What are you currently doing about the Mid-East situation?
Let's start with the second part. For many of us, it's hard to know WHAT to do.
- Calling, writing, faxing, and emailing our representatives in Congress, Senators, and the President and the administration have led to one outcome, for me. I get a nice letter on letterhead stationery that assures me they have listened to my concerns, appreciate my contacting them, and that they will keep my thoughts in mind - and, BTW, don't forget to vote.
- I have written in online comment boxes on news sites, blogs, magazines. I Share, Comment, and Like posts that reference the conflicts and urge action. I've signed the online petitions.
- I bring up the subject with almost everyone I know. They are generally sympathetic to the fate of the Christians and Jews in the region, but, when asked for more, say "What can I do?". They are not asking the question, but justifying their decision to put the issue to the back of their mind.
- I pray - daily. I have no doubt that the practice has efficacy, but truly think that the time for action is here. There is a legitimate time for "Praise the Lord, and Pass the Ammunition". It's the idea of a Just War.
Nonetheless, I am opposed to any American action that puts our military representatives in danger. I have NO confidence that the current administration will be effective - they seem to just want a photo op that bolsters the leaders for their next election. They want to convince the public that there is an action called the "surgical strike" that will ONLY kill the ISIS members who are engaged in an atrocity at that moment, but leave all others in place to - what? - regret their actions? Like that would happen!
One of the few politicians who seem capable of speaking the plain truth in public is Newt Gingrich - yes, I know he's not the greatest representative of Conservative philosophy in action - 3 marriages would, for many, disqualify him from commenting on SSM - but, he does not shy away from telling the truth in public.
So, yes, voting will have SOME effect. I'm also going to be writing to our pastor, and urging several actions:
- Practical help - donations, resettlement assistance, prayer
- Preaching about it - each week, there should be BOTH prayers for our Christian and Jewish brethren, AND suggested actions for the congregation to follow - petitions, letters to the editor, distribution of fact sheets that they can copy and use to educate their neighbors, friends and family, workplace (NOT political, but educating about the concept of Just War, links to donation sites, etc).
I do plan to continue to post on Facebook, but do not consider that effective action. Just hitting the Like button is not enough. Sharing is not enough. It is, however, a start in spreading information.
I like FB. I use it to keep up with friends and family. Sometimes, it can be a part of your toolbox in educating the people you are connected with.
But, by itself, it is NOT enough. We need to move beyond FB "activism".