Hate is the Mindkiller

November 11th, 2016

My Mom’s in town this weekend, going to sleep on my couch as I type this, so it’ll be short. We were at lunch, talking about the meeting she’s been attended week. The Rural Advocates of the United Methodist Church here in the Midwest. I asked her if they accomplished anything – mostly just finishing up the year’s paperwork and preparing for next year. So, nothing? She said they were mostly worried about the church splitting.

Splitting? Over the LGBT issue, she says. I posted about the General conference discussion of it a while back. She talked about how the two sides cannot “agree to disagree” on the issue. How her group did not have an issue with LGBT folks and were trying to work with them. How some parts of the church simply refuse. It’s going to come to a head, she says, in 2019, when the commission reports back.

I understand, I tell her, the desire to settle on “agreeing to disagree.” But, I say, Hate is just not okay. They don’t Hate them, she tries to tell me. Mom, I remember the “love the sinner, hate the sin” policy and I’m sorry, but “HATE” should not be anywhere in a church’s policies.

Hate is what is tearing this country apart. People fear religious zealots full of hate, but I tell you, it doesn’t take radicals or zealotry for hate to be in your religion or your church. It starts with all of us, standing up against hate, wherever we see it: in the street, on a bus, at a school. Even in church.

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Orlando

June 14th, 2016

The Victims

A Voice for Acceptance for All

Love Can Conquer Hate

A Call to Action
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Human Dignity

April 25th, 2013

I’m not a political person, but I’ve been watching a lot of West Wing dvds lately, and paying a little more attention to the news. You might have noticed from the last few weeks of links to articles, and the odd political rant or two. Maybe I’m just growing up. Maybe intolerance and hate has boiled to a point where I just can’t stand to be quiet any more. To let others do the talking for me, because I don’t like to talk. But I like to write, so why not write? So I’ve been writing, and linking to other peoples’ writings. I’m not an activist, but basic human dignity is something worth standing up for. The right to love, the right to live, the right to learn, and the right to truth. The right of everyone, to walk down the street unmolested, no matter their gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or clothing choices. How much more basic can we get? People bemoan the lost promises of the Jetsons, but if we can’t even treat one another with dignity, how are we going to come together to create the future?

We point fingers and blame easy targets. Westboro, Al-Qaeda, KKK, neo-nazis, fundamentalists of all shapes and sizes. But it isn’t just the big, organized hate groups that are the problem. It’s the jock bullying the recently outed gay kid. It’s the divisiveness in the LGBT community. It’s the false superiority of “twue doms” and “twue subs.” It’s the religion major standing on campus holding a “You Deserve to be Raped” sign. It’s abstinence-only “educators” who shame teenagers for having sexual urges at all. It’s a teacher being fired for her partner’s name being published in her mother’s obituary. It’s vigilantes going after peaceful Muslim communities after a tragedy. It is everyone who paints a community based on a single member.

Last night we talked about Leather. We talked about exclusiveness and inclusiveness. We talked about how protocols helped people feel like they had earned a place in the group. We talked about the other members feeling like that person cared enough to put in the effort. It takes work for a group of people to become a community, and for a community to become a family. But inclusiveness is good, too. Being open to new people, new ideas, is how we grow, and remain strong. If you try to keep people out, or set the bar too high, the group will grow old and die, with no fresh blood to keep it living. It is good to have like-minded people together, to support one another, just remember that other groups, other people, have just as much value. It isn’t about being better than, it’s about making everyone better, and the a world better place.

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