Let’s all just get along

Sara Petersen

I went Christmas shopping with my mom and sister Saturday at Levis Commons, which is the Toledo equivalent of Crocker Park.

We were walking around a Shoe Carnival and stumbled upon a group of women clothed in dark-colored Hijabs and speedily talking in their native language. I overheard an American woman negatively mumbling about them. I heard the words, “If they’re going to be in America, they need to learn to fit in.”

Some areas of the Middle East are pretty violent. I find having a secure place to live an undeniable right; it says so in our Constitution, if not in those exact words.

If people can agree with this, then let our doors be wide open. Isn’t that why the colonies seceded from Great Britain, to be relieved from oppression? My ancestors came from Germany to America to build a better life. Let us not forget where most of us came from.

We can agree that legal immigrants are allowed into the United States, so why shouldn’t we celebrate their cultures? Every year in Toledo there is a German-American festival, and I’ve heard Cleveland on St. Patrick’s Day gets pretty intense. Why can’t we let those from the Middle East hold onto and celebrate their culture?

Just because their religion is different from ours doesn’t mean they’re barbarians; freedom of religion was why the Mayflower sailed to the Americas in the first place.

We all need to come together and get over our differences. During the course of the semester we have been divided because of the election, and most recently with the discussion of the same-sex marriage ban.

My theory about the whole concept of same-sex relations is that people are people and love is love. I vividly remember sitting on a couch a few years ago with a friend who is gay, holding him while he cried into my shoulder and repeated over and over that if he could change he would because he just wants to be like everybody else, but he can’t.

I must come clean with you. In past columns I have said I’m a Christian. With this statement I mainly wanted to protect my reputation among my Christian friends. However, I am a Unitarian more than anything else, and I find equality to be the most important aspect in every facet of life.

With this in mind, I cannot believe God would condemn people to hell if he created them to love the same sex. I absolutely refuse to believe it. Besides, Jesus’ main message was to not only love your brother, sister and neighbor, but your enemies as well.

Love. That’s what Jesus taught. People are people. Love is love. These people are not hurting anybody by loving each other. Let them live and let them love.

Our country is hurting, and I’m terrified because it’s probably only going to get worse. We need to forget race, religion, sexual orientation, political ideologies and anything else that may divide us. We all have a common unity – we all live in this country, and we must work together.

Let’s start by building an even stronger community here at Kent State. Just because a group of people is a different race, sexual orientation or political party from you doesn’t make them inferior or superior to you. It doesn’t matter what your religion is; remember to love and accept others around you.

We can only achieve this goal of unity by building acceptance and nurturing tolerance.

Sara Petersen is a junior public relations major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].