Do you remember the exhilaration of watching the Berlin Wall fall? Do you remember those moments when you felt as though the people behind the Iron Curtain would be free to speak their minds? To sing as they wished? To assemble and worship in a new free world? Do you remember they’d be free to walk without police surveillance?
I remember it. I was 13.
A few weeks ago marked the 26th anniversary of the world waking up from history. The day went by with little fanfare.
Meanwhile in the United States some of the Republican candidates are talking about building walls. A host of Republican governors are talking about barring refugees who are suffering from wars that our policies have created. Ben Carson is calling suffering people “rabid dogs.” Donald Trump wants an American Gestapo that forces our Muslim brothers and sisters to be identified, monitored, and God knows what else. What cowards.
The coward lashes at the innocent. The neighbor knows that another’s suffering is their invitation to love and provide. The tyrant and weakling spurns and hates. The brave and free confront their fears and finds the path for love and compassion, even at personal cost. But the current cast of villains running for president are defecating on the teachings of our greatest American heroes and their own savior.
“Love thy neighbor as thyself” means nothing. “Do unto others as you would have done unto you” must be the axiom of a demon to these men. It’s a bizarre day when an atheistic Unitarian Universalist stands up for Christian teachings.
So what will it be? What will you do? Rebuild the wall or open your door with love? I know what I’m doing. I’m fighting for the place where I want to be. Right here. Right now.