Over the past few months there has been a number of news reports about a flood of refugees populating European countries. While it is clear that these refugees are leaving their countries due to the damages of war, the citizens of the occupied countries are becoming quite unwelcoming. The entire continent of Europe seems to be experiencing a case of xenophobia as many people fear the idea of a coming “Islamic influence.” The refugees who have been marching through Hungary and trying to get to other EU nations, are former citizens of war torn Syria, Egypt, and other middle eastern countries, who are trying to flee the ideology wars going on in their country. Many citizens of European Union countries who don’t want to entertain the presence of these refugees due to fear are not even realizing the type of fear that comes with fleeing from a war zone. I know that many countries have reached out and decided to take on some of the refugees, but I don’t feel as though it is enough to just take them in, people need to be accepted and truly welcomed. Many of the refugees are not willing to stay in Hungary because they are trying to find a place were they can live, work, and thrive, and it seems like in Hungary they will always just be refugees. I know that many EU countries have pledged to take on and support a number of these travelers, but until they understand that these people are looking to be accepted into a new home, the refugees will continue to move until they find a peaceful place.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is a famous astrophysicist who has seemingly brought the exciting world of physics to a generation that no longer cares for the subject. In this era of pop culture kings and queens, it is important to have a voice that provides education while the rest of the world seems to be running from it. Today I read an article from about a year ago, in which Tyson was asked about his stance on religion, a topic he generally stays away from. He basically stated that he is fine with it, but he just doesn’t want it taught in science classrooms. I respect the answer Tyson gave, since to be honest, science is much easier to understand than faith, but the author of the article seemed to miss the point. The article was written by an atheist writer, who would be considered a “militant atheist,” these individuals attack faith and religion as though it is hurting them, rather than ignore it like other atheists. The author stated he wanted Tyson to completely denounce the idea of religion and take a stance against it, rather than give his non combative opinion on the mater. I think Tyson gave the best response that he could have, since he doesn’t study religion, and he doesn’t want to make it his job to tell others what not to believe. The author of the article ended up sounding like an upset man looking for others to join his crusade against people who are not fighting with him. I have not read many of Tyson’s works, but I am fully aware of his contributions to physics. Tyson considers himself an educator, and the primary job of an educator is to enlighten and foster discovery by experimentation. I hope Tyson continues to educate in the same non combative way he has in the past, since there really is no reason to alienate an entire group due to small differences.