Close your eyes because I’m going to lie to you.
Across Europe, Tens of Thousands Rally to Welcome Refugees
Well, that’s not a lie actually. (But keep your eyes closed!) It happened in Dublin, last month.
Here’s the story if you want to read it. People can be so generous and compassionate. Here’s another picture.
(Hey! Your eyes… I’m not gonna tell you again!) Some borders are not so open, reminding us of some current issues in our own country. What do we do about migrants? Refugees? (Now close your ears too. This is too close to home!) Illegal immigrants? Terrorist infiltrators? All foreigners are… are… foreign! Alien! Dangerous! Seal the borders! Stop them all! 1
These are hot-button topics, always. With all the happy-talk about the actions of Germany, Austria, Ireland and other countries welcoming refugees, and the counter-talk about terrorist invasions and sharia-law fanatics taking over, what do you think?
According to François Crépeau, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, “Talking about ‘flows,’ ‘marauders,’ and ‘swarms’ is an unsubtle way of dismissing the legitimacy of the asylum-seekers and migrants’ claim to human rights, by creating images linking them to toxic waste or natural disasters. We are talking about men, women, children and even babies, who have faced traumatic experiences. These are people just like you and me, and none of us have the moral high ground to say that we would never do the same if we were in their shoes.”
What do you say to that? To borrow a popular expression. I got nothin’. Here are some more pictures, with an Eastern and Central European perspective. Crossing the Balkans on foot
A good friend of mine posted this on his Facebook wall, posing what many believe to be an important question. He is a good friend, I reiterate, of honest and amiable nature, educated and intelligent and loves God and his family and his country, and I must admit I don’t have an answer to the question. We have all seen things like this though, haven’t we? Or thought them? What is the right response? Are our Western ideals of freedom, liberty and democracy strong enough to survive (at the very least, putting it mildly) a changing demographic? I’d be lying (You peeked!) if I said I don’t think both sides of the argument overstate their cases, drawing on emotions and limited information. The emotions? Sympathy on the one hand, and fear on the other. Both are powerful motivators in our lives. The limited information? Increasingly, in the torrent of media blasting us daily, the information we hear what we choose to hear. The limitations are accordingly self-chosen.
Your eyes… remember they’re supposed to be closed…
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
OK, open now.