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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Light a Candle Tonight

Dear Readers,

Most of you are going to read this post in the safety of your home, surrounded by your family, safe and secure and wondering what is happening in the world today. We would like to ask you to please light a candle for all of those who have been lost in senseless terrorist attacks to include the most recent ones in Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad. We hope their families can find comfort and their killers are brought to justice.

Last night I tucked in my two beautiful, innocent boys, kissed their little foreheads, made them smile and giggle, and went downstairs with the thought that none of us are safe. Nothing is guaranteed in this life. Not another year, month, week, day, hour, or minute. Terrorists around the world are making sure we go to bed every single night remembering that. They want to breed fear and hate.

After the Paris attacks, I started seeing hateful, bigoted posts on social media saying "all Muslims are evil", "this is Islam's fault", "Syrian refugees were a part of this", and "close all our borders". The Muslim religion is not ISIS. ISIS is not the Muslim religion. Over 1.6 billion people in the world practice Islam, people just like you and me who fall in love, get married, worry about their kids, go to work every day, struggle with money problems, and pray for the strength and wisdom to do the right thing. They just happen to practice a different religion than we do.

For those of you who know me personally, you know I am not a fluffy bunny person. I am not about poofy clouds and "all is wonderful with the world if we just learn to love and accept everybody." But I am not so jaded -- and certainly not so cold-hearted -- that I would wish the genocide of millions of people simply because they don't share my beliefs. That is exactly what the terrorists wish for.

Some might argue we need to be aggressive about keeping ourselves safe, and I agree. Open your eyes to things around you. Pay attention to what's going on. Be vigilant. But don't turn your fear into hate and bigotry. Blame who is to blame: all those involved in the senseless, violent acts of extreme religious bigotry, not those who happen to share a religion, culture, or skin color with people who have perpetrated evil.
So please join me in lighting a candle tonight to pray for lives senselessly lost, comfort to the suffering, and love and understanding to our hearts.