I read a headline this morning, “Isis burns 19 Yazidi women to death in Mosul for ‘refusing to have sex with fighters.'” It’s one of the horrible headlines that seem to mark world news these days.
There are images of women devastated by this event. It’s a deep cruelty.
Without taking away from the women killed in Mosul, there is a cruelty beneath everything… even here in the U.S. A young girl gives her valedictorian speech talking about immigration and admitting her lack of legal status (to show that being ‘illegal’ doesn’t mean ‘dirty’ or ‘stupid’, but a human being can be raised here without legal status and be like everyone else – successful.) – yet hate comes from hostile people tearing her a part on Twitter. People start demanding her deportation. Some start critiquing her body… others are attacking, trolling and bullying her into oblivion (she ultimately deleted her twitter account.)
It isn’t always the kind people who are hunted by the mass of us. The bad ones too. A criminal can get a light sentence or no sentence. A dentist can kill a lion on an animal preserve and we can get up set, but it doesn’t end with letting justice take its course… people turn to the social media mob, the same mob mentality that attacked a young valedictorian, and this mob pastes hate on the dentist’s Yelp site – some demanding he commit suicide.
Political figures and followers do the same – casting cruelties on each other. Once friends, become bitter rivals.
These Events Are Connected
Take any day, look at the headlines. What lies beneath it all is the same force – hatred. It may be extreme and murderous in one part of the world, and less brutal in another, but it’s from the same source.
Yes, it’s more horrible that 19 young women were burned alive – but don’t kid yourself, the same spirit of hate that drove that action, drives the Social Media troll who demands suicide of a dentist, or mocks a young latin woman for her success.
Social media has allowed many to feel “anonymous” – and free to express the darkness they hold back under a mask of psudeo-pleasantness. The smiling employee who pretends to appreciate a muslim co-worker, could be raking them over the coals on Twitter, Facebook or Youtube – just for being Muslim.
The Source is the Same
It’s best to understand the source of it all. It’s hatred. The same source that drives someone to kill others, is driving people to openly attack others. It may not seem as bad. We might protest, “But I’m only voicing my opinion, aren’t I allowed to voice my opinion?”
We should come to terms with our opinions, but what’s wrong, is having these dark opinion in the first place. No, it’s not ok to harbor hatred for someone else.
Karma & Seeds
Each action we take, returns to us a similar return. When we hate another person, we find ourselves in a world that hates others. By harming others (mentally, verbally or physically) we find ourselves (or others we love) being similarly harmed.
It’s not enough to simply point at others and say “look how they treat us,” rather we need to ask ourselves, “do we treat others the same way?”
Political Icons of Hate
We are in a new age – an age of hate. Donald Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again,” is surely meant as Make America Hate Again. His name is invoked by bigots and racists – people of all levels of intolerance use his name to scare, intimidate and humiliate their opponents.
Stop Telling Us We Need to Vote
The problem is deeper than voting can solve. Voting in Hilary, Sanders or someone other than Trump won’t stop what he started. He turned on and activated the hatred with a massive group of Americans.
This in turn has created civil backlash from others. Fights, confrontations and beating are appearing around the country. The two sides are clashing over ideologies that are extreme.
But will voting Trump out, solve anything? He simply turned people on. He found celebrities and folks who are frustrated and angry and pulled their anger to the top of their personality. Regardless of who is our next president, we will live in a country that hates others who are different.
It is fine to vote, but there is something more that must be done. We must forgive. We must forgive the haters and the haters must forgive their enemies.
Pray without Ceasing
Why pray? To give us strength. For while the flesh is weak, the spirit is strong. Let us pray for our enemies, let us pray for those who despitefully use us – that’s what Jesus instructed and it’s sound advice, regardless of your religion (or non religion.) Care for others, especially those who are your “enemies.”
If you are a religious conservative who supports Trump, re-read the teachings of Jesus and pray that God opens your heart to the Muslim, immigrant, hispanic, African American or anyone else you may have contention with.
If you are a spiritual person who detests others – criminals, political candidates, terrorists… pray to find peace in your heart and mind towards others. Pray for God to remove the the ties of hatred that grip these people so much.
Changing Our World
It is through our actions (mental, verbal and physical) that we get true change – meaning actions that return to us what we put out. If we put out aggression, we will only reap more aggression. But if we put out love and compassion and tolerance, we will get the same. We will find others care for us, as we care for them.