I'm so confused lately by what is on the news.
I don't think I've ever seen so much hate. Bigoted, hurtful, oppressive hate. I get hate. I feel hate. But, when I hate, I don't hide that hate behind something as neutral as Christianity. And, I'm not saying all Christians hate. But, the haters seem to brag about their Christianity as a reason for their hate.
Now, I've been uninvolved in religion for a long time. The church I grew up in was not interested in me, as a gay man, so I drifted away and lost interest in it. But, as I remember it, the whole basis of modern Christianity was love... not hate, so you can see how this would be confusing to me.
These people with their hate have filled me with apprehension at what should be a very happy time. People are killing other people for stupid ideals. They've threatened civil war and to kill gays if gay marriage becomes legal. And, based on what we saw in Charleston, they're willing to do it. Of course, I'm confused and afraid.
I grew up in Northern Louisiana. I grew up around racism. The N word was just another adjective in that place and time. But, I was taught that it was a rude word. A word that I should not use. This was a time of desegregation in the south, and as I got older, I was around, and became friends with more and more African American kids. It was a big deal when an African American kid was elected, with me, to the National Junior Honor Society. It was a big deal when the Spanish club had a holiday party at my house and my Mom told me that the one African American student in the club was the first African American guest she had ever had in her home. It was a remarkable event, but not a big deal. He was as welcome as everyone else. There's even a picture somewhere of him sitting in my Dad's recliner, a very special seat in the house.
Recently, someone accused me of not caring for the way I was raised. And, like every other person in the world, I would have to say that is partially true. No family is perfect. But, I was taught about love, respect for others, and, even though we were right in the middle of a very racist part of the country, I was taught not to be a racist. Those are parts of my childhood that I do remember and that I do care for. And, they are lessons I am passing on to my own kid.
Times are supposed to have changed. But, damn it's taking a long time. And, it's only going to be accomplished by people doing exactly what we are and teaching a child tolerance, love, and peace.
Rob says this is the death knell of hate. That a younger generation will help us overwhelm the residual haters. I sure hope he's right.
We shall overcome. We shall overcome some day.
It's funny. I usually cook during the news. But, you know those cutesy little human interest stories that they tell? I stop and stand in front of the TV to watch those. I need those stories. I need to see that there are good people, doing good things. And, while the media may be heavily tilted to telling the bad news, I'm so glad they still find a few minutes for good. If I owned a news network, I'd have a daily news show that only reported the good things people do for one another.
Have a good Thursday. Today, we could hear from the Supreme Court. Either this country will move forward in response to a majority of its citizens, or it will be held back by legally sanctioned prejudice. But, held back is not the same thing as stopped. We will eventually get it.