A Southern Pastor: #WeAreMuslim (VIDEO)

I have tried to write this article for two weeks. It feels as if I should be saying something, doing something, sharing something, anything. But every time I sit down to type, every scripture I decide to write about, every story about Jesus and his call for justice and mercy and love, just freezes my hands, and I close the window on my computer and decide I will begin to write again tomorrow.

There are more scriptures in the bible about how we are supposed to treat people, all people, than I can quote. There is the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and countless writings of our founding fathers about what this country is supposed to look like, how we are supposed to function, what is right and good. I can talk about history and mistakes we’ve made which surely we don’t want to make again. I can talk about politics and journalism, and how we have lost the trust in our press which is so important if we are to have an informed populace. I can talk about free speech, and how absolutely nothing is more important than that if we are to keep a democracy.

But when I sit down to write about those things, I start crying. I am not trying to be dramatic; I literally begin to cry. And I know I am not alone. So many of us are concerned, scared, mad, and even confused. It is difficult to imagine how we got here, and how in the world we are going to get back. I am afraid we are experiencing a sort of country-wide anxiety which has stunned us, and we are all attempting to make sense of what is happening and what it means.

I am overwhelmed.

As I sit writing this now, many innocent people are being detained in airports, facing deportation, or being denied the sanctuary of our borders as they flee from terror in their homelands. And that is why I cry. I sit here, knowing what is happening, seeing it happen, and having no idea how to stop it from happening.

All across the country, little grassroots groups are forming. In my own hometown there was a postcard writing session today where people of like minds came together and filled out piles of postcards to send to their representatives. I just saw a video of a large crowd gathering at an airport to protest against the detainment of Muslims there. There are walks, Facebook groups, Twitter accounts, prayer vigils, group trips to state capitals, organizers forming in small towns, lunches to discuss options, rogue government employees and offices, and outspoken clergy members.

This is where it starts. None of us can face this situation in our country alone, but we can face it together. We are mercy and justice. We are history and tradition. We are the descendants of those who fought for freedom in World Wars, and who swore we would never do that again. We are strong. We are  brave. We are America.

Join a Facebook group. Follow a Twitter account. Find a local group and attend a meeting. Start making signs. Buy some comfortable walking shoes. And stand next to your Muslim brothers and sisters as they face this newest round of hatred and discrimination. You may need them to stand by you very soon.

#resist #wearemuslim #jesuscallsus

Melanie Tubbs is a professor, pastor, mother, Mimi, and true Arkansas woman. She lives with nine cats and one dog on a quiet hill in a rural county where she pastors a church and teaches history at the local university. Her slightly addictive personality comes out in shameful Netflix binges and a massive collection of books. Vegetarian cooking, reading mountains of books for her seminary classes, and crocheting for the churches prayer shawl ministry take up most of her free time, and sharing the love of Christ forms the direction of her life. May the Peace of Christ be with You.