Not sure exactly where this is found in the gospels, but I am sure it should be there. Christians have always been identified by our love. Hate has no place in authentic spirituality.
Even though that bond seems weaker than ever before, and there are many who would like to see it broken, I agree with President Carter’s statement that he made in Oslo almost 15 years ago. We cannot allow the divisiveness of fears and prejudices take away the basic truth of our shared humanity. We are one global family.
Listening to the current Republican presidential debates one can draw a frightening comparison to the early growth of Hilter’s Nazi Germany. The hatred, racism, bigotry and name-calling is ugly, divisive and wrong.
Such rhetoric appeals to the fear and baser instincts of the unintelligent and uneducated, but does not reflect the moral and spiritual foundation of our nation. No nation will be called great that demonstrates the values of greed, fear and zenophobia being so loudly proclaimed by the two remaining Republican candidates for the highest office in the land.
Turning a blind eye in the late 1930s led to the deaths of untold millions and a global war whose impact is still being felt. All of us need to open our eyes and see what is happening. We need to open our ears and truly listen to what is being said.
Then we need to do whatever is necessary to insure our nation doesn’t take the low road. It’s the road that leads straight to hell.
As I get older I cannot help but notice how today’s society tolerates a lack of basic civilized behavior. Not only have our morals loosed to the point of becoming completely untied, our acceptance of boorish and rude behavior never ceases to amaze me.
While I am a staunch believer in individual rights and free speech, many of the verbal exchanges I have observed during the Presidential debates make me wince in shame. What happened to basic civility?
I find it frightening that candidates for our nation’s highest office appeal to fear, hatred and racial prejudice while openly attacking each other as liars. These are not the kind of people I want leading the United States, and I hope that playing to the lowest common denominator backfires on them when the votes are counted.
My deepest fear, however, is that our society is not only tolerating such behavior but has already embraced it. If such is the case, we definitely deserve the government and the leadership we will get.
Knowing history can keep us from repeating it. Concern over the direction our country is moving is not enough. Faithfulness calls us to step up and speak out against the hate speech, racism and bigotry that is being encouraged.
Hate speech is not a Christian value. Loving others more than we love ourselves leaves no room for racism and bigotry.
Christians need to demonstrate the love of God by our acceptance and respect of those different than ourselves. And we all need to have the moral courage to speak out against the ugly rhetoric that has become a part of the current political campaigns.