This is my first post since the tragedies in Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad. It has been a hard, sad week on many levels. The atrocities committed by the terrorists are truly heart-breaking. Terrorists are lost souls, in my view, who are driven to commit evil acts in their state of despair. The acts are indeed evil and despicable. I find it helpful to think about what could possibly drive human beings to commit such heinous acts. This article ("Nobody Is Born a Terrorist", pointed out to me by a congregant) is a decent place to start thinking about it: link.
But aside from the terrorism, I have been saddened this week by the response of many Americans. The Xenophobia and Islamophobia in response to the tragedies has been sad indeed. Fear never brings out our best selves. It is sad that many are trying to use the terror acts as reason to turn away Syrian refugees who are in desperate need. Have we forgotten that they are trying to escape violence and evil themselves? It is sad that many are driven by fear to consider the kinds of positively anti-American responses that led the USA to send innocent Japanese people (including US citizens) to internment camps during World War II. (No -- I haven't literally heard anyone suggesting internment camps yet, but some of the possible "solutions" hint in that direction.) Many Americans are people of faith; many consider themselves to be good Christians. Well... it's time to start acting like it!
Here are some memes that I saw on social media this week that I did appreciate. Considering the life and ways of Jesus always helps to give me clarity on social justice issues, and these times call on those of us who value his teachings to live them.