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Alethea & Athena
Politics again 
13th-Feb-2017 04:30 pm
Originally I was planning to talk about Dionysus today, but then we were watching internet videos last night, and I have another topic. If it turns out to be short enough, maybe I'll post about both. But see, a while ago, somebody shared the Netherlands video message to Trump on Facebook, and we loved it. Then an uncle of ours shared Switzerland's video, and then Denmark's, and we were like, "Hey, what's up with all of this?" One of the latter videos mentioned Germany doing a video, so later we Googled that and the German talk show host kind of explained the whole thing. Apparently the Netherlands started it, and then a couple of other countries, including Germany, jumped on the bandwagon, and now he was inviting all of Europe and Australia and any other interested countries to come along. (I also appreciated that the German talk show host said it was also funny that none of the copycat countries had been able to top the Netherlands. We agreed, but the Germany video was pretty funny, too.)

So last night, we were on track to get to bed early, and something reminded me of these videos, so I figured why not watch a couple more? And we went to Every Second Counts (awesome name, by the way) to see what other countries had contributed videos. We watched two (which also failed to live up to the Netherlands, but the Australian talk show host's introduction was funny), and then I just wanted to check real quick what other countries there were before we went to bed. It's organized by continent/region, and I was especially intrigued that the Middle East was included. Then we saw that one of the two countries that had a video was Iran, and we were like, "Wait, but..." So we watched it, and oh my goodness, it was probably the funniest one yet. I think it even beat the Netherlands. But it's also funny in a kind of, "Should I really be laughing at this...?" sort of way. I'd definitely recommend checking it out, though.

But I feel like now that the subject has been brought up, I should talk about the travel ban. I will argue that if it were a Muslim ban, there would have been a lot more than seven countries on the list, but other than that, I'm not going to defend it, because I'm against it anyway. We're 100% for helping refugees in any way possible, and if that means letting them come live in the United States, I'm okay with that. (I will confess that we wouldn't want to let them live with us in our apartment, but that's probably true of at least 99.99% of the population of the world, so. (We're not excited about roommates is what we're saying.))

People keep being afraid that the refugees will come into our country and wreak havoc or something, and it's kind of mind-boggling. It's like, "You guys know these people are leaving their countries because they don't like bombings, right?" Well what if they're just pretending to be a refugee? ...I can't really answer that, but I think it's okay to take the risk.

Let's talk about the Good Samaritan. There's a key element to this story that I think a lot of people are forgetting. Samaritans were hated by Jews. Like, super hated. Jews would walk all the way around Samaria to get to the other side of it rather than go through it, and it's a long narrow country. What I'm saying is, the Samaritan in the story could very reasonably have thought, "But if I help this guy, he might wake up and try to kill me." But he helped the guy anyway.

I have another example, this time from a video game. In Final Fantasy Type-0, there's a side quest where you have to identify a spy. When you finally identify the spy, it turns out she grew up in Rubrum (the country she's working against) and now works for Milites (Rubrum's (and pretty much everybody's) sworn enemy). When confronted about it, she explained that when her home was destroyed in the war (there's constant war in the Type-0 world), it wasn't the Rubrans who took her in, gave her a blanket when she was cold and fed her when she was starving. It was Milites, and so now she's working for Milites. So what I'm saying is, when these refugees are cold and hungry and homeless, if they ask for help and we don't give it to them, why should we expect them to not hate us? On the other hand, if they thought they hate us, but we show them compassion when they need it, I like to think that most of them would forever think kindly of us.

Anyway, I'm sure anyone who's against letting refugees in has a bunch of other arguments that I haven't touched on, but basically what it boils down to is people need help and I think we should give it to them. We've read some of their stories on Humans of New York; these people have been through enough. And as a Christian, I think the Christlike thing is to help, and if they turn around and betray us, I believe the Lord will help us through that, too.

...And it seems kind of inappropriate to talk about Dionysus after that, so I'll have to save that for tomorrow.

Today I'm thankful for work going quickly today, getting to see Iran's video message, getting to watch Sleeping Beauty last night, getting to bed a little tiny bit early last night, and having a relatively safe home to live in.
14th-Feb-2017 02:07 am (UTC)
My response to "what if they're just pretending to be refugees?" is "I'm pretty sure they'd pick a more efficient way than going through 2 years of vetting by various international and national agencies if they were that determined to commit a terrorist attack." Like come as tourists or something. Everything I've read indicates that coming to the US as a refugee is basically the hardest way to get here (and also, that refugees don't get to choose to relocate to the US; it sounds like they have to be nominated by some UN official. if they had family here already that could give them priority over someone else, but it still wouldn't be an easy or quick process.)

But also, yes to everything you said! I think our response to the crisis as individuals and as a country can and will have a major impact on future international relations, so even if there was a safety issue here (which I'm skeptical of), the way the travel ban was carried out was incredibly irresponsible and damaging. And then when I see things posted/shared/"liked" by some of my Christian family members on fb, I wonder how they can condone messages of such hatred or fear. (on the other hand, I've seen many Christian friends and family who are speaking and acting on behalf of refugees, and I'm very glad for that—especially when they're willing to cross over the political divide to do so, because of all issues, I feel like this one really shouldn't come down to political parties.)

A group/organization that I've really appreciated reading/hearing from is called Preemptive Love Coalition. I shared a video of theirs on fb and have liked a few others (but I never know how much of that stuff shows up on other people's newsfeeds). They're involved in some of the worst-affected areas in the Middle East and are doing great work to support people there. And their message is all about loving first, loving anyway in spite of fear or danger. It feels really powerful and makes me want to be sure I'm living that way right here too! One point (that was important for me to hear) was that, whether people have valid reasons to be fearful or not, we shouldn't treat those fears dismissively but should hear them out and try to console/reason/whatever in a loving way. So while, yes, I think as Christians we ultimately can and should trust that we are in God's care in this life and the next, it's not right for me to just say "It's as easy as that! Just have more faith!" to my grandma who is certain that people with a different religious background are going to come here to change all our laws and take over the country.

...I've been reading and thinking a lot about this subject, and that's just a sliver of it. I haven't watched the videos you wrote about at the beginning of this post, but maybe I will now... (now in the general sense; not immediately, because my roommate is studying at the other end of the table.)

Now back to lettering a manga about people who live inside walls to keep themselves safe from the Outsiders...
14th-Feb-2017 02:30 pm (UTC)
Now that you mention it, I think I saw you post that response on Facebook. You're so right. Of all the ways to sneak into a country. (Of course, as a spy, that would make it all the more convincing, but I think generally if you need to pull off a deception that intricate, it's going to be for something other than blowing stuff up...or something much worse than blowing stuff up...)

I think there are a lot...probably most issues shouldn't be considered based on party politics. I wish people would consider things as individuals based on their own personal experiences and ideals. Dividing everything into two broad categories is just not the way to do things, especially when you keep trying to fit all the variations into the two boxes. ...This is such an abstract concept, I don't really know how to explain it, but the point is, sometimes people generally agree with one party but disagree with it on a few particulars. In those cases, they shouldn't feel pressured to vote against themselves just because they don't want to go against the party.

We definitely agree that we should listen to people and not dismiss their fears. I may have come across as a little dismissive when I said there are a bunch of arguments but what it boils down to is... But what I meant was that I didn't want to address those arguments here, mostly because I didn't want to write too much more. But of course, we're always open for civil discussion of things.

And hey, we didn't know they had you on Attack on Titan now (or one of the spin-offs thereof). Or is there a different manga with people living inside walls to keep themselves safe from Outsiders?
14th-Feb-2017 05:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah, for sure I wish people didn't feel they needed to identify so strongly with a political party or leader that they just accepted whatever that party's platform was on every issue. (and again, especially as Christians we should be using God's word as our filter for all our actions and beliefs, but sometimes it seems like (\some) Christians think there's only one political party available to them, and they go all in on that...)

And oh, again I didn't mean to suggest you sounded dismissive!! It didn't come across that way to me (and what's more, I just assumed in this case that most/all people reading your journal would agree with you anyway, although I could be wrong...) but I brought it up because I'd felt tempted to feel or even speak dismissively to people I disagreed with on the subject.

Hahahaha!!! You know, I actually had a parenthetical "It's not Attack on Titan btw" after that last sentence and I decided to leave it out. But it's not AoT :) (it's Girl from the Other Side/とつくにの少女, which Seven Seas just published the first volume of!)
14th-Feb-2017 05:45 pm (UTC)
We definitely hear you on the some Christians thinking there's only one "right" party. But the fact is, there is great good and great evil on both sides, so people really need to learn to think for themselves and not let the loudest members of their affiliated party think for them.

Haha, I just like to cover my bases. Most people who know us in real life (I hope) know that we're pretty good at listening, but some people have knee-jerk reactions to things.

That's so funny! I guess it's getting to be a trope now...which I think should tell us something. (Possibly that people find it to be an interesting premise.)
14th-Feb-2017 06:27 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure if I've seen the insider/outsider thing enough to call it a trope yet; if anything, the trend this one follows is... maybe it'd be like a sub-category of beauty and the beast? young/innocent girl + a monstrous-looking character (but in this case there's no hint of romance). They gave me this series because I'm also lettering Ancient Magus' Bride, and it seems like I've seen one or two recent HtY series with monster princes... But in any case, it did strike me as a relevant story for current events!
14th-Feb-2017 10:06 pm (UTC)
Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it's not there! ...But we haven't either, so we couldn't say one way or the other.
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