Scene opens in the basement of a small church in a small town in Alabama. A group of concerned townsfolk have gathered to discuss the looming threat.
Bill: “It just ain’t right, I tell ya. They’re practically on our doorstep. We’re all in danger.”
Mary Beth: Looking around the room at the others. “You don’t think it could really happen, do you?”
Buford: “If it does, I got my shotgun that’ll send ’em all back to Allah!”
Murmurs of approval from the group.
Harry: “They’re all terrorists, every last one of them, we all know that. Why is there even talk of letting them in?”
Carl: “It’s that damn Obama and his Liberal agenda, that’s what it is!”
More murmurs of approval.
Mary Beth: “I heard that not only are they all terrorists but that many of them are… GAY!”
Gasps of horror.
Bill: “Oh good Lord Jesus… gay terrorists. It really must be the end of days.”
Carl: “Whaddya think they’d do? Do ya think they’d make you… you know… DO things before they killed ya?”
Mary Beth: In a shrill voice. “Of course they would, Carl. That’s what them gays do. They’re all rapists!”
Buford: “Sweet Jesus on a pogo stick. This is worse than I thought. Better start stocking up on my shotgun shells.”
Pastor Steve: “Now everyone just calm down. These people aren’t getting anywhere near our country. You’ve all watched the news. You know our governor has said he ain’t lettin’ none of them in our state.”
Bill: “But what about other states. Some of them are actually askin’ to have them fuckin’ refugees!”
Pastor Steve: “Bill, watch your tongue. This is a house of God.”
Bill: Holding up his hands. “Sorry, sorry. I meant to say. ‘those fuckin’ Muslims.”
He looks at Steve apologetically. Steve nods his approval at the correction.
Carl: “Well all I know is, Donald Trump seems to be the only one taking this seriously. He wants to brand them all and put them into camps.”
Several “Hell yeah” shouts are heard.
Buford: “I heard him say we should just nuke Syria. Blow them towel-headed bastard back to Kingdom Come!”
Mary Beth: “Why is anyone even thinking about helping those people? I mean, we’re Christians! Why would we want non-Christians in America?”
Buford: “George Washington would be turning in his grave if we started doin’ that.”
Bill: “Them Liberals keep talking about compassion for others. Maybe they don’t know the Bible like we do. An eye for an eye, that’s what I say!
Carl: “They killed like a thousand people in France and now they just want to waltz in here like they ain’t done nothin’? That’s bullshit! Why ain’t they in prison?”
Harry: “It’s because of Germany. They’re sheltering them all and protecting them from justice. Fuckin’ Nazi bastards.”
Buford: “We should nuke the krauts too then.”
Pastor Steve: “I think we need to keep our heads here. What we need to do is stand united as one voice and make it clear that good Christian Americans aren’t going to let a bunch of killers into our country. We should draft a letter to the Governor and to the President letting them know where we stand. We also need to go on television and make our voices heard. Otherwise, the Liberals will get their way and the Arabs will start coming in just like the Mexicans did.”
Carl: “Maybe the Arabs will take the jobs that the Mexicans took from us?”
Harry: “Just more freeloaders that take government handouts from my tax dollars.”
Pastor Steve: “Illegal immigrants don’t even PAY taxes!”
Bill: “But… aren’t churches tax exempt?”
Pastor Steve: “That’s not the point, Bill.”
Mary Beth: “I don’t want to get raped by gay terrorists! Can’t we do something?”
Carl: “Mary Beth, I don’t think a gay terrorist would rape…”
Buford: “We grab our guns and take the fight to them! God, guns and country!”
Loud whoops of agreement fill the room.
Rita: “E… excuse me. Hi, I’m Rita, the new librarian. I wasn’t going to say anything but… maybe we should be a bit more reasonable about all of this. I mean, most of the refugees are women and children. They’re fleeing a war torn country filled with violence and religious oppression and all they want is a decent chance at a safe life for themselves and family. All refugees go through a rigorous security screening and over 2,000 refugees from Syria have already been allowed in this country and not one of them has been accused or arrested for any kind of terrorist activity. Shouldn’t we, as Christians stop jumping at shadows and show the kind of love and compassion that Jesus did? Isn’t it our duty to help others in need instead of demonizing them?”
Long silent pause.
Buford: “Who the Hell let this Commie Liberal in here?”
Mary Beth: “Witch! That’s the Devil talking!”
Bill: “Maybe she’s one of them. A terrorist!”
Loud talking and accusations fill the room.
Pastor Steve: “Now everyone just CALM DOWN! There’s no need to get excited and fly off the handle. Buford, put that chair down. You’re all acting like a bunch of wild children.”
Carl: “Sorry, Pastor Steve.”
Harry: “You’re right. We lost our heads.”
Pastor Steve: “That’s better. Now… what do we do with heretics, people? Hmmm… c’mon, you all know the answer.”
Bill: Sighs. “We burn her at the stake.”
Pastor Steve: “That’s right. We burn her at the stake. Honestly, do any of you even listen to my sermons each Sunday?”
Harry: “I’ll get the gasoline.”
Buford: “I’ll start stacking the wood.”
Scene fades out to the sound of screams amidst the singing of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” in the flickering light of a large bonfire.
[I hate having to explain satire, but I know this piece will raise the ire of many. The point is to illustrate an extreme to demonstrate an idea. I know many Christians are loving and compassionate and not all have allowed themselves to fall prey to the fear mongering and xenophobia that is sweeping America. However, the hypocrisy of so many of those angrily shouting about not helping refugees for fear that in doing so, terrorists will start jumping out from behind every bush is disgraceful and it angers me. And as faithful readers of my blog know, when I get angry, I write.
If you enjoyed this article, great. If it pissed you off, even better. I hope it made you look at yourself for a moment and ask if you see any of yourself in the characters. Until next time…]
One thought on “Concerned Citizens”
I see the characters as being out of control and irrational in their way of thinking. However, I’m not immune to being cautious when it comes to letting just anyone in. I think most people want the ones coming in to be carefully screened and not just assume there will be no terrorist among them. That to me, would be going to the other extreme . It does not take a huge amount of people to create mass murder…such as what occurred in France. Sure, there are mostly women and children coming in, however, there are also young men and who’s to say a woman can not be part of the problem….one was killed in France and she was not a innocent women trying to flee to freedom! Some people have been taken to different states and the states have not even been informed….who pays for the food, housing, heath services and get jobs for these people? Most of it is up to the states….the government is not going to take care of the bills…and the part that is taken care of comes from all United States citizens that pay taxes…the government does not have any money except from the citizens! There are countless people that have helped the United States with the problems in their country and they have been waiting to come to the United States for quite some time….we do not see them being let in so easily! Where is the compassion there? From those that have actually helped us! And, proven themselves. No, I do not see myself as any of the characters in your story.