When Will We Strangle on Our Own Silence?

Up ’til now you have followed the typical musings of a “mom blog”. Unfortunately for you, I’ve never been very good at typical. My virtual tree house has become the refuge for my thoughts and for my opinions of which, again–unfortunately for you–there are many.

It’s political.

Please don’t let that run you away.
Please don’t hide your face.
We can’t afford to anymore.

ISIS seized another city.
Not our city. Not our neighborhood. No machine guns ripping through our homes and the bodies of our people.
No swath of enemy army will sweep down my street today and demand my precious daughter.
Not my family.

And so we sit. And we wait. We’ve gotten so good at that. As a nation–as a Church. We’ve gotten so very good at waiting. But not so very good at acting.

It looks so different. Those dust and sand-filled streets with their small, hut homes. Women hidden beneath cloaks of cloth and indifference.
So far hidden from the reality of our lives that we can erase them with the click of a button or the turn of a page. Just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

We read headlines and reports and we lament their barbarism as they behead Americans and Christians and children. But we wait.
We close our eyes against the images of headless bodies and young girls stolen and sold to face a life of rape and sexual slavery. Their mothers are powerless to stop it. They are a powerless people. But we wait.

When is enough too much? When will the weight of the good in the world collapse under our indifference?
When will we strangle on our own silence?

We hide behind sanctions and threats and diplomatic rhetoric that says “we will take no more” as we continue to take and take. As we are pushed. As we watch them push.
And we allow our politics and our economic self-interests blind us from doing what we know to be morally and fundamentally right.
And we wait.

Because we are safe behind these walls of American exceptionalism. Today.
But evil–real evil like what lives in the hearts of ISIS–of the people that can kill children indiscriminately  and rape little girls as they call out for their mothers–they don’t frighten easily.

We must act.
And it must be now. It should have been yesterday.
“America remains the indispensable nation…and there are times when America, and only America, can make the last great difference between war and peace, between freedom and repression.”
Our President and our Congress are cautious. And I understand.
I understand the hesitancy to put the lives of America’s men and women on the line.
It is not a decision that should be taken lightly. But unfortunately, it has been made for us.

Because, Mr. President, while we debate over what to call them, ISIS/ISIL marches on.
Our failure to appreciate ISIL as a strategic entity makes its strategy more effective. 

There is a difference between isolationism and sadism.
There is a difference between saying “it’s not our fight” and saying “we don’t care.”

America. Please.
Out of a duty born of privilege, this is our’s to right.
We must act. We must fight. And we must win.
We have the technology to fight them–but will we have the guts to bridge the gap between the comforts of peace and the realities of war?
Because the truth is this: as long as the United States of America still stands to raise its hand against atrocity and terror, then there is hope for those who are brutalized and beaten.

I don’t expect you to take my advice, President Obama. But whether it is now or a year from now, this ‘conflict’ will escalate, and our nation will reach a point of reckoning. We will not be able to turn the page or click the button anymore.

We cannot ignore the injustice any longer, and the more precious time and energy that we consume attempting to will cost us lives.

Have courage. Take heart. Be the shining city on the hill that I know you are. And shatter our hearts, Father God for the injustice that shatters your’s.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Love and other drugs,
E. Hunter W.


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