The trains that were running west of Budapest, Hungary a few days ago to Austria and Germany have stopped. The border between Serbia and Hungary has been sealed. This is not a good time if you are a 76- year old Afghanistan man or a three-month old Syrian female baby refugee.
One of my favorite movies is " The Sound Of Music. " Every time, I watch it I see more and more of the richness of its universal message; the power of music can triumph and uplift the human spirit, and can even conquer tyrannical political regimes.
There is that great scene in the movie where the Von Trapp Family is escaping from the convent. The Nazi governmental officials of Austria are trying to tail them in their car. The scene then shifts to Mother Superior asking one of her fellow sisters why the vehicles outside the convent are not starting ? We then see the other nun sheepishly grin and hold up the metal clippers that cut the cables.
Of course, the film's ending is very hopeful with the Von Trapp family hiking over the Alps from Austria into Switzerland to the sound of " Climb Every Mountain. "
Where are the nuns with the metal clippers now ? We need them now !
We need people with courage to stand up and demand that human rights will be honored for these refugees, particularly these people who are fleeing violence and death from the hands of despot leaders in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Right now, we will continue to see desperate and anxious people traverse across Croatia, forge across the Danube River and hopefully dodge land mines that date back to the Bosnian war and then climb over the mountains of Slovenia with the hope of trying to get into Austria.
Will this be a Rodgers And Hammerstein production complete with idyllic scenery, great casting, great music and great story telling ?
No one knows for sure.
We do know that with the current refugee crisis we are witnessing a great story. It is a story of Exodus, of people seeking freedom from tyranny and bondage. The parallels, in some instances to the 1930's and 1940's, is of concern. Europe knows, all too well, the pain and the suffering and the dislocation due to war.
The European Union needs to be congratulated and supported regarding the efforts that have been undertaken to support and offer sanctuary to refugees in European countries. The United States as well needs to be vitally involved in the support and the resettlement of this refugee population.
The religious community of the world needs to demand of political leaders that human rights will be honored and will not be violated. We cannot allow one xenophobic government, manipulating innocent vulnerable people for their own political interests, to dictate the terms for this group of humanity.
The United Nations, the European Union, Amnesty International, etc., need to work to ensure that the current enslavement of refugees and resulting criminalization of their efforts to gain freedom and protection from violence and certain death will end.
We need to be the Nuns who hold up the metal clippers.
May it be so now !