#NotInMyName

After the horrendous attacks in Paris, many muslims took to twitter to show their support for those suffering from terrorism, invoking the hashtag #NotInMyName.

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I saw this on twitter and found it very moving. I am not a Muslim, but have read books on Islam. Several of them were written by Ravi Zacharias, who emphasized awareness among Christians that not all Muslims desire war and destruction, but that many do want to share their faith in peace. And just as Christians bristle with annoyance when we’re reminded of what we did during the Crusades, they too hide their faces in shame at what extremists do in the name of Allah.

I applaud them for standing apart and for their desire for peace.

Today, I read an announcement by Alabama governor’s office, stating they would not be allowing any Syrain refugees to enter Alabama.  This comes as a result of one of the Paris bombers having entered Paris on a Syrian refugee passport. There is still some debate among media as to the accuracy of this information, which will probably be cleared up in a few days, but true or not, this does not change how I feel about the actions of Governor Bentley.

I think it’s shameful, foolish, ignorant, and heartless.

Have we as Americans become so fat on our privilege, that we have become willingly ignorant and neglectful of the needy and helpless? I wrote a poem about this once, when I was struck by how self-focused and blind we can be. We have so much, and care so little.

To make matters worse, shortly after I read this announcement, I read this article on CNN, stating that this diseased thought is sweeping our nation. With over, 12 million refugees fleeing the crisis in Syria, we were only willing to take about 10,000 of them here. That’s better than nothing, but it’s only a drop in the bucket. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate that terrorists can exploit their situation, but seriously, 99% of those people are running from ISIS. They’re just people; homeless, starving people. Oh, and half of those 12 million are children.

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Shame on us for this display of cold selfishness. Shame. On. Us.

It’s times like these when honestly I am not proud to be an American. That is not to say that I’m not thankful, I am. I love my freedoms, my home, and my family. I would be the first one to grumble if they were taken away. But I’ve also reached the point where I think we’ve become so used to being and having that we could use a dose of cold hard reality. Most of the world does not be and have like us and many of them are tired of hearing us complain that our light and sweet carmel latte is not hot enough. Or that we don’t have the space or the money to help the starving homeless multitudes.

I am taking this chance to stand apart. Like those muslims I admired, who were brave enough to declare they did not support the extremists of their group, I am saying that Christ loves the needy, reaches for the lost, and desires those who follow him to do the same.

I am saying to you America, Not In My Name!

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World Vision for Syrian Refugees

UNHCR – UN home for Refugee Crisis

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