and served for over 20 years, that my father-in-law defended in the Pacific theatre, that my uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends fought for, doesn't exist anymore. We are better than Mr. Trump's hate rhetoric, we are the UNITED STATES of AMERICA.
As a Christian, I am called to love my enemies, I am called to love my fellow man, as Christ has loved me. There are no conditions. There are no "excepts". There are no excuses. We CANNOT survive hate by returning it in kind. As Dr. Martin Luther King said "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.", but he also told us this, "There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right."

Now it is time for the real silent majority to stand up to the hate and fear...now is the time to love and love, loudly!


Please pray for peace and enlightenment. May God bless, and keep, you and yours.


source:
1.http://www.vox.com/2015/11/23/9765718/domestic-terrorism-american-citizens-omar-mateen

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