the president of a university tells students to arm themselves in a speech in which he said, "I’ve always thought if more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those muslims before they walked in…" he urges them to enroll in a free course offered by the police department of the university that will allow them to earn a concealed weapons permit. the student body of the university cheers. "liberty university," what a name for an institution that preaches fear and bigotry, where the leader of the university refers to "those muslims" as if all muslims are terrorists and ignores the fact that most of the mass murderers in the use have been anglo citizens! more guns, what a great solution to the problem of gun violence!
the president tells the nation that "freedom is more powerful than fear," but his words will fall on the deaf ears of those whose only solution for terrorist carnage is more carnage. ted cruz urges us to bomb isis until the "sand glows in the dark," even though we've already dropped so many bombs that we are running short of them. donald trump suggests that "with the terrorists, you have to take out their families." marco rubio tells us that the idea that a person on the terrorist no-fly list would go into a local gun store and buy a gun is "absurd," though he knows that most of those who commit mass murders in this county do so with legally obtained weapons.
these folk who bloviate about our "christian" nation urge us to treat others in the most unchristian ways, to kill before we are killed, to fear those who are "different," to slaughter innocents who get in the way of our slaughter of the "bad guys." they have decided that we are to be a people who must be free of gays, non-christians, political progressives, and free-thinkers. i shudder when i imagine what our country will become if they are in control, and i cringe at the number of our citizens who are taken in by their hateful rhetoric.
my father, a veteran of the european theater in world war two, often remarked at how much he liked the german people he met at the war's end and how puzzled he was that such a cultured, seemingly kind people could have been taken in by hitler and his nazi bullies. as i look at the reaction of so many to the likes of falwell, cruz, rubio, trump, huckabee, and carson i understand how fear and loss of hope led so many in germany to embrace the ideology of hate and demonization, the scapegoating of those who were vulnerable. how easy it would be for the "cultured, kind" people of the usa to go down that road.
may we shun bigotry and intolerance. may we stop the madness of more and more guns that will only lead to more and more killing. may we realize that the problems of the middle east are largely of our making, that it is we who have created the terrorists we fear so much. may we find solutions that ease the suffering of others rather than causing more suffering. may we heed the words of president obama and embrace freedom rather than fear. shalom.