Friday, June 5, 2009

Who is Okay to Hate?

Recently, I came across a dKos commenter, Random Acts of Reason (Random), in a diary by writer ErraticSynapse.

Random asks a very good question:

Will Christians stand with atheists on fighting hate and prejudice against them?

This graphic, displayed on a Texas billboard, is the center of the diary's issue:

In order to understand the group, you can visit the link on the billboard. I just won't link a hate group regardless of religious or other affiliation. I won't support hate no matter who it comes from.
This really, really creepy 15 seconds found at the Genesis site should give you great pause:

BTW: To the Aussies that come here... hey, the leader of this group, Ken Ham (and boy does that fit in so many ways) started out as your guy... now he is, unfortunately, our guy. Is that because he couldn't get a foothold there and came to the really, really stoopid US? What's with that?

Now, many of you that come here are NOT atheists or agnostics, as I am not, and a few VERY respected folks ARE. And as many of you know, I WAS an atheist/agnostic bouncing back and forth from agnostic/atheist before returning to the Episcopal Church in my very late 40's (and, BTW, you can thank--or I suppose blame!--the Fr. Terry/Jake for that, going back some nine or ten years, I guess).

Atheism and agnosticism have advocates of all stripes, much like the difference between Jerry Falwell and ++Desmond Tutu in Christianity. Some of their reasoning and knowledge about theology is good (on the theology part, almost NO atheists/agnostics in the movement seem to understand or even care about modern scholarship on the matter, one thing that irritates the hell out of me, personally... they come at Christianity with the boring sticks of Falwell-like literalism which makes them look absolutely eye-rolling STUPID to their educated opponents on the matter).

But THAT is NOT the issue. The issue is HATE and whether we Christians will stand with them against the vitriol of hate the billboard above, for example, posits.

Now many of you may say... argh... enough to do... who cares. And I guess that is your answer.

Because you are not defending against a certain TYPE of hate directed at a certain TYPE of person, it seems too small to worry about if you are neither. For whites, civil rights for African Americans really wasn't a big deal... until it was.

For hets, lgbt rights were not an issue until the hets' mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, neighbors, church members, friends, bosses, co-workers, social contacts (and on and on) ... 'came out.'

HATE does not confine itself to race or gender identity. It is far more inclusive. It might be political or social or intellectual identity. It might come from envy or jealousy. And it might come disability or illness or class. I certainly never lacks teh stoopid.

No matter where it comes from, no matter what the thinking, hate needs to be called out for what it is. Hate leads only to civil rights violations and limitations, harm in all aspects of life, and in some cases injury and/or death.

So the question is this, on the Christian front: How should we be dealing with this within the frame of Christianity? Why are Christian groups NOT framing hate from another Christian group as unacceptable? DO we, as Christians, follow some 'code of respect' for the hateful among us and if so, how can we possibly defend this?

Those here lgbt know how Rick Warren's lgbt positions (and the scrubbing of his mega-church website on the matter) pissed everyone off. Most don't really understand, to this day, how Warren works with TEC schizmos in helping them into the more Calvinist beliefs by giving them cover and this over women in the church, lgbt issues, prop 8, evangelizing in Africa, reproductive issues (e.g. birth control) etc. In other words, evangelizing through exclusion and more soft-pedalled-Hawaiian-shirt hate. It's still hate. You know it, and I know it.

We all know the purpose of IRD, yet our OWN church, a target of the organization, doesn't talk about it at all. WHY? Does anyone really believe that the damage done to TEC is absent IRD influence? Does anyone care that when issues arise, they don't contact TEC for thoughts, but IRD as though we have NO opinion or social witness? Errr... do we have a social witness?
Do we REALLY have environmental witness?

It's one thing to SAY you do something. It is entirely different to DO something.

Hate: It isn't just a noun.