There's lots of stuff out there now. Too much stuff.
Donald Trump. I think that when it comes time to punch a hole in the ballot, people won't actually vote for the man. But even if he fades in a few weeks and isn't the Republican candidate, he is causing a great deal of harm to this country right now. He is using people's fears about Islam to promote things that are completely unacceptable and that are creating an environment that is at best scary and at worst dangerous for Muslims living in the US. In addition, his words are getting a lot of coverage in the media internationally and whether we like it or not, people are hearing what he is saying and that is not good. Also, while the media has played their role in this fiasco, I do not think this is a media-driven crisis. It is driven by fears that too many misinformed Americans have about Islam. Also, I am concerned that Trump will make candidates like Cruz look rational which they are not.
Muslims, refugees, all of that. Please tell your elected leaders to welcome refugees. Please make it clear that any rule that applies only to people of one religion is not acceptable. Please protest if your city council tries to vote to ban refugees from your city. Please be friendly to any Muslim you see (and usually you won't even know you have, of course, but do it if you notice). Support businesses run by Muslims. Please don't define terrorists by their religion- there is no major religion on this planet that promotes terrorism. Please don't contribute to the fear even if you are nervous yourself. Educate yourself instead.
The policy. I support my leaders and I follow church doctrine but I can't support this specific policy. I couldn't have supported the priesthood and temple ban for black members either. Some people think that a good member of the church must support this policy, but that makes no sense to me since many of the same people also don't support church policies about not carrying concealed weapons into churches or that undocumented immigrants can get baptized. You can tell me all the reasons why this new policy is logical and necessary but that doesn't fix anything for me because it just feels painful to me and seems neither logical or necessary to me. It is so hard to be LGBT in this church and now it's even worse. It's so hard already when your family doesn't fit the Mormon mold and children from some of those families will now be even further isolated by not being able to be baptized or (for boys) to receive the priesthood which will greatly limit their church participation. I care greatly about the impact this will have on individual members. I am sad that some friends of mine, including people I have known for decades, have left the church because of this.
San Bernardino. I cannot begin to tell you how ironic it is that two terrorists used a common US method to kill people- one that we never really have tried to stop no matter how many times it happens. They bought their guns legally. They did what a lot of other people have done in the US so many times in the last twenty years. We will still not pass any more measures to regulate the sale, purchase, transfer, modification, manufacture, storage, or use of guns. We won't even have a decent conversation about it. We'll just have people advocate for banning Muslims from entering the country so Americans can continue to kill each other because apparently we aren't terrorists.
And despite my testiness on these subjects, I am enjoying Advent and Hanukkah and Washington DC right now.