of fireworks and my plea for action

In the nation in which I now live, the majority religion is not my own. Several days ago, on the other side of the planet, an American politician released a statement about the people of this religion. The strategically placed sideshow that is Donald Trump just released a new spout of fireworks and the fires lit by the sparks will burn far further than intended.

The intent of Donald Trump’s remarks was to argue for limited access for people of this religion to the United States. The reason he gave was national security and the inference was clear: he believes any person of this religion is suspect in episodes of violence and acts of terror such as those which plague every continent of the world today.

It is impossible to know what the full impact of these prejudiced, damaging, and incendiary remarks will be. I can see only the beginning of their impact on me.

These people are my neighbors. They’re the lady across the street who helped me figure out how trash collection works. They’re the public transport drivers that wait for me when I’m late for school. They’re the gentle teachers at my children’s preschool, who stop to translate their instructions so my kids can keep up and who pray daily for the children to learn and grow in health and peace. They’re the flower seller who grew the roses for our garden.

I must walk down the street today, I must pass them and greet them and look them in the eye and be an American.

I’m ashamed.

As an American, I’m ashamed. The people of this other system of belief are being lumped together, collectively accused, discriminated against, and outlawed for hate crimes with which most of them had nothing to do. . . in America?

This week the remarks of Mr. Trump are on the front page of the Jakarta News and the Jakarta Globe. The story is #1 for most comments in the Jakarta Post. There is the face and the words of the man who is seeking to lead and represent the most free country in the world. Do they know he doesn’t represent me?

Do your neighbors know he doesn’t represent you? 

If you live in the United States 15 million of your neighbors are wondering. If you live in the United Kingdom, it’s at least 5%. We’re talking about millions of people who are as devastated by world events as you are (more so, because can you imagine the questions that arise?).

I’m not best pleased to be an American just now, but I’m thrilled beyond belief to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. O Church, get up! O Church, get up! Now is the time! Go out there armed with only the battle cry of Love and let the first one you meet know that you aren’t coming accusing, you aren’t coming to shun and mistreat and discriminate. Our Leader didn’t come to us that way.




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12 Responses to of fireworks and my plea for action

  1. Erin says:

    Good words, Betsy. Thank you. Yesterday I was talking with a mom from Maren’s class. She is Libyan. When I met her last year she told me I was the first American she had ever met. I left yesterday’s happy little conversation hoping that it would remind her in future days that not all Americans go along with this ugly thought.

    • betsy says:

      Dear Erin! It is my belief that we can make a huge difference in the aftermath of events like this as we take the time to notice, know, and be kind to our neighbors of a different religion. IT DOES MATTER and our actions like this DO COMMUNICATE. Grateful for your faithfulness where you are!

  2. Susan says:

    Thank you. This is sobering, and true. I feel the rippling over here in Munich, where the effect is not so sobering as in your locale, still I feel it. I’m trying to peacefully declare he does not speak for me, when I can. Thanks, also, for blogging again. Blessings.

    • betsy says:

      Thank you for your comment and your encouragement, Susan. I think it’s true that the whole world is feeling the effects, I think that’s why I’m so upset. I think it becomes evident that he doesn’t speak for us when we don’t shun our neighbors of this religion and make every effort to communicate care and kindness.

  3. Zeck Santa Maria says:

    Thank you for these eye opening message! GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL! Praying for you and the family!

  4. jen says:

    Never be ashamed to be an American. The US does a lot of wonderful things for many people and countries, including sending tons of ministry groups around the world, taking in people struggling in their own countries and we provide them basic needs and protection. Donald Trump is just one person with an opinion who is using his right of free speech, this certainly does not represent you or our country. Why is the world so rocked by what he says?

    • betsy says:

      Hi Jen! I’m not ashamed to be an American in every way, just ashamed that we’ve given this man a platform he doesn’t deserve. I appreciate your question at the end of your comment–I think the world is rocked by what he says because his views are so prejudiced and, unfortunately, he is exercising his right of free speech to vent hate speech from the world’s biggest platform.

  5. Micki says:

    Thank you, Betsy – for writing so clearly what I, and so many others, have been thinking. Praying for all of you!

  6. Deanna says:

    Yes Betsy, I too am ashamed of the spectacle of abhorrent ideas coming from this man. (I wish it were only one man with this ridiculous, uninformed, hateful ideology but frustratingly he seems to actually have gathered a following.) I too am desperate for my friends of other faiths and desperate for my neighbours of other faiths to know that Trump’s ideas and ideals do not remotely represent me or my Lord. I too am eager for the church to unite in love and mercy. I cannot imagine how this is magnified for you and your family. But knowing you, you are graciously and generously sharing Christ’s love and mercy and hospitality with those around you and they will see that just as terrorists do not represent them, so Trump does not represent all Americans.

    • betsy says:

      Yes, exactly. Well said, Deanna. I would hope that most people would of course know that his views do not represent all Americans, but the very strange numbers coming from the polls upset me because it seems to indicate that many people actually support this dancing bear!

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