Archive for February, 2017

Christianity Demands the Acceptance of ALL Refugees, Not Just Christians

Monday, February 27th, 2017

I just heard a commercial on (of course) Conservative Radio that made me very sad. This is (approximately) what it said:

(Sad piano music. A soothing but emotional female voice speaks:)

“The refugee crisis in Syria has reached devastating levels, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and that there’s nothing you can do to help. But did you know there are CHRISTIAN Syrian refugees? These Christians have no home, and very often no food and no water. They are starving, and their children are starving. Please help us save these Christian Syrian refugees, to get them sustenance and safe passage to a better life.”

All I can think about is: why do they have to be Christian for Republicans to care? Can you imagine that same commercial running on their radio station to allow the starving Muslim children to have “safe passage to a better life”? No, that commercial would not exist on that station. I’ve heard the commercials they DO have about Muslim refugees, and there’s no sad piano music. It’s the psycho theme song as the “In A World” voice tells you to call your representative to keep these Muslim refugees the hell out of here, including babies and orphans.

Jesus said “love your fellow man as you love yourself.” He did NOT add “…but only if they are Christian.”

He said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.” He did NOT add “…unless they also believe in Muhammad.”

“Be hospitable to strangers,” and “Welcome strangers the same way you would welcome Christ.” There is no addendum stating, “…unless you are afraid of them, and/or if you decide that the crimes of a few belong to the people who are FLEEING that few.”

This callous hatred and hypocrisy of too many Christians is exactly what Jesus came to preach against. If there actually is a Hell, and they end up there for this, maybe they will finally understand what it’s like to be a Muslim Syrian refugee.

Not Too Far From Here

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

Like so many, I have been devastated to witness the recent uptick in incidents and words of hate against many groups of people. I believe it is crucial to stand up against such hatred. But I also believe, as Hippie-ish as it sounds, that the only thing that truly trumps hate is love. We can and must stand up to defend people from discrimination, but the only real way to counteract a hand raised in anger is to offer our own hands in peace, solidarity, help, and understanding.

In this spirit, I wanted to offer my performance and arrangement of my favorite song on this topic, ‘Not Too Far From Here.’ The introduction is a song I wrote called ‘Queen Esther,’ in memory of my grandmother, Esther Bates, who escaped the Holocaust and subsequently lived her life to help others. The great Lisa Willson was gracious enough to lend me her incomparable vocals, piano, and concert venue to perform this song.

I am not naïve enough to think that music on its own can create the kind of change the world most needs – but my hope and prayer is that it may provide an inspirational soundtrack for the loving deeds of true heroes.