Monday, November 16, 2015

It's OK to Grieve for Paris

To Those Who Would Criticize Those Who Grieve for France

Yes, it is true that so far in 2015 there have been approximately 297 documented terror attacks around the world: In January-30,  in February-12, in March-22, April-20, May-27, June-30, July-40, August 32, September-16, October-48, and so far in November-20. In some of these attacks, only the perpetrator was killed or injured. Fatalities or injuries in other attacks ranged from one to over 2,000. Methods used were shellings, bombings (IED's as well as carbombs), suicide bombings, beheadings, stabbings,  arson,  shootings, poisonings, vehicular attacks and more.  Beirut, the West Bank, the Philippines, Copenhagen, the Ukraine, Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq, China, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and other countries and regions have been affected. Some by militant crazies, others by rogue governments, lone wolves and many by radical jihadist groups and individuals. People who more visibly grieve over the IS attacks in France have been criticized by some for singling out France while purportedly ignoring other victims of terror attacks. Let me offer some reasons why the attacks in France may resonate more with those of us in the Western World:
1) France was a champion of "Liberte'" with us when we were struggling for independence as a nation.
2) France, like the USA, strives to live openly (which involves risk).
3) Paris, for goodness' sake, is universally known as "the City of Love" 
4) France and other Western European countries, like the USA, emulate principles of equality, freedom of speech and, for the most part, elective forms of government.
5) IS, by attacking innocent ones in Paris, brings a realization that it seems NOT to be so well contained, and is edging closer to us.
So when Paris comes under terrorist attack, many of us feel it more intensely and identify with it more. Many of us have been to Paris, and so grieve for it with more poignancy.
Take care to allow people to relate and identify. It can be part of their awakening,  and can serve as a reminder of what has happened to us on our own soil as well, lest we lose our vigilance.
Then indeed, let us also understand that the many other innocent victims in the many other countries are also just as precious in God's sight.
The best thing we can do is pray, and pray for our leaders, and pray for the free world (along with those who strive to be free) to band together in order to stamp out these threats and to live better than they do by enjoying our freedoms and thriving and prospering and living and loving to the fullest. And we must come to the aid of all victims and their families with our treasure and opportunity.

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