Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Aylan Kurdi Against Kim Davis

It's not like I was going to vote for Mike Huckabee anyway, before his recent decision to visit Kim Davis in jail (can you say photo op?) but in today's paper I read that he also favors using federal troops to prevent women from entering abortion clinics.

Again, for the record, I oppose abortion.

Everybody repeat after me: separation of church and state.

More than that: we are arguing over the wrong things.

Did you see the photograph of Aylan Kurdi, the drowned Syrian toddler, washed up on a beach? I didn't go looking for it, and I would have paid money not to see it, but I did see it, and it's haunting. As it should be. Someone's baby, face down in the water. Then yesterday I saw a photo of bombed-out, utterly destroyed city that the little boy's family was fleeing--and I understood why they risked their lives, and indeed lost them, on the journey.

In this world we have babies dying, not just in Syria, but in Africa, in Asia--in underdeveloped countries all over the world, from diseases and conditions we could easily prevent. In this country we have children who dread weekends because there's no food in their homes. In my city we have people who work forty hours a week, and spend nearly half their month's salary on rent--and rent is cheap where I live. Last Friday I served lunch at the Salvation Army. Forty people came to eat. One had a beautiful two-week old baby in her arms.

We are up in arms about whether Caitlin Jenner should be referred to as he or she, when the truth is that most of us will never personally encounter Caitlin Jenner at all. But today alone we'll almost certainly meet someone who needs help.

Our religious beliefs should never be about changing other people. Our religious beliefs should be about changing ourselves.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?" 

--Isaiah 58:6-7

A lot of children's authors and publishers are matching donations to Save the Children through an effort begun by Patrick Ness.