In the Middle East and Africa, right now, lots of people are killing other people, mercilessly. Recently, some Christians were beheaded.

Some say the roots of this violence are economic. Others claim the root of the problem is religious intolerance. Some say that terrorists are hijacking religion for their own agendas. Whatever! Let’s find a way to respond to these troubles in a nonviolent way – something, anything, that diminishes the suffering and death there.

Would you consider joining me in a call to bring some of these suffering Christian families to Maine? We can offer safety and religious tolerance here.

If we offered asylum to them, and a well-defined path to citizenship, our society would gain new citizens. And don’t we need new citizens, new families with children? Especially families that already share our religious values? Are we deaf to their grief and sorrow?

If you disagree with this idea, can you say why? We have sufficient space, correct? If we brought a thousand suffering Christians to Maine, wouldn’t that be a drop in the bucket of our state’s population of 1.3 million?

Are we unwilling to try something, while they face life-threatening dangers daily? To bring them here would be cheaper than sending troops “over there” to kill more people, would it not? The West has been sending armies to the Middle East for a thousand years; valor in arms has not resolved the ugly issues of interfaith violence.

Why wouldn’t we provide a path to earn citizenship, eventually, for such families, right here in Maine?

Let’s figure out how to get this started. Let America continue to be the shining light in the darkness of our times.

Jay Fulton

North Yarmouth