I am a Christian. And I am a Republican.
I woke this morning to a warm house. To my children safe in their warm beds with their down blankets.
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. Finishing 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 no fears 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?
My children are safe.
Other children are not.
Thoughts of the other children hunt me down since the travel ban. Invade my dreams at night.
I don’t know why.
It might be because of my screensaver. A sunset would feel nicer. Because I’m an iPhone junkie. I see my lock screen hundreds of times a day.
The look in this father’s eyes.
I’ve written about the Syrian refugee crisis before because I can’t not write about that.
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.
Christians, Republicans — the majority of them (76% according to Pew Research) support the new ban to keep these innocent victims out of this Christian nation.
This so-called, Christian nation.
What would make a nation such that people would refer to it as a “Christian Nation?”
What people believe? What they profess? What worship set is being played on Sunday?
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.
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 pick up Elliot from school in my white Toyota Prius.
He will come home and then deliberate over what to eat.
Maybe take a nap.
Do some homework.
I have other worries. Petty little problems. Need to get my car smogged. There’s a recall, so I have to take it to the dealer. I got a fix-it ticket because the registration is expired. Need to get it fixed before I get a second fix-it ticket.
Problem if I don’t get the grant I applied for.
Problem being 51. 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.