About the Syrian refugee crisis and Randy Haspel's column, "The Great Unfriending" ...
I had to chuckle over Randy Haspel's column. Seems he thinks that anyone who's worried that accepting refugees from an alien culture from an area of the world torn apart by that same culture is a Nazi, an idiot, or both.
He was doing all right until the last paragraph, where he reminded us "that once our forefathers were accepted as refugees into this country by the indigenous population." Yup, the natives here accepted people from a completely alien culture in large numbers. Tell us, Randy, how did that work out for them?
Having spent the majority of my years in Memphis, I was and am in awe of the tremendous work performed by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. A big reason for the hospital's success, not to mention its charity, was ALSAC, the American Lebanese Syrian Association Charities. Without the immigrants who formed ALSAC — those from Lebanon and Syria — many lives would not have been touched and saved by St. Jude.
As the debate rages about preventing Syrian refugees into this country, consider the amazing work their predecessors, and all other immigrants, have performed here, how they've helped make this "Land of Immigrants" the great country it is today. Also, consider the hell these refugees are fleeing. Put yourself in their shoes, as well as in those of the kids and their parents who've been helped by organizations such as St. Jude.
French President François Hollande has said that 30,000 refugees will be welcomed to France during the next two years. He also said that "the people of Iraq and Syria have fled because they are martyred by the same people who attack us today."
The process of selecting and vetting refugees should be as strict and rigorous as possible, and we have to err on the side of caution. But the men, women, and children, who themselves have suffered at the hands of terrorists, should be allowed to settle here.
If we see refugee camps created worldwide, there could be many in them who turn to extremism and violence because of their frustration and anger. Such camps could be the breeding grounds for future terrorists, and, if so, we will be even more unsafe in the future.
It's a raucous chorus, led by disciples of the Republican right."No! No! No!" they chant."No Syrian refugees in our back yard!" Eschewing the words written on the Statue of Liberty, our cowardly Congress now has passed legislation that effectively bars any significant influx of Syrian refugees into these United States.
That this is a thinly veiled act of bigotry directed toward Muslims is hardly debatable. But, more than this, it is an act of contempt aimed at the very core of our Judeo-Christian values. If there is any theme that courses through the teachings of the Old and New Testaments, it is the undeniable message of welcome to the stranger, the alien, the homeless, the outcast, the sick and the hungry. Those who are saying no to Syrian refugees are saying no to the very essence of the sacred scriptures. Such behavior can be compared to tossing the Holy Bible into a roaring fire fueled by hatred and fear.
Instead of being intimidated by such despicable hypocrisy, we who object must name it openly for what it is and challenge it wherever it is found.
Rev. Thomas E. Sagendorf
United Methodist Clergy, Retired
About Frank Murtaugh's post,
"Sweet Sorrow: Fuente Bids Farewell to Memphis" ...
I'm not one who usually says, "What if ... " but I will this time. Can Tiger fans imagine how good we would be next year with both Fuente and Lynch back? The only difference I would like to see would be the development of our next quarterback.
I am thankful to all of the Tiger players for their play this year, and I wish all of the Tigers, Fuente and Lynch included, the very best, no matter where they land.