Reflections of an Agnostic Regarding the Current Crisis

Tags

, , , , ,

Image of Syrian refugees from www.downtrend.com.

Image of Syrian refugees. Source.

This is what I wrote on my Facebook page today; I know it’s not enough, which is what has prompted me to write this blog.

My heart just breaks to read so many friends’ posts which strongly state that they do not want Syrian refugees to enter America, much less their state. I ask each of these friends to please reconsider. These Syrian refugees are trying to escape ISIS as well. Please do not peg all Muslims in the same category. Do your research. Don’t give any of them a reason to feel more desperate than they already do (that’s what ISIS hopes will happen, as that helps them to recruit new members). They need a roof over their heads, food, and clothing, then transition into jobs. Yes, our government must be careful in conducting background checks on these refugees. Yes, the government must do everything it can to prevent ISIS sympathizers from entering this country, but blocking homeless refugees isn’t the answer. As members of humanity, we have a duty to help our fellow humans. Their crisis is urgent, much like the crisis of the many Jewish people who fled the Nazi regime and many others who have come to our country to escape the many atrocities committed across the globe. I know we can’t take care of everyone, but these Syrian Muslims are not safe in their home country. ISIS hates them, as infidels, even more than they hate the west. I’ve posted various links on my timeline and I urge you to read them with an open mind and do not give into the angry mob mentality that seems to have gripped far too many of us.

I used to call myself a Christian–a Presbyterian, to be precise. I was even fairly active in my church. And, except for being church-going, to look at me now, you’d never know that I question the existence of a divine being. I still feed the hungry, clothe the poor, help the sick, give to the homeless. I don’t claim to be anyone special–the things I do are modest.

But here I sit watching as unthinkable atrocities are committed by members of two of the main worldwide religions. The first, of course, are the numerous terrorist acts committed by ISIS in Paris and beyond, including throughout Syria. So many people have died at the hands of these Islamic extremists. My heart goes out to the citizens of Paris, Beirut, and beyond. I cannot imagine being filled with so much evil and hatred that I could commit such acts and I also cannot imagine being attacked in this way. These crimes–which I do believe are war crimes–are unimaginably evil and despicable.

It has been hard to sort through the media in my attempt to understand the history and the purpose behind ISIS. I found this article to be especially well-written and helpful. The bottom line is that the members of the Islamic Nation (ISIS) follow an ancient form of Islam and they believe it is their duty to rid the world of infidels (which very specifically includes Muslims who do not practice the exact same sect of Islam as ISIS) in anticipation of the upcoming apocalypse, which they are to help bring about.

The second atrocity that I see right now is being perpetuated mainly by Christians–those across America who are shouting at the top of their lungs that they do NOT want the Syrian refugees to be allowed into America, much less their home state. Not in my back yard! But did you know…

refugees

It has been pointed out to me that the Boston Marathon bombers were members of a family fleeing the war-torn Chechen conflict. Here’s an article about those brothers, to help you come to your own conclusion. Here’s also a link to the article by The Economist, which supports the above statistic. This article also does a really good job of explaining the many hurdles the Syrian refugees must pass in order to be allowed into the United States and the serious doubt that is cast that members of ISIS would be allowed in the first place.

To be a Christian is supposed to mean to follow Jesus Christ. As in, that’s the definition of a Chrstian! And, I spent enough years attending, and then teaching, Sunday school to know that includes loving your neighbor. My first message to these Christians is this: the refugees from Syria are running from ISIS. Comprehend that. Just as you (hopefully) do not condone the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church, these refugees do not condone the actions of ISIS. In fact, ISIS is literally hellbent on executing each and every Syrian refugee–they are infidels in the eyes of ISIS and must be slaughtered.

Can you imagine being in their position? It would be callous of me to say that I can, even though I lost my home, my belongings, my job, even a loved one, to Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures. However, I had an amazing network of support through family, friends, and many, many organizations. And I knew one day in the not-too-distant future, I would have a home to come back to. I would return to my beloved city. I was not permanently robbed of everything I had ever worked for. And my government even helped take care of me. I had the blessing of a FEMA trailer, and laugh all you want, but I bet the Syrian refugees would think they were in a palace in the little white box that sat on my front lawn for months.

My little flooded cottage looks downright cozy as compared to the images I’ve seen of war-ravaged Syria. Don’t believe me? Follow this link. And yes, I know that I did not suffer to the extent that many other New Orleanians did–those who were trapped on their roofs, abandoned at the Superdome, etc. But as one of the first to return to the city, and as one who did lose a very close loved one, I can tell you that what we went through is nothing like the war in Syria.

Trees down on roof

I know I’m not a Christian. I can’t say I know for sure what Jesus would do. But I do know that Christians and Muslims share the Old Testament of the Bible. They share common ancestry. They share a belief in God/Allah. How is it that Christians cannot open their minds and their hearts and welcome their brothers and sisters into their homes (and by that, I simply mean their home states)?

I ran across the following, posted by a friend, and perhaps we’d all do better to be athiests, at least as it pertains to helping the Syrian refugees.

athiests