I have told you these things so that you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble but take heart, I have overcome the world. John 16:33
In the past week since the results of one of the worst election periods in recent history, I have read articles and listened to reports of a surge in racial hate crimes and sexual assaults on women as well as LGBTQ bullying in alarming proportions. The loathsome mindset of white supremacy and misogyny has gone from hateful verbiage to outright physical attacks. All the while, I wonder if many of those who thought that they were voting their conscience are in fact conscious of the results of their decisions. I wonder if many conservative Christians have openly denounced racism, sexism and homophobia in order to begin to heal the gaping wound that is seeping out and infecting this country. I hope so.
I wonder if they care about the state of this nation as it stands today, or if many would rather look the other way and pretend not to notice the aftermath of siding with extreme hatred. I’m trying to remain hopeful that there is a segment of that population that is on its knees praying for justice and equality in America, even if the hate crimes and attacks are not affecting them. Are there conservatives who care about the rest of us and the daily angst that comes with being a minority in America? I pray so.
I’ll be honest, I have planned a reasonable distance between myself and those who do not seem to notice or show concern that we are at war against hate in this country. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the notion that there can exist within oneself a duality of viewpoints when it comes to love vs. hate. Cognitive dissonance is not a workable reality for me when it comes to the marginalization of entire communities of people. It’s not a matter of moral superiority but compassion and empathy.
The Good News is:
There is a gift of resilience that has been given to the marginalized in this world. We have survived with remarkable odds, many attempts at total ethnic cleansing and the desire to silence anyone who is different from the majority. The sickness that infects the mind of the man/woman who believe that there is a superior race of people, has not managed to succeed at total domination. That is not to ignore the massive damage that it has done, as well as the many lives that it has taken. It is just to say that we the people have persevered beyond the unthinkable, again and again. It’s what we do. It's how we're made.
Personally, in order to stay hopeful, I draw my strength from the person of Jesus Christ, whom I believe was the example of the greatest humanitarian known to mankind. He had the ability to stand up to his enemies, expose religious hypocrisy and love the marginalized from a heart ignited with a passion for humanity. That divine action, is what is desperately needed in our grief stricken world today.
If any lesson bears repeating in the seminaries of Christianity, in order for it to maintain any semblance of credibility, it is the lesson of Jesus Christ and love thy neighbor as thyself. If we dare to believe any one doctrine, it should be the doctrine of equality through the love of God.
Within a segment of the population:
Somewhere beneath the mere surface of humanitarianism, lies resilience that is primed through love in action. When we are in motion, caring for one another and standing in solidarity against the evil that comes as a result of festered hate, we grow stronger, see clearer and resemble more of what is needed in this earth. We are actually lending a hand, as well as a heart, to the efforts of diminishing hate.
We the people, who are the ancestors and by-products of all those who have ever been the target of racism, sexism and exclusion of any kind, are inherently strong, undeniably brave and unapologetically fervent in our stand to live in freedom and justice. We may stumble, for just a moment, as a result of inhaling the noxious fumes of hatred that pollutes our country from time to time, but we don’t stay down for long. We draw fresh breath and strength from the example of a time when love clothed itself in human flesh and walked the earth to silence hate…