Sunday, August 5, 2012

Where Does the Hate Begin - Where Does It End?

It's a rainy Sunday afternoon in southeast Texas. My wife and I just got home from church. I turned on the television only to hear that a gunman near Milwaukee, Wisconsin has entered a Sikh Temple and gunned down at least six people before he was gunned down himself by a responding police officer.

As I write this, it is much too early to know anything definite about this Wisconsin shooting, but it appears it may very well be a hate crime or a tragedy at the hands of a deranged individual who has decided to express himself in a hateful and violent way.

The temporary memorials have not yet been cleared away in Aurora, Colorado; certainly the grief, the physical pain, not to mention the emotional pain of the Aurora murders have not even begun to heal as we find ourselves emotionally assaulted by a new mass murder who has physically assaulted our fellow Americans.

Where does this anger, this hatred, this total disregard for human life come from? Where does it end? The knee jerk reaction of many is to blame it all on the availability of guns and ammunition. Yet, never in the history of mass murders has a gun carried itself into a theater, a school or a temple and pulled its own trigger and snuffed out the lives of a group of innocent human beings. It is so easy to blame guns but we might as well blame airliners for the 9/11 mass murders. The fact is airliners did not kill anyone on 9/11. Men filled with hate and anger, incredibly thinking they acted for God, brought down the twin towers killing thousands.

Looking back over the last week, indeed over the last few years it is easy to see where much of the hate and anger that fuels these mass murders and these acts of utter depravity against innocent people originate. You won't see the source identified by the mass media as they keep us informed of every other possible detail of the Sikh Temple shooting. They will find out about the life of the gunman and report every detail they can find of his life, but they won't touch the the real things that more than likely helped to propel him to mass murder.

Why is it the mass media will cover up this important detail? Simply put, the media has met the enemy and it is they! Journalism has been dead now for years. All that is left of it is a rotting stinking corpse, a corpse that revels in spreading its stink as far and as wide as it possibly can in a depraved chase of ratings and cash.

They spread their rottenness by reporting their own personal biases as news. They care nothing about the truth. They care only about advancing their own agenda and hyping whatever they can to make a buck.

But I must hasten to add that the mass media is not alone in bringing about the hate and anger that spurs mass murder over and over and over again in this country, not by a long shot. They are only one of several co conspirators. Many of the co conspirators have names, names most of us are very familiar with.

In the last week and for much of the last few years, one of these co conspirators has been a very powerful man who long ago made a conscious decision to use his power for personal gain rather than for its intended purpose of serving the citizens of this nation. That powerful man is Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate. Reid is a living example of the old maxim that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. He wields his power as a weapon for his personal gain and for the promotion of his own twisted ideal of what is best for the Democrat Party and the People of the United States.

I have no problem whatsoever with Reid, over the last week or so, trying to convince Mitt Romney to hand over his tax returns; but what I do have a problem with is Reid, himself, building and promoting an illegal attack on Romney by using the power of his office to proclaim the "word is out, Romney has not paid taxes in 10 years." There is no way anyone could ethically have such knowledge and provide it to Reid unless the provider of the information to Reid was Romney himself. That did not happen. The word was out alright. Reid put it out using the power of his office. And of course the supremely hypocritical Harry Reid didn't bother to tell the people of the United States that he, himself, has NEVER released his own tax returns at all in his Congressional career.

What was the medias reaction to this unfounded claim by Reid? The press played it for all it was worth without a single question to Reid about his source. I can say with certainty at least equal to Reid's  that the "word is out" Harry Reid likes little boys. It's not true, as far as I know, but I've used the same standard to make the accusation that Reid used to make his hateful accusations against Romney.

I don't hate Harry Reid. More than anything, I feel sorry for him because he has allowed himself to become a hateful, angry and unhappy old man, all over the pursuit of power and money.

But Reid is not the only politician to use his power for evil and to spread hate. Many local mayors across the blue (liberal) cities in the last week or so, including Rahm Emanuel Chicago, have used their power to try to keep Chick-Fil-A out of their cities. Boston and Washington DC and San Francisco mayors followed the same path. What happened to freedom of speech and freedom of religion in this country?

I don't agree with Chick-Fil-A's Dan Cathy's religious views by any means, but I'll defend his right to have his private views all day long. He doesn't give up his right to have his private religious views just because he is a successful business man. If he had said that he was not going to serve gays one of his chicken sandwiches based on the fact that they were sinners in his view, then Cathy would have deserved to be boycotted and put out of business. He did not even get close to saying that. The mayors of several major cities did get close to the opposite side of that same line, very close. They had no right to do so. Cathy, on the other hand has as much right to state his beliefs as those gays who chose to picket him have to their protest lines.

But of course, it is not just the liberal politicians who use their power to whip up hate.  Republican politicians have done the same thing including George W. Bush who used "enhanced" intelligence reports to incite anger and hate against Iraq to initiate his personal war with Saddam Hussein.

And then of course, there are those who are perhaps the most experienced at whipping up hate and anger. I am speaking of fundamental Christians who use their worship services, their publications and their networks to whip up hate and anger against homosexuals whom they are, in fact, commanded by their God to love along with everyone else. These Christians claim to love the sinner and hate the sin, but that is a weak defense. Somehow the hate always seems be directed at homosexual human beings rather than to a perceived sin.

One would think homosexuals, who experience hate often, would not make the same mistake; but they seemed to be expressing hate and anger against Mr. Cathy of Chick-Fil_A fairly skillfully last week. How is it homosexuals can demand respect for their sexual orientation and their own view that their sexuality does not separate them from the love of God while at the same time directing anger and hate at another American for exercising his own right to an opinion. Mr Cathy didn't even imply that he hated gays. He simply said a gay life style was not compatible with his view of the life God calls us to live. What Christian gay or bisexual guy has not struggled with that issue himself? I certainly struggled with it for years. Fortunately, I was able to struggle with it as citizen of America and as a Christian who was free to come to a different view that Mr. Cathy.

Where will it all end? When when will be break the circle of hate and anger? For better or worse (and that is another debatable subject) it is no longer possible to easily get our mentally and emotionally fragile citizens off the streets and into appropriate institutional care. Those of us who are mentally and emotionally strong can live in and even thrive, though scarred, in a society which bombards us daily with hatefulness and anger and still remain personally polite and calm. Most of us can agree to disagree with our friends and family about political, sexual, and religiously charged opinions. The fragile among us simply cannot do this. Bombarded daily by a corrupt media and corrupt politicians and corrupt and hateful religious zealots, these fragile Americas simply are overwhelmed and eventually resort to acting out the hate and anger that has consumed them.

Our society has degraded to far over the last few years. When I was a boy, men cursed. They just never cursed in front of women and children. Now everyone curses everywhere including the women and children. In decades past, people had different political views but they managed them with a veneer of statesmanship and a binding mutual agreement to always work for the good of the country. Now, statesmanship is dead and forgotten; and politicians work only for self enrichment. Few of them care at all about the country or its future. They have, much like the mentally and emotionally fragile allowed them to be consumed by partisan politics and the special interests of K Street.

Interestingly enough, it is in the area of sexuality, that we have progressed somewhat as a people and not declined.  Only a few years ago a homosexual man could not dare admit his status and expect to work as a professional. Often he could not even expect to enjoy the support of his own family should he admit his homosexuality. He certainly could never expect to have a family and kids of his own.

Now, all those things have changed. Most Americans think homosexuals should be able to have recognized partnerships. Most believe homosexuality should have no impact on ones career. Most Americans now feel one's homosexuality is for God to judge not anyone else. All of that is the way it should be and it is clear fundamental Christians understand they are loosing their hateful battle against gays. Unfortunately, it is not  yet clear to the fundamental Christians themselves that they are now hurting themselves worse than they are hurting gays with their hatefulness and anger. They are also hurting the very faith they hope to sustain, indeed to promote.

Most of us simply do not have the power or the influence to affect the views of the world. But each of us is affected daily by the hate and anger that surrounds us. Some of us take our lives and the lives of our family in our hands simply by going to church or going to the movies.

Each of us, however, does have the power to affect our own hatefulness, our own anger and our own fears. I think it may have been Eleanor Roosevelt who said, "It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness." We can each light own own candle against hatefulness and anger. With enough single candles, we can light a new day for the world. We can never stop all the hate and anger, but we can make it known that we will not tolerate nor succumb to it. We can make it clear we will challenge the hateful and angry wherever they may appear. We can make sure that we respect the right of every American citizen to have views that differ from ours on controversial issues. When we must disagree, we can disagree on the issues and not devolve into personal attacks.

As the poet says, we each can say, "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me."

Jack Scott


  1. You know, it has nothing to do with the man's beliefs, statements, or even Chick-fil-a's fundamental Christian management, whatever there is of that. That is all a big strawman argument that everyone seems to be focused on. The real issue concerns the company in questions sponsorship of hate groups that seek to use political power to further stifle whatever happiness LGBT people have in this country. I personallly have not eaten at one of their restaurants in years after my last lover informed me of their various sponsorships. I appreciate your attempt to quell the hateful attitude many LGBT people have adopted, but as a bisexual man, I already feel hated by pretty much everyone, and the rage is understandable.

    1. I guess I have to admit that with my increasing age I tend to echo Rodney King's call more and more: "Can't we all just get along."

      Because I don't live openly as a bisexual man except to my wife and my close friends who I've chosen to tell because I knew they would understand, the only hate I've ever encounter was my own hate in the early years of my struggle.

      There is absolutely no doubt that you are right about the "strawman." And in a very real way that is what disturbs me most. So many of our politicians and religious folks have reached the level that they are willing to manufacture straw men of hate to serve their own self interests.

      I appreciate your comment Kaine.

      Jack Scott

  2. How far would you be willing to go to confront an example of hate? It is relatively easy for us in our blogs to get up on our soapboxes. For example, if you were sitting in your own United Methodist congregation on a Sunday morning, and your minister said something hateful about gays or bisexuals or other groups, would (could) you stand up during his sermon and counter his argument?

    What can be our solution for the mentally unbalanced among us who commit hate crimes, especially those that are of a copy-cat crime? The media is not going to cease the endless examples of hate crimes, as you explained.

    "Can't we all just get along?" Apparently not; it seems not to be a part of the human genome.

    1. Oh believe me, I've confronted pastors before. Never with rancor and never in public, but I have confronted them.

      As to getting along. I'm proud of the fact that more often than not I get along with people. Can we all just get along? You're right. Apparently not.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Appreciate it.

      Jack Scott

  3. You ask some very probing questions. I do not see too much evidence however that the world outside of America is very much different. Hatred, bigotry abound everywhere and all sorts of human weaknesses are played on by the media. There sure is something of a vicious circle about it all.

    1. You are absolutely right. It is a vicious circle. It is also one people don't think clearly about. We are told that negative adds work so they are used.

      Well they are used by everyone now and half the people who use them are defeated so how can it be said the negative adds work?

      Jack Scott

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  5. I feel that hate is part of fear. When we fear something, we tend to express ourselves by hating that thing or belief. As many of us have discovered in our selves is the self hate or fear that we do not meet the ideal norm that our society expects. We use a variety of beliefs to justify that we need to conform to the social norms. If someone goes outside the box, then we want to either make them conform or destroy them. (Human Nature?)

    Needless to say that there are many people that think everyone should think only the way they do. If they don't, then they must be eliminated. that is what I see as the prejudice and the bigotry in our world. I doubt that it will ever go completely away. That is sad.

    I do agree, though, that peace can begin with me as well.
    I will light one candle and not walk in the darkness.

    1. You are so right. Fear and Hate are twin brothers.

      Jack Scott

  6. Hate is an emotion that goes back to Cain and Able. The hate was so strong murder was the outcome.

    The brokenness of the human spirit from the beginning, call it oringinal sin, IS part of human nature. The importance of being better, smarter, richer, etc., the whole combative life we are taught, unfortunately makes us open to dimminish those different than us.

    I hear LGBT folk making snied remarks such as refering to straight couples as breeders...or making remarks when they are in the presence of a crying baby to gag the kid or some other nasty remark.

    We came out of the 20th century which saw the greatest number of people killed because of wars built on hate. The holocaust was a good example. Till this day we see the ongoing hate from that time in history.

    Does the media cause hate? I do not believe so, at least, not as much as people do. You won't blame a gun for killing people so don't blame the media for causing hate. We all have our personnal likes and dislikes.

    Peace my friends. It begins with me.

    1. Hum, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on part of this.

      I don't blame guns because they are inanimate objects. The press? No way. They are flesh and blood human beings with an agenda to hype anything they can and they don't give a damn if hate is the consequence.

      Jack Scott


I deeply regret that I must reinstate the verification process for those who want to leave comments on my blog. This is due to the intolerable amount of spam that spammers are attempting to leave on the blog.

At the same time I am changing settings so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will not have to have your comments moderated. My hope is this will encourage more readers to take the time to comment. The fact is I want to read comments with those of you who disagree with me as well as those of you who agree with me. All I ask is that you keep your comments clean and non-threatening.

The only reason I take the time to write this blog is to spur your thoughts and comments. Please do not let the spammers cause you not to comment. I know entering the verification words and numbers is a pain in the ass, but I hope you will not let the spammers cause you not to comment.

I still very much look forward to hearing from you.

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott