As an ordained Christian theologian who actually received a graduate degree in Christian theology (which many of the self-defined right clergy did not — including Huckabee son of Satan), it is time to move on. Gays and lesbians won the day, as indeed we should have. Yes, it was a desperate week for all those intolerant right wingers, to whom I offer my condolences. The tight, narrow judgmental world that you have embraced with so much self-righteous aplomb is dying around you and you simply cannot escape that tiny little box that you have thrived in so comfortably, hugging your hate and hypocrisy. Well, now! One of the walls has fallen away; maybe even two of those walls. Oh, my! What are we do to now? I have fielded, dodged and rebelled against your hate and ignorance all of my 47 years as an out and self-accepting gay man. The shame you have put on us for decades now becomes your very own, and for that I am overjoyed.
An Open Letter to Nikki Haley
Governor, South Carolina
The Charleston SC Massacre
21 June 2015
Dear Governor Haley:
This letter is written to express and share my thoughts about the recent mass slaughter of nine black people in the Emmanuel A.M.E. Church, Charleston. As the world now knows, the villain is a young white supremacist male named Dylann Roof.
When you ushered forth the words, “This is not who we are,” during an early press conference, I shouted out loud to my television set, “Yes, governor, that is exactly who you are.”
South Carolina has an image and reputation for being extremely intolerant. South Carolina is seen as the State of Hate, along with some of your neighboring states. You are seen as the state that hates blacks, hates gays and lesbians; hates Jews; hates Latinos and any other species of human that is not white and Protestant.
Dylann Roof is exactly, precisely what represents South Carolina in the eyes of the wider world. Housing at least nineteen white separatist hate groups with members numbering perhaps in the thousands, South Carolina can hardly claim to be a place of tolerance and acceptance.
Add to those factors your racist-in-denial U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and his stated enthusiasm for the Confederate Flag and its “roots”. I would more than suggest that South Carolina has its intolerances and prejudices pretty well defined.
What confounds and angers those of us who claim and embrace the Christian faith is how South Carolinians believe themselves to be so “Christian”. Perhaps in word, but surely not in action. During my years in graduate study at seminary we were reminded routinely, “If you talk the talk, you must walk the walk.” But, for whatever reason the self-aggrandizing Southern “Christians” seem to believe they have a lock on God and Christ. Really! As the saying goes, “Talk is cheap.” Dylann Roof represents a quiet but not altogether silent voice of hate that threads itself through much of the South; not solely in South Carolina.
My first and last visit to Charleston was many, many years ago as I was discharged honorably from our United States Air Force. To suggest that Charleston is in competition with Savannah as the “”Jewel of the South” is a bold slap in the face to Savannah.
It is often stated that “perception is 95% of everything.” So, in order to change the perception one must change the image entirely. It appears, at least to the outsider, that South Carolina is perfectly happy to retain its image as a state that supports intolerance. Y’all just gotta get your hate on. How sad is that!
And, oh, one more thought. While I personally do not believe the Confederate flag to be a racist symbol, I understand how and why others do. But, unlike the larger population that re-mains under-educated and under-informed I took it upon myself to learn a bit more about the origin and history of the Confederate flag. Given how the Confederate flag is regarded as a hideous symbol that represents a heinous part of our nation’s history, I agree it should be retired to a museum. The fact the Confederate flag remained at full staff after the Charleston massacre simply validates what many have come to believe about South Carolina: You love to hate. No matter how you may try to sugarcoat that image, that is the image. Change the image, and the perception will change.
This question was asked of me recently by a friend and former coworker. It was asked after reading one of my recent posts.
The question at first stunned me. Wow! I said in my reply. Why do you ask? The response was curious. “I am struggling with the concept of God/god; so much hate and cruelty in our world. How do I reconcile with any god where there is so much human horror?” Questioning that belief system is timely.
It is timely because over these last few years my own quest for my love for God and Christ has waned. The Facebook website opened my eyes to the breadth and depth of human cruelty toward one another; and, worse, toward the animal kingdom.
A passage in The Gospel of Matthew remarks how “evil lives in the hearts of men”. I might add “women” to that in today’s context. In a recent Memorial Day movie made for TV by the same title, one of the lead characters, “Opa” the grandfather speaks to the one remarkable difference between humans and the animals: “We humans can kill at a distance,” he muses.
Take that comment one step further: Humans kill for pleasure, recklessly taking the life of any creature we believe it our right to take. Animals on the other hand kill for defense, protection of their young, for food and often in the mating battles between males. Except for the domestic household cat, I know of no other species that kills for the sheer pleasure of it.
Trophy hunters kill for ivory from elephants and rhinos. China supports this massive destruction of both populations. Thousands upon thousands of elephants have been killed just in recent years. The photos of these travesties make one want to vomit.
Then there are the big cat kills, heads for trophy walls; coats for new apparel or for rugs. There is an ongoing massive slaughter of gray wolves in the United States, cattlemen insisting that is the only way to protect their livestock. Not true! Cattlemen simply do not want to spend the money and effort for better ways to protect their livestock; better ways that in fact exist.
In Asia, dogs are killed for food or simple pleasure. Try explaining that one to canine loving Western culture. In the United States dog fighting continues as an underground epic crime against the canines most claim to love so much.
There is absolutely no existential reason to kill for pleasure or sport. Yet, we do it with reckless abandon. I belong to a number of wildlife and wilderness groups. Sadly, while their missions are beyond laudable their successes are not as great and wide as they could be or should be. The thrill of the kill embedded so deeply in the evil hearts of men and women trumps the efforts of environmental protectionists. Even organizations such as the United Nations cannot rein in these earthbound barbarians.
The Jewish Talmud speaks to the proper care of animals, going so far as to insist the animals be fed before their owners feed themselves. Such instruction can be found nowhere in Christian culture. “Christians” have an altogether nefarious and perverted sense of what it means to care for the Creatures of God. God’s “other” creatures are owed and deserving of as much “Grace” as we believe due each human. Simply take a moment to look at our slaughterhouses, havens of the most heinous and despicable “crimes against nature” anyone could dare to imagine.
Yet, humans also are candidates for “free range killing”. The injustices of murder, human against human across this land underscores how we as a people have lost all sense of the Holy Spirit. I don’t like “your ugly ass?” Well, then, I’ll shoot ya. By whose authority? Surely, not God’s!
As a nation Americans worship guns more than God. Guns and greed have become the gods of America. The Commandment “not to murder” rings hollow in the ears of far too many.
But then, we must travel to the outer reaches of our universe to places such as Somalia and Rwanda; the Ukraine; lands of current day barbaric murderers. Genocide is widespread. The media rages onward and outward about this despicable carnage. It rages on, unabated. We wring our hands, shake our heads and then we simply move on. We do nothing. But, we, too, kill by remote control. Gotta love those drones!
For most of my life I have held Native America in the highest esteem. Their “god” was Great Spirit. They sought to work within the balance of ecology and environment. But, wait! “Christian” white men appeared on the scene touting our “manifest destiny”. Was our manifest really inscribed with the right to slaughter thousands of men, women and children? Were we ordained with the right to kill thousands upon thousands of buffalo and wild life, simply for their skins while leaving their skinned bodies on the open prairies to rot?
So. I return to the original question: Why do you still believe in God? Frankly, I am not certain that I do; or, that I can; or, even why. Of course, during graduate study in theology the conundrum between free will and godliness was at constant tension. But, “free will” should not be and must not be construed as freedom to allow all forms of destruction of life, human or animal, including the creatures of the seas.
Growing up on a small seven acre farm in Maryland farm country where my family’s farm was surrounded by other farms reaching 1,000 acres, I learned to appreciate all of life. My parents taught me well. Choirboy, Boy Scout, youth leader and fundraiser, I was the stereotypical “good Christian” boy. That was my “Leave it to Beaver world.” God and Jesus were central to my faith.
Now with consternation, I wrestle with my faith in God, my belief. Human behavior as I have come to witness it is counter-intuitive with “God”. “The sins of the few shall be visited up-on the many.” It is time to rein in those few, that we might live in harmony with all creatures small and large. We are failing the Kingdom. Killers at heart, humans have become the anti-God, the ultimate Satan of Creation. Until we have come to grips with our consummate wrong-doings and turned more aggressively and assertively to becoming the custodians of this Earth as we were instructed by God to be, we simply will continue to live out the evil that lives in the hearts of men and women.
Slightly more than a decade ago I met a transgender person at a Christian religious retreat. This person’s journey, expressed guardedly, was complex and complicated. I experienced a certain respect for this person still going through transition, because they wanted to talk about it where they would feel judged the least. Ah, yes! “Judged the least.”
The fact is, I recall no one, absolutely no one, judging but only supporting this trans-person in affirming ways. God knows, yes “God” knows, what a challenge this person’s journey had been and would continue to be until the full and complete transition had taken place. Did I understand it? No. Do I understand more than a decade later, now with Jenner? No. Do I, like some folk, go “ick”? No. It is their journey; not mine. I have a different journey, as does each person who reads this Email.
During my graduate study at theology school/seminary, our repetitive mantra was, “Honor the holiness of the other [person].” In other words, respect and honor that other person in their place and space in time; their time; not mine or yours.
I opt not to define myself as “religious”. Being religious is far too restricting; confining. I am spiritual. I want to leave to God what rightfully belongs to God and pass no judgment. “Difference” often upsets and undermines our sense of the secure spot of being in our own space with our own understanding. When our own little “container” gets shaken up a bit, we each react in very different ways: Shock, “ick”, recoil; horrified or mortified; or, “Okay, so what?” I go with, “Okay, so what?” Jenner’s transition really has zero impact on me or my beliefs. If she now feels more right with herself, then perhaps she is more right with God. Again, not my judgment to make. If you are a follower of the Christian faith as I am you will recall that Jesus said, “Judge ye not lest ye be judged”, and “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” The original orthodox meaning of “sin” was “to be separated from God”. As in, “born into sin.” It did not mean something malicious, pernicious or vicious.
Having shared the above with you, I was moved to rage and anger when I read about Mike Huckabee’s all too predictable insult toward Jenner. He is no “man of God” in my book. Huckabee is anything but. So! Below is what I posted earlier today on a website where I often share my thoughts. But, wait! Before you jump to that, here is one more tidbit to share: When I was growing up, my parents often cautioned, “If you come across a person or a group of people you dislike and disagree with, move on. Leave them. It is not your duty or your place to change them.” Kinda sounds like Jesus when He said to His disciples, “If these people do hear my word, leave them. Shake their dust off your feet and move on.” Now, my post!
“Yep, good ole “pastor’ Huckster-bee. A theological fraud, a self-righteous hypocrite. Screw that commandment “to love”. Screw the idea about not judging. Oh, right, how about those stone throwers!! You got it Huck. I am blessed that I never had to deal with the agony and challengers of transgender people. Do I understand it? No, I do not. However, I will not judge it or condemn it. Each child is given a different path, a different body, a different sexual orientation and a different sexual identity. How sad that you are so wrapped up and warped up in your misogynist, sexist mind cramp that you cannot give a pass to someone who is different; even radically different. People could make fun of how fat and nasty you are. Yeah, I like that one in fact. But, hey! You like being fat and nasty so that one would get us nowhere.”
Mike Huckabee. Presidential candidate wannabe. Yep. That’s the one.
Well, Huckabee took it upon himself to come out in defense of Josh Duggar. You know. The oldest son of that perverse and demented family known as the “19 and Counting” reality TV show on The Learning Channel (TLC). Why exactly TLC decided to feature a family that gets it thrills from spawning nineteen children escapes the more intelligent, evolved mind.
For those who may be unfamiliar, Josh Duggar recently was outed for having had sex with five of his younger sisters when Josh was between ages 14 and 17. Huckabee believes that we, the collective we, should turn the other cheek and forgive Josh Duggar. Really?
Huckabee sees and portrays himself as the great moralizer. His grandiose plan is to become president of The United States and slip us back into some phase of the Dark Ages. His outspoken hatred and intolerance of homosexuals is well known and widely broadcast. Huckabee persists in his mantra, “Marriage is to be between a man and a woman, only.” Yeah, Huck we get it but we don’t buy it.
But, Huck let me take you for a moment down memory lane to an act your son David committed while a Boy Scout Camp Counselor: “Two Boy Scout counselors, 17 year old Clayton Frady and 18 year old David “itickabee” [sic], the son of Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, have admitted to catching a stray dog during their summer session at Camp Pioneer in Hatfield, AR, and hanging the dog by his neck, slitting his throat and stoning him to death.”
That small vignette tells me a lot. The apple does not fall far from the tree. The pathology of son David quite likely mirrors the pathology of the father. Hey, Huck. That would be you. What’s that old saying, again, “The apple does not fall far from the tree.”?
So, taking that thought one step further suggests that you support, 1) predatory sex against young girls; and, 2) condone incest where the predator is an older male sibling. Someone recently quoted you as saying “It’s allowed in ancient Scripture.” God in Heaven, Huck, I really, really hope that was not you and a rather insidious joke played upon you.
But, you have opened your own private kingdom wide to vicious, virulent and venomous criticism. You hold yourself out as a “Man of God”. Not my God, Huck. No man. Your “god” is far too hideous, odious and mean-spirited. Certainly not “God the Father” who captures the Holy Trinity within which Jesus the Resurrected presumes to reside. No, Huck. Your “god” is the Great Satan. You are, to use a crude term, a sorry-assed boil on the butt of life.
That you would embrace an incestuous male predator while spewing out vile hatred toward homosexuals tells us about the Great Evil you represent and lift up. Josh Duggar is a monster in every respect. That his father had Josh’s records expunged simply sullies this all the more. Scary. You, Josh and Papa Duggar represent consummate evil, the Devil’s Lair. Your sacrilege and your heinous hypocrisy align you with the worst of the worst, Josh and Papa standing with you. Oops! By golly, a new trinity but certainly not of the good, righteous and Christian kind. The demons from the iron hot coals of hell are dancing on your head. You are the consummate Christian pariah, a subhuman who shits and pisses on the Head of Christ while you strut in your self-righteous aplomb. You are the evil in sheep’s cloth. To suggest that you are disgusting does not even begin to capture the degenerate monster you really are. In closing, give Josh a hug will you? Let us know when he assaults another child, which some of us are certain he will, so that you can once again grandstand on his behalf “to forgive” while you skewer the lives of all of God’s homosexual children. May you rest in hell!
Memorial Day, 2015
Each time I hear or read something about the Duggar family or anyone like them, I force myself to contain my rage and outrage. That the eldest Duggar son, Josh, has just been outed as a child predator comes as no surprise.
Josh Duggar was accused of sexually assaulting five – five – of his younger sisters when Josh was fourteen. The term “child predator” is properly assigned to Josh Duggar. The fact he so much as even believed he had the right to molest his sisters suggests parental approval. One must ask, “Did his parents know? Did his father give tacit approval, either directly or simply by ignoring what was taking place? Or, worse, did his father actually encourage such behavior?” Logically one should, or must, assume the mother was not complicit in these acts of sexual assault.
The larger, overarching question becomes: Who or what gave Josh Duggar his feeling that he had an implicit right to molest his younger sisters? Were mom and dad Duggar so busy fucking in order to create yet another spawn that they were tacitly removed from the more heinous activities of their older son and younger daughters as victims?
How predictable is it that Mike Huckabee the Devil’s shill would come out saying that Josh Duggar deserves forgiveness; not judgment? Wow. For a pastor Huckabee certainly knows how to ferret out his application of “faith” and “forgiveness” as he rails his hatred toward gays outward on a daily basis. Huckabee and Duggar share the limelight in just how much societal sewerage exists in this nation, all of it “in the name of God”. Really?
And, what “God” might that be? Well, it surely cannot be “God the Father” of the Holy Trinity, because if it were Huckabee would be doubly sinful for ignoring and misapplying the platitudes of Christ. People such as the Huckabees and Duggars see all others as the hypocrites when in fact they are the consummate hypocrites; the ones against whom Jesus warns us.
They are the self-righteous who with excessive self-aplomb march across the stage of life spewing out their special moralisms while parading before the masses as icons of “Christian” decency. The Huckabees and Duggars in our society help to form the amoral underbelly of what day to day Americans must deal with. They are amoral because they lack all morals. They walk in the dead men’s tombs of life, white sepulchers of soul-less bodies wrapped around tarnished and evil bones.
That The Learning Channel [TLC] even opted to air the Duggars as a reality show says a lot about TLC and its own “family values”: zero values. Two things have remained totally unclear and incomprehensible to me since the Duggars catapulted onto the national stage: 1) Why on earth would any family want to spawn nineteen (19) children and seek praise and celebrity for it? 2) Why on earth would any television program be eager to create a “reality” TV show for any such family?
While it surely is the Duggar’s right to spawn multiple progeny, by all rights and measure their proliferation of offspring is vulgar, perverse and actually disgusting. To celebrate being a human breeding farm surpasses even the remotest concept of rational human behavior. Oh, I am confident they will appear in The Guinness Book of World Records. Hooray for them.
That son Josh is so evil to have molested his own sisters tells me enough about this family and precisely why they should never be celebrated; and why they never should have been. They posture in self-righteous mode demonizing gay culture all the while condoning the most hideous of behaviors in any family: incest and forced incest. They are the worst of the worst among us.
And, what about those little girls? Or, are they simply “girls”, regarded as the lesser of our species as is so common among families such as these? How much will their wounds be disregard-ed and ignored fully? What lingering nightmares and shame might they suffer; or, are they suffering already?
Unlike Duggar’s fans, I hope there is a nice hot and spacious place in eternal hell for them; if, that is, one believes in a hell at all. In the meantime, they have created their own hell on earth for several little girls who were violated sexually, the worst type of violation imaginable. I suggest to the Duggars that you bury your hideous and heinous in a dark, dark quarter of the world where you belong never to be seen or heard from again; and, in the meantime, stop demonizing homosexuals so gleefully because like it or not, homosexuals are Children of God. You, Duggars, are the real demons in this life on earth. But! Feel not alone in your disgrace and shame (doubting you have even so much as the human dignity to feel disgrace and shame), because it is shared with your viewers and The Learning Channel.
“Judge not, lest ye be judged”. Interesting to me how quickly the naysayers rush to judgment of others when the very Savior they lay claim to tells them to do otherwise. Frankly, any couple that spawns 19 children is the real perversion in this story. One must wonder, “What are they trying to prove?” As an ordained Christian theologian with a graduate degree from seminary, I often feel a deep inner rage about people such as these. “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Yet, I do not deem homosexuality as a sin. Denying what you have been created by God to be is the real sin in this discussion. I often wonder why this is such an obsession with people who claim loudly how they are “good Christians” when they are “Christian” in words only. “Beware the hypocrites and the false prophets.” Many things are best left up to God, if in fact one believes in God under the Mantle of Christ.
I really, really hate how people such as this always lift up, ‘I was raised in a Christian [sic] home.” REALLY? Did you or your father actually READ what Jesus says? Or, did you run to Leviticus or Paul’s Letter to the Romans? As an ordained Christian theologian with a graduate degree from seminary, I can safely say you have Holy Scripture’s take on gays all wrong. Scripture is uniformly self-contradicting throughout. If one opts to lean on Leviticus for reasons to stone gays to death, they then must also look at all the other people who should be stoned to death. Yet, Jesus says, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” In that one passage Jesus declares the stoning codes no longer to be in effect. Read “The Sermon on the Mount”, or The Gospel of Matthew, CH. 19. It once was considered okay to hold blacks as slaves because of Biblical passages on slavery. It is time to free the haters of their mantel of hate.
Dear Mr. Schieffer:
I am writing to you today to laud your segment on gay marriage. You kept it well-balanced.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has a terribly flawed position on gay marriage along with a misinformed opinion on marriage itself. The origins of marriage included nothing romantic or even egalitarian. Marriages were arranged by the families. Today, in India and Middle Eastern countries this remains in practice. Marriages originated in order to preserve wealth, status, assurances that progeny would not be orphaned into society; and, rights to property and inheritance. The wife was not an equal partner, another fact that remains true in many countries.
Perkins has been a vocal and militant adversary of gays and gay rights for decades. Perkins has a terribly flawed interpretation of Holy Scripture all the while trumpeting how gay marriage will undermine the tenets of Christianity. Perkins pulls every trick out of his bag, including intentional misrepresentation of facts to gird up his hatred and intolerance toward the gay culture. In addition, Perkins has trumpeted some terribly vile and venomous accusations against gay men that are not only heinous and hideous; they are sweepingly invalid.
If those who oppose gay marriage will pull themselves away for a moment from their thoughts on the sex aspect (which some refer to as “icky”), they will come to an understanding about why marriage is so important, even vital, to gays and lesbians. I return to my posits in the second paragraph: It provides protection of the property and inheritance of the gay or lesbian couple, while also providing unrestricted visitation rights when one of the partners is in hospice or hospital. There are many hideous stories about parents who never condoned their son’s or daughter’s homosexual “arrangement” and prevented the rightful heir to property and monetary inheritance. Or, worse yet, preventing a partner access to their mate while dying in a hospital.
Perkins cannot wrap the Mantel of Jesus Christ across his shoulders, because Perkins is a Christian in voice only; not in action. He fabricates and corrupts Holy Scripture to support his hostility toward gay rights. (Many do, in fact!)
As to that “ick” factor some feel toward gay sex: Gays have not come up with any sexual practices or acts that straights have not thought up and tried already.
Again, thank you for a balanced segment about this very contentious subject.
The Reverend M. Vincent Turner
Hatred runs amok within human culture and society. It is an irreversible and inconvertible condition of the human heart. Quoting from The Gospel of Matthew, 15:19, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies.”
Logically, Holy Scripture is not wholly necessary to attest to the fact that evil thoughts – and acts – come from the human. Evil is exacted more by men than women perhaps because men have testosterone, the element of being male that drives men toward to the good and the bad.
The instrument of evil is front and center in the United States today. It is being directed fiercely against gay and lesbian culture and community. While the purveyors of such toxicity form a small population of Americans, they are virulent, vocal and highly visible. If one did not know better from the outside of U.S. culture, one could conclude easily that a majority of Americans are anti-gay and against gay rights.
That gays and lesbians by and large are seeking to enter into the rite of marriage has be-come a central factor energizing the right wing antagonisms toward the gay [LBGTQ] community. Holy Scripture is used and abused to underwrite the palpable hatred being telegraphed across the nation by opponents of gay marriage and gay rights in general.
The “why” of this somewhat isolated tsunami of hate has questionable foundations. Self-defined “Christians” who oppose gay marriage and gay rights are quick to run to Leviticus or Deuteronomy, lifting up and parsing the passages that refer to stoning “men who lie with men”. Those same “Christians” will make a fast track to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet, scholars of any worth and merit will explain all too clearly the story of Sodom and Gomorrah has nothing to do with homosexuality.
Again, those very “Christians” fully ignore Jesus’ admonishing, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” In that one passage Jesus of Nazareth tosses out all the stoning codes. Selectively apportioning Holy Scripture to support one’s hate or intolerance commits an injustice and disservice to Scripture. Scripture is not an exact reflection of the human condition or the human activity. Nor is Scripture necessarily an accurate representation of “God”.
The religious foundations used to oppose or undermine gay and lesbian rights are exacted in a way that completely ignore other behavior proscriptions that humans should adhere to and abide by. While Jesus says absolutely nothing about homosexual behavior, Jesus does state that if a man divorces, he is never to remarry. With heterosexual marriages in the United States experiencing a 55% failure rate, one must admit a substantial failure in following Jesus’ instruction on the matter of divorce. Worse, 50% of second marriages fail.
If a heterosexual couple engages in sexual intercourse before marriage, both the man and the woman are to be stoned to death – if one follows the letter of the law of Leviticus. There likely are not enough “stone quarries” in the nation to provide the killing ammunition to carry out that instruction!
Jesus does remark in The Gospel of Matthew, 19, that “not all men are called to marry.” Jesus does not then go on to state those men should not have sex. Perhaps that point is moot, except for the fact Jesus goes on to talk about “eunuchs born from their mothers’ wombs”. Some scholars have written about this particular passage, concluding this to be Jesus’ acknowledgement of men who have sex with men. Eunuchs are not “born”; they are created.
The culture of hate enjoys fertile ground in right wing fundamentalist Christianity. “Love thy neighbor” is applied selectively; very selectively; if at all. Yet, such fervent hatred is not isolated to being against homosexuals. In Ireland, one finds it between Protestants and Catholics. In parts of the United States South, hatred against blacks still thrives with sinister energy. Islamists, at least those who consider themselves conservatively following Mohammad, believe that Christians and Jews should be killed as the “infidels”. In some circles, Jews are hated uniformly.
For all its good intentions, religion has found lucrative applications of hate and intolerance. Hate, it has been written, is a learned behavior. Loving to hate is seen by many as an aberration. Yet, even in Scripture it is stated how evil resides in the hearts of men and women; but, mostly in men.
Hitler convinced his Nazi followers to hate Jews and homosexuals. Yet, there were Jews and homosexuals in the German militaries. The SS and the Brown Shirts were notoriously homosexual. Stalin executed one million of Russia’s most learned intellectuals and military generals. Stalin feared and hated them as his most ardent opponents. The solution: Kill them all.
People hate based on ethnicities; nationalities; races; even family affiliations. The greatest flaw among all humans is the evil that lives within each of us. The greatest challenge for all humans is to override our inner evil and turn toward the consummate good.
In current U.S. culture, hate and intolerance thrive unabated among certain religious leaders who claim to lean on Holy Scripture while leaning only on the passages that support their virulent hatred of homosexuals. The current stable of Republican legislators is brimful of haters. The vile and venomous hatred that flows from their mouths is the most evil form of rhetoric. They incite those with a voracious appetite to “purify” society. That rhetoric represents consummate evil, and inspires those with a limited sense of the boundaries between right and wrong to act out against those they are encouraged to hate. Violent speech attracts fringe elements, elements already poisoned by their own seedbed of hatred and intolerance.
This has become a growing problem within the United States. It has become acceptable, even encouraged among some, to bare one’s soul of evil and to act on it; or to openly celebrate it. The United States has become fertile ground for allowing one’s expressed hate toward others. As a result, U.S. society has become a cesspool of evil. That evil has become palpable in many quarters, some quarters housing our most prominent personalities.
In closing, I am reminded of what my parents taught me from an early age: It you dislike a certain person, or a certain group, leave them alone. It is not your job to try to change them. Seek out and find those you like and those with whom you know you belong. Leave the rest up to God. If only human beings could be and would be so simplistic in our approach to life in general, and “leave it up to God”!