Freedom from Fear
I have been thinking about just why the immigration ban so haphazardly inflicted on our people hit me so deeply and made me terribly sad. As I ponder, I see that I'm still in mourning for the country's values I took for granted, and I feel a swelling of compassion in my heart for all those who wish to come here to make good, safe, civilized lives for themselves. I have thought about it in a number of ways: the United States is a country composed of immigrants, they are the fabric of our society, this nation was built on noble principles of life, liberty, equality, and the pursuit of happiness, we are a culture of huge advantage and privilege and as such have a responsibility to those who have nothing, to those who being decimated by radicals operating out of hatred and ignorance, many of us can remember the voices of visionaries such as Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, JFK, Barack Obama, and even now Elizabeth Warren, ringing in our heads, all urging us to stand up for justice and equality for all our fellow citizens.
A Buddhist teaching I heard a long time ago said that fear is all about the future. So, it would stand to reason that when we operate from fear -- and that is certainly what this regime hopes for -- we cannot be present for the dire problems of the present in this country: poverty, hunger, violence, inner city racism, and economic inequality, just to name a few. And if we operate from fear, we can never feel safe. The man who got himself elected in November has waved the dark banner of fear in front of the American people and many have fallen for it. And in falling for it, they of course condone his irrational executive order to bar immigrants of a certain color and certain faith from this country. As he whips up fear in our population, he gathers his loyal following in and encases them in his cause, while at the same time going on to betray them in his choices of unqualified, self-serving advisors. This is brainwashing -- cruel and perverse -- and it has been used before in history to abhorrent ends, blinding the faithful to the dark reality of his purpose.
This man's purpose, it seems, is not to govern wisely and humanely, but to "strut his stuff upon the stage," holding his position at the center of the chaos he has created and never, ever admitting that he has a conscience. He knows nothing of governing or history, he has no respect for the rule of law, and he is quickly finding out that governing a complex country is a whole lot more challenging than running a business!
I want now to bless the judicial system who so far have been the clearest voice of reason in this circus of chaos, and have bravely articulated the values of our democratic system. Maybe I will rest easier tonight and other nights knowing that those who have taken on the job of weighing and judging will persevere in their work without interference. This country desperately needs the safety and the equilibrium that justice can offer. We need this, and so does the rest of the world.