We have to work harder this year to keep Christmas in our hearts and spirits, with all the hate surrounding us, here at home and abroad. I am appalled at news clips and photos of a mob protesting in front of a mosque, a pig’s head thrown at a mosque, a Muslim shopkeeper beaten for his religion.
The love, care and concern being expressed apparently aren’t as good news copy—you don’t see much about the $100,000 raised by American Muslims for the San Bernadino victims and their families. Nor do you see the outreach to the Muslim community by most of the diverse groups that make up America—the Jewish community, Hispanic organizations, and some Christian groups. To our shame, many of those angrily protesting at the mosque probably call themselves Christian.
I have always been frightened by Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, but now I am truly terrified—how can so many Americans support Trump’s blatant racism, his echoes of Hitler, Senator Joe McCarthy, and George Wallace. And why does he himself not realize he’s playing into the hands of ISIS, creating the division by which they will conquer? Ted Cruz is not far behind him (except in the polls) with his calls for carpet bombing. Yes, let’s kill thousands more innocent people to wipe out the small number of radicals.
Really, which is more frightening—a radicalized Muslim or a radicalized Christian?
A friend wrote in a post today that he feels that our country is so fraught with tension that it’s about to explode—and he obliquely predicted that explosion would come as civil war. It seems a possibility to me, and I think we cannot set back and let things unfold. We have to be proactive.
Meantime, we wrap gifts (I made good progress today), plan for holiday parties, and go about our lives as if the world was as peaceful as it was during Jimmy Carter’s administration—the only president who has not presided over a war.
I think we have to do more. I read a post with the headline, “What to do if a Muslim moves into your neighborhood.” The advice? Take them food, clothes, personal items, blankets—all the things they will need. Reach out and welcome them into the community. Sure, we all have to be watchful for suspicious behavior and not just from brown-skinned people who dress differently from us but everyone. But if we let suspicion and fear replace love and joy, we have lost the battle. We have to keep Christmas in our hearts.