Why I Will Always Welcome Refugees

Why I Will Always Welcome Refugees

They are people too, and my heart loves them.
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My heart loves a lot of things, and a lot of people; and my heart breaks for a lot of things, and a lot of people. Many of these people who are so close to my heart are on my mind this week as so much turmoil, pain, loss, and suffering is among them and their people. These people on my mind tonight are Muslim and Middle Eastern Refugees. This isn't going to be a long post that I've worked on for weeks, where I've done extensive research and proofread it a million times. This post only contains a few paragraphs tops of what is in my heart; my feelings about this recent events, and how we should respond in light of recent events.

Many of you, if you have read my articles before, know that this connection of mine with refugees was fostered in Athens, Greece; where I have collectively given about 6 weeks of my time to mission work and evangelization specifically with the refugees who live there.






All of these faces in the pictures above are some of the most beautiful, hospitable, and loving people I have ever met. I am extremely humbled and lucky to have met these people and my heart feels so much compassion for them. The reason I was able to be connected with these people, however, is because they fled their war-torn, corrupt countries in hopes of a better life, and are struggling to do so. Many of these refugees have hopes of coming to America, where I truly believe they should be welcomed. As Americans, we, unfortunately, have a difficult time understanding exactly what these people go through, and it breaks my heart to imagine that after fleeing their home country, searching for peace, and trying to find a home, we deny them this opportunity of that home in our country.

Since the terrorist attacks in Europe, and across the United Sates, many government officials have argued to turn these people away from our country and our resources, with the misguided concern that they are a risk to the United States. The most recent being President Trump's "Muslim Ban". Of course, I am against the cowardly attacks performed by groups such as ISIS and Al Queda in many different countries, but I think that we are in no place to take out our nation's anger on innocent refugees because of their religion, ethnicity, or appearance.

I don't mean to stick my nose in politics where it doesn't belong, or to force my opinion on those who don't care to read it. However, if you've read this to the end, I challenge you to pray for our country, our government officials, the refugees fleeing for peace, and for the current standing of this crisis. I strongly believe that our government is extremely capable of bringing peace to this conflict one day, that not all Middle Eastern people are terrorists, that Americans should be as hospitable to Middle Eastern people as to anyone else, and that wisdom will prevail and a solution will be found for these people so close to my heart.

Cover Image Credit: Becca Colehower

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No, Your Political Views Aren't Always Wrong, They Just Aren't Always Right

"No one is as deaf as the man who will not listen." - Proverb
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Violence. It is inevitable. Whether it is verbal or it is physical, it is happening around the world every day and it is a very sensitive subject. Something absolutely devastating happens and all of the sudden politicians are being questioned and those who aren't politicians, but think that they are, are now ranting on Facebook swearing up and down the walls that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

After the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, I was at a loss for words. For an incident this serious to happen in what felt like my backyard was absolutely terrifying. To live in a world where this happened was absolutely terrifying. As families and friends of victims and survivors grieved on social media and on TV, people took no breath in expressing their feelings about the incident. From angry messages about the LGTBQ community and to the complete opposite side where those mourned for the LGBTQ community, arguments were all over Facebook. Opinions were all over Facebook, as they always are.

With the recent Las Vegas shooting the same thing was seen on social media as some felt strongly about the mental health of Americans and others cared deeply about those who were killed and what was going to happen next. Social media is home to many different political views as well as social views and the biggest issue, in my opinion, is that no one allows the opportunity for someone else to speak their mind.

Most importantly in my life right now, as well as the lives of many who surround me, is the Parkland shooting. This was absolutely horrifying, to say the least. It showed how unfair life was and how screwed up people can be.

Unfortunately, I have found on social media as well as on TV that people have lost sight of what truly matters right now as they are too worried arguing about their political views and making the statement that only their thoughts are correct.

Being a very open-minded person, I have read through hundreds of comments and watched my fair share of videos. I have heard Republicans and Democrats speak on the matter on gun control, gun safety, and guns in school.

Yes, I believe in the Second Amendment. I believe it is a right to carry a gun with the appropriate training and paperwork. Yes, I also believe that it has become way too easy to obtain such a powerful weapon.

Lastly, I believe that it is not the ease of buying guns or the Second Amendment itself that is leading to these terrifying events. It's the people of the United States and the way that they are raised today.

As Governor Matt Bevin said when he was younger, kids brought guns to school on a day to day basis and even more around the holidays to show off their new presents. People simply did not think about killing people. People were not terrified for their lives when they went to school or to a country concert.

Yes, you're allowed to have your own political opinions.

Yes, you can plaster your views and arguments all over Facebook and other social media platforms.

But stop and take a second to think about others views as well. Think about simpler times when your life didn't revolve around a video game or your cell phone or the latest violent movie that just came out.

When things were "simpler," there were not constant shootings at schools and out in public places.

Guns are not the problem. Do not be ignorant.

Realize that you can have your views but they may not always be right.

Cover Image Credit: Alex Radelich

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Let's Take The Politics Out Of School Shootings

So, please do not use school shootings as a reason to get in a Facebook fight.
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The American dream is to send our beloved children off to school where they can flourish and learn. On the other hand, an important aspect of the American dream is the second amendment.

How shall we move forward so these two aspects of the American dream can coexist?

The answer to that question will not be discovered in my lifetime (or maybe ever). There is no way to save an entire country from horrific events like ones we have seen too many times. So, let’s stop focusing on which is the “correct” way to handle the situation and look at the broader perspective.

This week, social media is flooded with a variety of political opinions after the Florida school shooting that I would rather not explore. I am sure everyone is familiar with the different opinions that unveil after a mass shooting.

Unfortunately, we are too familiar with them.

I am a senior in high school who is hardly involved with politics. Putting political beliefs aside, I focus on the victims’ faces and names. I focus on their families. I focus on a school that will never feel the same.

The kids who passed were not thinking about politics during this tragedy. Rather, they were wondering if they would make it out of a place they considered safe, alive.

This issue is much bigger than a political debate. It is about hate in our world, a lack of love and a disconnect between ourselves and others. It’s not about guns. It’s not about mental illness. It’s about much more.

Rather than pointing the finger, we can all equally share the blame.

When social media turns an issue into a political debate, it’s easy to forget that children aren’t thinking about politics when they see their teacher, coach or friend pass away in front of their eyes.

So please, do us all a favor and don’t use children's dead bodies as a reason to get into a heated Facebook fight. That only spreads the hate. It is counterproductive. Rather than plotting against each other, we need to band together.

Cover Image Credit: Pixbay

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