Thanksgiving -- at least in the form we celebrate it in this country -- is an American invention, and also a holiday about each of our relationships to America.
Donald Trump's toxic comments about immigrants and women are completely counter to the spirit of my late husband Gene Kelly. Not only would Gene be appalled by Trump's deplorable words and actions, he would be stricken that such depravity could be tolerated in a race for President of the United States.
Both the War on Terror and the War on Drugs have created larger problems than they have solved, and have been exploited for aims other than the stated objectives of stopping acts of terror and the flow of drugs.
Thanksgiving is a time when American families living under the terrifying threat of deportation will gather. We know that pilgrims were immigrants, too. We know how to bake a turkey until it's golden and go nuts when our team gets a key first down. Like I said, American families.
Today, we are faced with the same choice we have confronted in the past -- whether to give into fear and prejudice or align ourselves with our highest ideals.
Perhaps your tradition has been to share what you have gratitude for, be it individual or part of a bigger picture. How about switching it up and talk...
Throughout history, we haven't always reciprocated generosity, as seen by how we've treated our native neighbors. That shouldn't preclude us from giving thanks to them now, and from continuing to be welcomers ourselves.
I've never had the privilege of visiting Idaho so I can't say that I know you. I don't know your specific fears or experiences and I would never presume to minimize or dismiss them. All I can say is that we're all Americans, and we share the ability to talk to each other with an open mind and an open heart.
I was thirteen when 9/11 happened, just a few weeks into the start of the eighth grade. The series of events that that horrifying incident put into action are still playing out to this day, 14 years later.
With all the Sturm und Drang surrounding the movement of displaced refugees -- and the hostile pushback from self-serving politicians -- I'm reminded of my own situation.
To welcome refugees need not jeopardize our national security. To turn them away risks contributing to the harm they have already experienced, while changing who Iowans have been at our best.
Our immigration system is an immoral mess that throws obstacle after barricade in front of the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. It doesn't prevent terrorists from entering the U.S. And it certainly doesn't excel at making America more competitive or innovative.
In choosing to love the neighbors we do not like, we separate who we are from what we do. We can love the essence of an individual without liking the choices they have made or the way they live their lives. We can love the sinner without approving of the sin.
Here's an idea. This Thursday, let's have a national day of feasting specifically designed to celebrate the most famous batch of undocumented immigrants ever to plant themselves in the land that we call America. That would be the Pilgrims.
This week, as the death toll in the Paris attacks climbed to 130, the rhetoric in the U.S. turned ugly. Even though all the attackers identified so far were European nationals, American politicians were vying to see who could shut the door on Syrian refugees the hardest. On Thursday, the House voted to add more requirements to what is already an arduous process. Even worse was Jeb Bush's suggestion that perhaps refugees should have to prove that they're Christian, or Donald Trump saying we might have "no choice" but to shut down mosques. Marco Rubio went one step further, saying "it's about closing down any place" where "radicals are being inspired." Even as Americans continue to stand with Parisians, our leaders seem ready to abandon our principles. What the terrorists are attacking is openness and tolerance -- giving them exactly what they want seems like a very odd way to fight them.
What is the difference, after all, between taking a sword and hacking the head off of children ... or shutting children out out by means of our governors, knowing they will freeze to death because they have no shelter from the bitter cold of winter?