Barring a minor miracle, tonight’s final Republican debate of 2015 will involve at least a few disparaging-to-hateful comments about immigrants, refugees and/or Muslims. So much for "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses."
For those who find themselves discouraged by the tenor of the conversation tonight, may I suggest walking away from the debate from time to time and searching for the #WelcometoCanada hashtag on Twitter. On the night of Dec. 10, Canada welcomed its first 600 Syrian refugees. (Ten thousand are due in the country in the next three weeks.) In response to their arrival, thousands of Canadians have been posting words of welcome.
Here are just a few examples:
#WelcomeToCanada my home is now your home, my country is now your country, and this safety is now your safety— Brianna(: (@BriannaErnest) December 11, 2015
You are here and you are safe. You are here and you are loved. You are here and you can stay. Never been more proud. #WelcomeToCanada— Riley Lange (@rileylange) December 11, 2015
#WelcomeToCanada I can't wait to share my beautiful country with amazing people who deserve it after all they've been through,welcome home— Alexe (@darksoulatl) December 11, 2015
I am neither Syrian nor Canadian, but #WelcomeToCanada has filled me with hope this morning. Faith in humanity has been restored. Thank you.— Yasmin Kassem (@YasminKassem2) December 11, 2015
Videos, too, have been posted, including this remarkable performance by a children’s choir of “Tala’ al-Badru ‘Alayna,” the song of gratitude and welcome sung to the Prophet Mohamed when he sought refuge in Medina.
St. Ignatius says in the midst of discouragement it’s important to recall those times when we knew hope, joy, kindness, grace. As some politicians’ words seed fear or despair, how nice it can be to turn elsewhere and be reminded of the goodness that lies within us.
Oh the white moon rose over usFrom the valley of Wada'It is incumbent upon us to show gratitudeFor as long as anyone in existence calls out to GodOh our Messenger amongst usWho comes with the exhortations to be heededYou have brought to this city nobilityWe welcome you who call to us a good way