The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Posts tagged ‘hatred’

LOVE AND HATE

I was raised in a loving environment.  That was the luck of the draw and my good fortune.  Growing up in a small family unit where we all looked after one another, and mostly my parents and grandmother looked after me, it is just natural for me to extend that compassion, as best I can, to others whom I meet.  I cannot imagine what it would have been like being raised in a house where animosity and acrimony reigned, rather than the loving home in which I was nurtured.

As I write this on the morning of Election Day and reflect about my upbringing, I think that is the essential and underlying difference between the candidates of the two major parties one of whom we will elect to the presidency today.  It is reflected in their campaigns and more importantly in who they are as people.

On the one hand I see a man who was raised in a caring environment in much the same  way that I was.  Obviously, I can relate to that and to him.  It does not surprise me that in rearing his own family he has offered them the love and nurturing that he himself received.

On the other hand, I see a man whose parents were divorced when he was at an early age and who was shuttled off to surrogate parents for his rearing.  I imagine that took a toll on his sense of self-worth and facilitated a need to overbuild his ego to compensate for this neglect.

On the one hand I see a man who realizes that the only way we can move forward as a community and a country is by doing what he believes is right, not just for those members of some specific interest groups, but for all of us.

On the other hand I see a man who has spent four years trying to separate us with his rhetoric of divisiveness, pitting one segment of the population against another.

On the one hand, I see a man who has enough love for his fellow man’s intelligence to believe that the individual should determine her own destiny.

On the other hand, I see a man who hates his fellow man’s lack of intelligence and believes that only the “state” is wise enough to determine what is best for each of us.

On the one hand, I see a man who believes that a vote for him is a proclamation that we can set this country America, in which we are all privileged to be citizens, back on the right course to prosperity for all.

On the other hand, I see a man who says voters should express their anger and “vote for revenge.”

Perhaps the poet, Virgil was right.  “Omnia vincit amor.”  “Love conquers all.”  But it doesn’t always accomplish its mission in a heartbeat or the blink of an eye.

We know from history that hate often extends its evil hands upon us with brutality, and tries its best to squeeze the love out of us with threats and with violence.  It takes a brave soul to hold on to principle when it is in the grip of terror.

We saw the ugly manifestation of hatred in Hitler’s Nazi Germany.  We saw how Hitler polarized the German people, dividing them and pointing to the Jews as the reason for their economic troubles.  And when he had sung the dirge loudly and often enough, we saw the trains begin to fill up with the “enemies of the state” as he began shipping them off to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Belzec and Treblinka to meet their deaths.

And those who were not affected were silent – and perhaps grateful that it was someone else’s fate and not theirs which the state had determined.  And in that silence, men and women of conscience writhed in agony, knowing that not acting or speaking out was cowardly and an act of tacit hatred.

There are too many such examples of hatred in our brief history on this planet.  But we have also seen that such leaders and countries which ensconce them do not last for long, because anything built on a foundation of hatred is doomed from its very inception.

It is fortunate that we have examples as well of those who have selflessly given themselves to a good and just cause and whose motivations were guided by love.

We need look no further than to those who founded America and wrote a Constitution which, to the best of their ability and the circumstances of the times, was inclusive and which deemed the individual to be the building block on which the entire structure depended.

They wrote us an inscription which extolled personal responsibility and which offered us the right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  And what could be more loving than to acknowledge each of our entitlement to those three?

As I reflect on the rhetoric of the campaign and listen to the pundits describe “what the issues are that will determine the outcome” I have heard that, “It’s the economy or that it’s social issues.”  But to me this election is about whether we want to embrace either love or hate as our guiding light in going forward.

As the old knight said in, “Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail” when the Nazi collaborator entered the Grail Chamber with all the possible vessels which might be the real Cup of Christ, “Choose wisely.”

He didn’t.  It is with love that I say, I hope we make a better choice than he.

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ON TERRORISM

I realize that when most of us hear the words terrorist or terrorism we think about how some humans inflict injury on other humans.  Terrorism is intended to cause chaos because its targets are random and may include any one of us if we happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong moment in time.

Terrorists are bullies.  They consider themselves strong and prey upon those whom they consider weak.   It is the reason that children who suffer from physical or learning defects are four times more likely to experience being beaten or become the victims of sexual abuse than their “normal” counterparts.

Terrorism is the reason that the elderly and infirm are so often victimized.  Terrorism is the reason that animals are abused – and in their cases, the terrorist generally gets a slap on the wrist rather than a meaningful sentence.

The following story from Yahoo news is about the abuse one dog in Texas recently suffered.  It is disturbing on several levels.  The first is that there is someone out there who is so inhumane not only to conceive of this treatment but to execute it.  The second, in my opinion, is that this person is as likely to act in the same way toward any of his or her fellow men and women.

If we trivialize life in any form we trivialize our world and our own existence.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/hope-tortured-texas-dog-reward-193214803.html

Apparently this story has gotten a great deal of attention and if you click on the link you might find that it is “currently unavailable.”  I apologize and ask that if you want to read the details and see a very disturbing video you try at a later time.

Below is an alternate link which shows the condition of this poor dog when she was rescued:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2171726/Tortured-dog-tongue-hanging-mouth-ELECTRICAL-TAPE-wrapped-it.html?ITO=1490

MERE CHRISTIANITY

The book “Mere Christianity” by C. S. Lewis had a profound impact on me.  In it, Mr. Lewis who had changed his view of life from that of atheism to embrace  Christianity in its Anglican expression explained his view of what it meant to be a Christian.  In essence, it meant to be accepting and non-judgmental of others.

I was floored that a minister in North Carolina has figured out a way to resolve the “problem of homosexuals and lesbians.”  His solution is “to round them all up and put them in an area surrounded by an electrified fence.”  I have included a link to this story and the video of his “sermon” on the subject.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/pastor-delivers-anti-gay-rant-suggests-building-electric-142753831.html

In order to hold to my principle of being accepting and non-judgmental of others, after I saw this I can only say that if this truly is what Christianity is all about, I guess I read the wrong book.

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