“Pets: Please don’t feed stray cats, dogs, or illegal humans.” My new campground rocks. I can’t say enough good things about it. Good people, too. It seems to be the theme of my life that a large percentage of good people have some belief I find indigestible.
But it’s a different culture here. I’m pretty close to the border, and I’d guess that there must be a big border crossing nearby, because I have seen one policeman in a week, and about fifty border patrol cars. I see a border patrol helicopter every day.
In fact, there is a border patrol car parked somewhere along my street 24/7. There are signs all over the clubhouse saying, “Illegal’s, call 1-800-USBP-HELP.” (Yes, illegal’s, not illegals.) There are billboards everywhere.
Immigration is complicated. I don’t believe in closed borders, but I do need to do some open-minded research before I start making public judgments about it. I’d be happy for you to help educate me.
In the meantime, I love this campground rule, not because it gives me indigestion, but because it’s so indicative of how humans can be so cruel and insensitive to each other: they dehumanize them.
I hate this sentence, because seriously? If a fellow human being shows up on my doorstep, dying of thirst and hunger, I’m supposed to show them no more respect or mercy than a stray cat? (And it would be incredibly difficult for me to not feed a stray cat, too.)
I am grateful I live in a gated campground, because I will never have to wrestle with breaking or not breaking the rules. I will obey the laws of my country, of course, but I will pray I am never in a position to have to test that obedience.
If everyone loved someone who was gay, saw them in love with someone else firsthand, I’d bet the votes for same-sex marriage would be closer to 95% to 5%, rather than hovering around 48% to 52%. I’ve talked with people who think gay love is disgusting. I’ve watched their lips curl as they mentally made homosexuals less than human. I’ve said before that all love is beautiful. It is, if only you look.
Likewise, if everyone loved someone who wanted to immigrate to the United States, we’d have open borders. It’s easy to vote against immigration, but how easy is it to vote against Karin Bachmeier, your cousin? Or Juan Garcia, the love of your sister’s life? Geeze, we’re only 200 years old. We’re all immigrants, save many Mexicans and Native Americans.
Did you know that they’ve done studies? Remember Gladiator? Do you know why there was a dog in the opening battle? Because we humans react more emotionally to dogs dying than to humans dying.
We make dogs more than human and humans less than dogs.
Why is it that when it comes to fellow humans, a large majority of us close ourselves off to others? We judge them instead of walk in their shoes. We think of them as no better than strays, rather than drum up some compassion and empathy.
Because, at the end of the day, it’s not that complicated. That person is your brother, your sister, your mother, your lover. Every human is someone with hopes, dreams, and fears. Every human laughs; every human cries. Every human is worthy of respect and love and dignity. Certainly of compassion and understanding.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”