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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



Once again we as humans are faced with the horrible aftermath of just how evil we can be when we allow the radical mind to invade and persuade those who are intent on extremism. The recent events in Paris brought home to many people just how unsafe we are, not only in those areas of the world that we expect to be in turmoil, but in places where innocent people are attempting every day to go along their daily lives doing the right thing.

For the past few months as war rages in the middle east, millions of people have left their homes and set out to get away from the fighting which in turn has created a world-wide refuge problem. Of course, when the majority of these refugees have a different religion than you and I, and since a certain sect of said religion is intent on bringing harm to innocent people, the back lash against allowing refugees from those areas into our country was to be expected. The first knee-jerk reactions of most politicians and those on social media were to call for the sealing of our boarders and keeping out anyone from those regions and religion.

It has been over a week now and the rhetoric is slowly dying out. Instead in some circles there has actually been real conversation about how best to handle this situation. In our own state, the governor joined with other states to inform the state department that we did not want those people relocated anywhere within our borders. But is that truly the Iowa way? Oh sure, we have always had a type of Iowa standoffish attitude when it comes to anyone who isn’t native to this state, and in some smaller communities it even shows itself in a local way. But Iowa has long been a place where those without a home could find a new start. After the Vietnam war Iowa became a safe place for those without a home, and even though many worried that every single one of those refugees would attempt to convert us all. Not only did we welcome them, but they have become an important part of a series of immigrant communities that have sprung up in our cities throughout this state.

It is an unfortunate fact that while many who do act or think or worship like you and I, are intent on doing evil in this world, there are many of our own that do the very same thing. Do we therefore close ourselves off to everyone? Or are we throwing stones at glass houses? In my opinion, which is mostly what this column is, we all; Christians and Muslims must stand up and denounce any acts of violence perpetrated by those responsible regardless of their creed, color or religion. We also must inform ourselves of the truth, not just what we read and hear on the internet, and yes, I’m directly talking about the recent uprising of students at Missouri. While I’m quite sure that in some parts of this country there still are ignorant people who are set on acting out their racist attitudes, it is also the duty of those who rise up to do so using the complete truth and not just attacking those who aren’t directly responsible.

Regardless of who, what and where the next human tragedy occurs, the one thing we all must remember now more than ever, is to treat others the way we wish to be treated. Isn’t that really what being a Christian is all about? See you next week…remember, we’re all in this together.