I am a Christian. And I am a Republican.
I woke this morning to a cozy house. In an affluent city, an affluent state, and affluent country.
Elliot has his new surfboard he got for Christmas. It leans against his bedroom wall.
Edison is back from college, where he lives in a dorm overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Lots of his friends flew back from back east. They go out to eat. Go to the beach. Catch up on life as college freshman.
Bree lives in a classy apartment in Westwood. Finished her final year of college, with three other smart young ladies. They are all going off to grad school.
The worries I have for my children are not external worries — I have little fear of what will be done to them. My worries are more centered around the worries of most parents of teenagers — will they make the right choices? Or, what might they do to themselves?
But my children are safe.
Other children are not.
Thoughts of those other children hunt me down since Donald Trump’s travel ban — invade my dreams at night.
I don’t know why.
It might be because of my screensaver. A sunset, or pictures of my children, would feel nicer. But I want to not forget those who are not safe. And it’s easy to forget those less fortunate.
So I see this — dozens of times a day.
The look at his eyes.
As a father of three, I’ve never had that look.
I’ve written about the Syrian refugee crisis before because I can’t not write about it.
I can’t not write about them.
When I see Elliot and Edison and Bree and other children here in the land of the free, I hear the cries of the children of Syria.
Because my people have slammed the door on them.
White, evangelical Christians — the majority of them (76% according to Pew Research) support the new ban to keep these innocent victims out of a nation which they refer to as “Christian.”
What would make a nation such that anyone would refer to it as a “Christian Nation?”
What its citizens believe? What they profess? Whether or not they refer to themselves as “pro-life”?
Or, what the Christian nation does?
The worst humanitarian crisis since WWII. Millions upon millions of people displaced, living in the most extreme poverty.
Mostly women and children and elderly and the sick.
Most suffering from acute Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. From all the bombs.
From the executions of millions of their fathers and brothers and uncles and cousins.
The U.S. will continue to accept refugees from other countries, as it always has.
But not these children from Syria, Libya, Sudan, Iran, Yemen, Somalia.
What does it mean to be a Christian when the majority of Christians, even pastors, stay silent in the face of this crisis of humanity?
What will Jesus say to those who aided in their misery and death out of loyalty to a political party?
Or, out of fear of angering those who give the most money on Sunday mornings?
I will now go get something to eat because it’s now past lunchtime and I’m hungry.
Should I get fish tacos? Or, go home and eat leftovers?
I need to get the dent on my car door fixed; that’s a problem.
I need to get the broken sprinkler fixed; that’s a problem.
It’s a problem being 52 because I need to have some test on my colon. Worried it will hurt.
Petty little problems.
I will think up ways to get Christians to call congress, call their pastors, stand on their roofs and do something to answer the cries of all those children.
Maybe my screensaver will keep my eye on their suffering, and away from my own petty little problems.