Let Me In – I’m With Jesus

In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks that occurred last week Friday, GOP Candidate Jeb Bush proposed a ridiculous idea of only allowing Christian Syrian Refugees into the U.S. Now, in all cases and on all occasions I try to stay away from speaking and/or writing about political issues for many reasons but mainly because I don’t know squat about politics and I don’t want to pretend to know anything about politics. But this interview with Jeb Bush and his radical “suggestion” was so completely absurd, disturbing and baseless that it baffled me into writing an impassioned post about his idiocy.

So I don’t know politics – but here’s what I do know. I live a very privileged life (I have all my basic necessities met and I do not live in constant fear for my life or anyone else’s that I love) and while I am not as successful as my brightest peers, I am a contributing member to my society and this society has benefited from my contributions. I am one person- undoubtedly there are millions more like me. Yet none of this would be possible if Canada were not as gracious a country as it has been to people running from war-torn countries for refuge. I am a first-generation Canadian. My parents are the reason I am here today –whether I like them at the moment or not or agree with their parental guidance or not– I am in full agreement that without them I would not be here. And thus, without the generosity of this country and many other countries that have opened up their homes to strangers, Canada would not be as colourful, as rich and as culturally diverse a country as it is today. We have all benefited from this, whether you are fifth generation Canadian or new to this country.

So needless to say when the media was reporting on this story of Jeb Bush’s idea of only opening U.S. doors to Christian Syrian refugees it enraged me because if his party was in power during the time that my parents were running from their war-torn country, they would have been turned away simply because of their faith. What is truly scary is that the U.S. is a leader in many ways- should other world leaders see this type of consideration, it may just spark other countries to follow suit.

And so here’s the next dilemma – how exactly does one prove their religious status anyway? It is clear that Jeb Bush doesn’t really have a clue either because when pressed about this minor ‘application’ process, he said “they’ll be able to prove it”. How Mr. Bush, how? Will there be a skill-testing question? Maybe something like this: “what does the H in Jesus H. Christ” stand for? If you know the answer, does that really make you “Christian?” We’re not talking about a half hour game show here- we are talking about saving families just like yours, communities just like yours, lives just like your own. Will the refugees have to risk their lives by going out to find a printer amidst the rubble to type up a reference letter from their Christian pastor to sign? Is the U.S. going to accept reference letters from Church officials now? Seriously?

I don’t know what the answers are for the refugee crisis. And this post isn’t about having answers. It is just questioning the intelligence and common sense of potential leaders of our southern neighbor. World leaders face a crushing moral dilemma here but is closing the doors to people who need asylum really the answer? Are nations going to start operating their country and making important life-altering decisions based on pure fear of the unpredictable, the unknown?

And I am tired of hearing everyone characterising one entire population/group as terrorists. This is completely off-base and dangerous for obvious reasons. Saying that all Syrians are now terrorists is like saying all Americans are unabombers. We cannot and should not measure a whole population based on a few of their Ted Kaczynski’s and Timothy McVeigh’s. And if you do your research, you’d be surprised to find that there are many other American-bred bombers who have Christian ideologies. These stereotypes are generally never used in a discriminatory manner towards other Christians.

Now, I am not here to bash Christians or retaliate against any religion. I myself don’t particularly subscribe to any religious group and don’t actually take issue with those that do. My only problem is when people use the matter of religion to manipulate, attempt to convert and/or oppress already-disadvantaged individuals/groups or try to dictate what is considered “right” or “wrong” based on which religious beliefs you adhere to. And to me, deciding for all of America that only people of Christian-faith should be let into any country (especially a modern, civilized country at that) is unfounded and slightly deranged. After all, isn’t that the exact ideology that is at the root of terrorism? The act of using terror to wage war upon another group because anyone who disagrees with that regime and that faith has to suffer and be punished in horrific ways– that this need to serve your own faith supersedes all else, including the core values of humanity thereby justifying the killings of millions of innocent people.

Mr. Bush, you fail.

 

World in Disdress

Most historians agree that the great divide happened in and around 15,000 B.C. and 1,500 A.D. with comparisons of human development between what they referred to as the “Old” World and the “New” World. But if you ask me, and I realize you are not but I am going to say anyway, the greatest divide occurred on February 26, 2015 when it seemed as though the entire world weighed in on a subject that “blue” our minds.

It started out with a Tumblr user innocently trying to make sense of what she was seeing and supposedly not seeing (according to her friends). She shared a picture of a dress and posed a simple question, undoubtedly thinking she would receive a few reinforcements that would end the discussion once and for all: “Is this dress white and gold, or blue and black?” What she didn’t expect was a world just as confused as she was, hysterically seeking answers to a bizarre phenomenon.

What was most interesting to me during this frenzy were the intense reactions I was experiencing while trying to either see what others were seeing, or the frustration in trying to get others to see it my way. Surprisingly the emotions that one goes through when they utterly and whole-heartedly believe something to be one way, while someone else feels equally as passionate about the opposite way is a sense of fear and desperation like none other. I almost felt like people were seeing a gorilla in a photograph clearly of fruit. Where on earth did they see this gorilla?? Taylor Swift described it best in her tweet to this dispute:

I don’t understand this odd dress debate and I feel like it’s a trick somehow.
I’m confused and scared.
PS it’s OBVIOUSLY BLUE AND BLACK.

Needless to say, this story got a lot of people into fervent arguments and it got me into a wild tizzy as well. And then somehow my questions toward others reflected back at me and I started feeling uncertain and insecure about my own beliefs. Could it be me? Is my mind tricking me or were their minds tricking them? I was completely convinced that half of humankind was colour-blind and only now- after thousands of years of civilization, technology and expertise- this ugly dress was the thing that was going to save us all and bring us the clarity to help those who were imprisoned in a world of distorted colouration. Those poor souls. It’s BLUE AND BLACK, PEOPLE!