Anti-Semitism In The USA Is On The Rise—And The Tree of Life Shooting Won't Be The End Of It

Anti-Semitism In The USA Is On The Rise—And The Tree of Life Shooting Won't Be The End Of It

Even in an an age where "lone wolf shooters" are becoming the norm, we are doing absolutely nothing to stop them.

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On October 27, 2018, Robert Bowers open fired during a child's bris in a Jewish synagogue. Four and two worshipers were injured, while 11 people were killed. The eight-year-old infant was safe, but he will never know his almost-100-year-old grandmother that was murdered during his naming ceremony. His hatred—or perhaps the sense of superiority—was so intense that he went in there, knowing that a bris was occurring, with the intent to kill everyone involved. If given the opportunity, he probably would have killed that little eight-day-old baby, too.

Most people won't go to these lengths though, and this poses a problem: we don't see it, so we don't think it's a problem. We never see people walking around with swastika tattoos, we assume everyone saying "lizard people" are trolls, and anyone who claims that the Jewish are "greedy" or "money-loving" must just be ignorant. It's something that looks harmless, but that's far from the truth.

In a report released by the ADL, four things stood out:

1. Between the years of 2016 and 2017, the number of self-proclaimed neo-Nazi groups rose from 99 to 121;

2. There was a 258% increase in anti-semitic propaganda on college campuses;

3. Twice as many hate crimes were committed by self-proclaimed white nationalists; and

4. Jewish journalists are coming under attack on social media platforms, especially Twitter.

One journalist in the report, referred to simply as "Josh," wrote almost solely on libertarianism, white nationalism, and Donald Trump. After the elections, he started receiving Photoshopped images of his face in gas chambers and threats of revealing his address so that white nationalists and neo-Nazis could find him.

But we don't see it so it's clearly not happening, right? And even if it is, Bowers was clearly just a deranged lone wolf; there's no way those people on the internet are anywhere near as dangerous as he was at the Tree of Life Jewish Synagogue.

That's where you're wrong. We sit in complacency and watch these numbers rise, listen to our crazy uncle as he rambles on about "those greedy Jews, "shake your head as people wonder if the Tree of Life shooting was karma for the war in the Middle East, laugh as people spew conspiracy theories about wealthy Jewish families and how "the Jews rule the world"... until another Bowers comes along.

And then we label him as another lone wolf with thoughts only rare, deranged extremists have. We pretend as if our crazy uncle doesn't harbor ill will towards people just because of their religion, and we pretend our best friend is just quirky rather than paranoid. It's a vicious cycle, and there are only two solutions.

We can either fight back against these views or find ourselves guilty by complicity.

Clearly sitting back hasn't done much, with neo-Nazi and anti-semitic groups growing stronger by the day, but no one seems to care. No one seems to want to step up and say "we have a problem." No one wants to acknowledge that these "lone wolves" are becoming the norm.

But what would I know? I'm just a "filthy Jewess" after all.

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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Since When Did Having Your Life Figured Out Become An Expectation?

There's no timeline for life, and there shouldn't be.

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Let's just cut to the chase. There shouldn't be an expected timeline of life that us, as humans, should be expected to follow. There isn't a certain age that we should be married by, or a time slot that we have to graduate in. It's just unrealistic because, well, life happens. And the majority of the time, we can't control it.

So then why does society pressure us into this schedule that seems to be looming over our heads? There's no consequence to not having children by 27, there's nothing wrong with having a steady significant other and not being engaged by 24. And really, nothing horrible is going to happen if your timeline doesn't match up with your best friend's.

A whole lot of things in life are out of our control. We don't know when we're going to meet "the one", or even if we already have. We don't know what job we will have after graduation, or if it will be a job we stay in for years to come. And guess what: it's okay. Because we have time.

One of the best lessons I have learned in my life is that we cannot control everything in our lives. We can't predict the future. Yes, you can feel as though you have your whole life planned out, but in the blink of an eye, everything can change. So moral of the story, don't stress about things that you can't control. Because all the time you spend stressing about them, is time that you could have spent enjoying the moment that you are in.

There's not a fairy that is going to come down and curse you for not having a job by 23, or forbid you from finding love because you haven't found it by 25. It's an unrealistic expectation. And guess what: life happens on its own, and we can't control all of it. Sometimes it may suck, and it can be entirely unexpected, but it's life. So put an anchor in the present, and have faith that you will figure it out.

Because you will.

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