Oh, the hate

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. 



lw said...

I worry about hate a lot, too. The one thing that nearly all of the mass murderers have had in common is the use of psychiatric drugs; general practitioners give them out like candy, so that now one in five adults in the US are taking them (Archives of General Psychiatry.) Drugs like SSRIs seem to blur the ability in some people to distinguish between the stray random hateful thought and what seems like a good idea. If you want to get really scared, read the package insert for any of the popular SSRIs. So I worry about hate a lot.

I am hoping that the Supreme Court rules that bans on same sex marriage are unconstitutional. Then your blog ladies can all dance in front of our keyboards on your wedding day!

Mari said...

God bless you, Lane. It seems to us like the progress is very slow, but it is progress. We're better than our parents, and our children will be better than us. The founders of our society would barely recognize it today, what with women voting on top of everything else. Isolated pockets of hatred will always exist, but they are vastly outnumbered by good people who believe in equality and justice. The good will always prevail. Yesterday they took down the Confederate flag in Alabama. Texas went to the Supreme Court so that they wouldn't have to put that flag on license plates. Who could have imagined those events even 10 years ago? No matter what happens with the law, society is moving rapidly towards acceptance and equality. It will come, and good people will bring it, not because it fits a legal code, but because it's right. Our grandchildren will live in a better nation, and that will be because of what we do today. So take heart! The arc of the moral universe is bending rapidly. Try to have a good day--Mari

Kath said...

I see it as our responsibility as parents to raise our kids above what we grew up with. I know I did a good job and I know you are too Lane. I am lucky that my son has a positive gay male role model and I was proud when I heard him say to a friend when they were 15, "It's cool to be gay".

FabricandFlowers said...

Turn off the news. There are far more good people, than bad.But that doesn't make it on the news. Some people are stupid. Some people are ignorant. Some people are accepting. Some people get that Christianity is about love.

Sorry you are hearing the fools right now. Wish I had something profound to say...just hope you feel love and acceptance today.

Rebecca Grace said...

The problem with TV news is that it's a business that revolves around ratings, and ratings go up in tandem with shock value. I swear those TV newscasters go around looking for the whackiest crackpot nincompoop they can find to put on TV just for the drama. Yes, the central message of Christianity is love and acceptance of other people, including and especially those who are very different from you. I am so sorry that you were ever made to feel unwelcome in the church where you grew up. If you ever want to give Christianity another try, you might want to try an ELCA Lutheran congregation. The ELCA even voted to start ordaining openly gay pastors a few years ago, in case you're looking to REALLY get involved and make a difference... ;-) If you were local, I'd welcome you and your family to our church with open arms.

Tanit-Isis said...

I think Rob is right about the death knell of hate---I think they are screaming loudly because they are losing that battle. (The gay marriage thing sure confuses me, though, as it's been legal in Canada since the 90s and somehow God has more or less neglected completely to smite us.)

In the late 70s, my father married my mother because he couldn't imagine having a normal life and career in our little backwater corner of the world if he came out as a gay man. Today, he and his partner have bought a house together and lived together for several years, and nobody bats an eye. Life's not perfect, by a long shot, but I do see progress. ;)