Faith to do good

I had a discussion on Facebook today about the current presidential race, and one woman said Hillary was endangering our country by wanting to bring in Syrian refugees. The woman in question claims to be a Christian. This is something that I just don’t understand. I remember when the Syrian crisis began, the church I attended showed videos about how terrible the situation was, with Christians being beheaded by ISIS, among other terrible atrocities. At that time it seemed we were being encouraged to care and to help.

Within a few months, however, I noticed that Christians were up in arms about the possibility that Syrian refugees might be allowed into our country. “They could be terrorists,” they said. “We have to make sure we have enough for our own people before we go helping people from other countries,” they said.

I was truly astounded by this attitude coming from Christians. This is so far from what Christ taught! He taught faith, not fear. Matthew 25 says that whenever we do not help someone in need, it is as though we have failed to help Jesus. He taught that when the storms arise that we should not be afraid, but have faith, that he is always with us. He taught us not to be afraid to share what we have. Remember those loaves and fishes? What a lack of faith is displayed by those who call themselves Christians but dig in their heels against helping our Syrian brothers and sisters.

There are children who will suffer and die because of that triumph of fear over faith.

I guess I kind of take this personally, because the triumph of fear over faith, or compassion, or human kindness, or just plain goodness could well have cost my own child her life. My daughter, Michaela Joy Garecht (www.dearmichaela.com) was kidnapped in 1988, the victim of a witnessed stranger abduction. Michaela’s friend saw her being kidnapped, watched the kidnapper’s until he drove his car out of the parking lot and onto the highway. Then she ran to get help. At that time, however, there was an older woman pulling onto the same highway from across the street. She took note of the kidnapper’s car. He was driving so erratically she thought he might cause an accident, and because of that she made an attempt to memorize his license plate number.

Later that day she watched the news, and realized what it was she had seen. Did she call the police? No, she didn’t. She didn’t because she was more afraid of the remote possibility of danger to herself than she was concerned about the certainty of the horror my daughter was facing. It was three months later that she called me, but even then she was motivated by fear. She had been in the grocery store and had seen a man who looked like my daughter’s kidnapper. She was afraid that he might have recognized her and might want to hurt her, and that is why she reached out to me.

I was nice to her. I talked to her, I “understood.” I talked her into undergoing hypnosis in order to try to recall the license plate number, but it had been a long time by then, and she told me the day before the session that she would not remember the license plate number. And she didn’t.

My sweet, beautiful, kind, innocent little girl endured what unknown fate that might have been prevented if this woman had come forward with whatever information she had, if she had come forward soon enough to be able to retrieve the license plate number. I really could not understand how she could have allowed the unlikely danger to herself to outweigh my daughter’s suffering, my daughter’s life.

And I don’t understand those who would lock the gates and turn their backs on the Syrian refugees because of their own imagined perception of possible danger, or worse, because they aren’t sure we have enough to share. One day, one way or another, I believe they will have to answer for this.

The sad thing is that these people don’t even acknowledge what they are doing. They don’t own up to their fear. They don’t confess their lack of faith. They seem to think they are fine, righteous even.

It’s just part of the political climate this season I guess. A heartwrenching season. I pray it will be over soon and we can go to better days under compassionate leadership.

Rolling Stone endorses Hillary

I was so happy to see Rolling Stone endorse Hillary Clinton for the presidency. I have been around for a long time, and have been a fan of Hillary’s since she came on the scene. I am also painfully well acquainted with the smear campaigns launched against her by the Republican party. I mean, really, can these people not just deal with the issues instead of trying to falsely malign character? Obviously not, since they are even doing it to each other.

I think the Republicans have actually helped Bernie in this election, and are probably happy to have done so. They have spoon fed distrust to the young people of this country, who have not been around long enough to really know that Hillary was the very first person who tried to establish universal healthcare in this country. I have to admit, I bear a bit of a grudge against Bernie, because he points his finger (literally) at Hillary for the fact that her campaign (like everybody’s but his apparently) is financed in part by corporations (and also by my $10 a month). He seems to intimate that this makes her somehow dishonest. Meanwhile, Bernie himself is about the most dishonest candidate running in this election. He is promising free healthcare for all, and free college tuition for all. Even if he was elected, he would never be able to institute these plans, and I’m pretty sure he knows that, because as this article points out, whenever he is asked about how he is going to bring about these changes, he can only wave his finger and say “the revolution.” Unless he means a real revolution, as in the Russian Revolution or the French Revolution, whereby the entire system of government is replaced by another in a less than peaceful manner, it just isn’t going to happen.

It makes me angry that any candidate is put at a disadvantage by simply trying to be honest and realistic. We can build upon Obamacare, correct some of the problems, make it better, and work toward a better universal healthcare system. Just so you know, nobody anywhere gets “free” healthcare. They pay a lot of money for it. I am originally from England, and according to my family, the British residents pay 10 percent of their income all their lives for the healthcare they receive for “free.” Can you imagine the uproar if the government decided to abolish everyone’s employer paid healthcare and instead have them start paying 10 percent of their gross income for their “free” healthcare instead? You talk about a revolution! And free college tuition? I don’t think it is even a good idea. Our community colleges used to be free, and then they started charging a little, and then more and more. As it is, it is almost impossible to get enrolled in the courses needed to finish a program of study. When it is free, there are many people who just sign up for classes on a whim, and a fair percentage who don’t even finish them. In order for tuition to be free, there would have to be an expansion in the college programs as well, in order to accommodate the sudden influx, or it would become an impossible situation for the serious students. To accomplish both of those things together would be pretty unmanageable. Instead, how about Hillary’s plan to make it easier to relieve the burden of debt our students face in ways from making it easier to get financial aid and loans, to lowering interest rates and repayment obligations? Now that is something we can do.

Here is a link to the Rolling Stone article. Of course, they are much smarter than I am, and they have the credentials I think, as an organization I’d have guessed would have gone for Bernie. So glad to see such clear thinking on these issues:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/hillary-clinton-for-president-20160323?page=3