When we hear public figures whipping up hatred against all people of a certain religion, it reminds me that European settlers colonized North America in search of the freedom to follow their own religions.

Except for native people, all of us here in the United States are descended from immigrants, and many of those immigrants were refugees from persecution for their faith. Anne Frank’s family was turned away when they tried to come here, and all but one of them died as a result.

When we forget our roots and our Constitution to become intolerant and bigoted, we are in danger. Societies that have gone down that path before us have brought terrible consequences on themselves.

For example, after World War II, the Japanese people and the German people apologized for the fascist governments they had allowed to take over and wage war in their name. People in both countries suffered a lot as a result of those wars, as did their victims.

When you hear people spouting hate against whole groups such as Muslims or Syrian refugees, remember that respect for all religions makes a society you would want your children and grandchildren to live in.

We hear people say that we should take care of our own before we take care of refugees. I hope these people never find themselves fleeing their homes for safety and meet only cold-hearted people who agree.

In any case, a few days of the money spent on U.S. wars would house and feed the poor in the U.S. and Syrian refugees for months.

Lisa Savage


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