My Identity Shouldn't Make Me Feel Unsafe On Campus

My Identity Shouldn't Make Me Feel Unsafe On Campus

Who I am should make me feel happy, not scared for my safety.
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Last week, there was an incident of anti-Semitism right off of Towson University's campus. Two Jewish boys, both members of the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, were walking near campus and attacked both physically and verbally by two non-Jewish Towson students.

This wasn't the first incident of anti-Semitism I've seen while at Towson. Two years ago, someone wrote anti-Semitic messages on the chalkboards in Freedom Square, an open area on campus. The culprit was never found.

I like my college. I enjoy my classes, I've met some great people, and found a major that has helped me determine my future career. But these incidents make me feel unsafe and like my school less.

I'm a woman. I'm Jewish. Together, that means I'm always at risk.

I live in fear of being assaulted because I'm female. I walk to the garage from night class with my keys in hand, pepper spray in my bag, and my water bottle as a weapon. I shouldn't have to fear a simple five-minute walk. I shouldn't be afraid to be alone.

I don't tell people on campus my religion unless I know I can trust them. Until they've given me some sign that they have nothing against my religion. Especially with the rise of Neo-Nazis, it's hard to tell who is an ally and who is against me. I don't "look Jewish" (read: dress modestly in the ways of Orthodox Jewish women), but that doesn't mean I don't fear that somehow, someone will figure it out.

Being female shouldn't make me feel scared for my safety. I like being a woman. I shouldn't find myself wishing sometimes I was born male so I didn't feel this pit of anxiety in my stomach every time I step out my front door.

We live in a country that has the right to freedom of religion. And yet, my religion is what puts me at risk, and it shouldn't. I've had my ups and down with Judaism, but at the end of the day, I am proud to be Jewish. It's always been a part of my life and will remain that way. I should be able to openly state my religion and not fear attack.













I've spoken with others who also feel the loss of safety. Some of us, including myself, only marginally felt safe before, if at all. And it's crazy that who we are and how we practice are risk factors when they shouldn't be. They certainly shouldn't be invitations to harm us.

We deserve to feel safe on campus.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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A Letter From God To Help You Finish The Semester

God sees your struggles and He's here to give you strength and motivation.
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My Child,

The lack of motivation towards the end of the semester is normal. You are mentally and physically tired, but you are almost at the end. Don’t stop walking down the perfect path I have for you. When you’re going along and you come upon a speedbump, I want you to go over it and keep driving. The paper you have to write and the test you have to study for are just small speedbumps I have given you to make you wiser. You can write that paper and you can gain motivation to study for that test. I am here to give you strength, and am here to open up your mind and give you motivation.

You are so loved. You have such a beautiful mind. The light of Jesus shines through your eyes and your smile brings comfort to the world. There’ll be times you feel like you’re carrying a heavy load. There’ll be times you feel like the task I have given you is impossible to perform. But remember this: I would never put anything upon your shoulders that you cannot carry. If I put you in a certain situation, it’s because I know you are strong enough to go through it.

When you feel like crying, cry to me. When you feel like a failure, remember how much I love you. You are not a failure and you are not going to give up. I will hold your hand through every second of your life. I will seek your heart through your darkest moments. I see you, I see your heart, and I see your burdens. And remember that I have your heart which means I also have your burdens. Follow my footsteps and you will be free from the doubt. Remember Mark 4:40-41: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” I have the power to calm any storm and wave. I have the power to calm YOUR storms and waves. Set your doubt, anger, and tiredness in my hands and simply be patient.

Romans 8:14-15 says,“For those who are led by the spirit of God are the children of God. The spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again, rather the spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.” Nothing can separate you from my love. Not even your lack of motivation. You have no motivation because you do not feel good enough. You are more than good enough. You were perfectly made by me and when I look down at you, I think of how proud I am of your heart.

Throughout the last few weeks of this semester, you will stumble upon speedbumps. But hold the hand of my son Jesus and you will be able to go over that speedbump with ease. Go write that paper, go study for that test, and go get an A in that class. I know you can because I have given you power.

Love,

God

Cover Image Credit: Margaret Carnes

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Where Is The Good In Good Friday?

The million dollar question: why is it called Good Friday if what happened to Jesus on this day was so gruesome?

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The name of this holiday and what happened on this day all those years ago just don't seem to add up. Jesus was beaten, mocked, and scorned. He hung on a cross with nails driven through his hands and his feet. He had to struggle for every breath of air up until his last one. This doesn't seem to fit our definition of good, So why do we call it Good Friday?

Perhaps the reason for the name of this day is not because what Jesus had to go through was good, but because what was to come was. When Jesus died on the cross, nobody who loved Jesus at that time perceived that moment as good. There was so much sorrow and hurt and darkness literally fell over the earth. They had no idea that on the third day Jesus would conquer death and raise from the dead.

Good Friday is good in the eyes of Christians because without that gruesome death Jesus went through on the cross, we would never be able to experience life with Him. When Christ died, the veil of the temple was torn in two, thus erasing the separation between God and man. We wouldn't have His holy spirit living inside of us without His death.

Another reason Good Friday is good is because His death had to occur in order for the resurrection to happen. The resurrection happened on the third day, the day we also know as Easter. This is a day of great celebration because we perceive the fact that Jesus defeated death and came back to life as a good thing. It makes you wonder why it's not called "Good Sunday". This celebrated resurrection could not have happened without the gruesome death, which Jesus knew as He was hanging on that cross.

While it's difficult to give a definitive answer to the question of why Good Friday is, in fact, good, I hope this provides a little bit of perspective. On this day, let's remember Jesus' death and celebrate because of what it means. When Jesus died, so did our sin and shame, but unlike Jesus, they did not come back to life. The death of Jesus means the death of sin and the death of the shame that accompanies it.

Let's celebrate Jesus and that good news on this Good Friday!

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