An Epidemic of Hate

This has to stop. It has to stop now.

Our country is being torn apart by it. More and more every day. Our very way of life is being threatened by it.

And before you start saying, “That’s right! They have to stop!” you’d better read the rest of this blog.

I seldom write about politics. My political positions are my own personal business. Everyone has a right to their own political leanings, whether I agree or not, just as you may not agree with mine. Our country is thankfully guaranteed freedom of speech in the Constitution.

But that freedom should not be confused with the hate-speak that is becoming so rampant in this country.

Friends are turning against friends because they don’t agree with their political or social views. Whatever happened to agreeing to disagree?

Families are divided because of it as well, with parents and children refusing to speak to each other because of their differing views. In many cases they’re unable to even have a simple conversation without it turning mean and hateful.

Many of us, like myself, refrain from even mentioning certain subjects in order to avoid potential arguments which in today’s times can escalate to not speaking to each other for a few days or even longer.

Why write this now? Because I’m sickened at heart with what has been happening in this country. Threats against an attorney doing her job as a public defender of the latest school shooter, and yes, I know he has rights to a defense, but personally I would have resigned my job before taking on that case. But that’s my opinion, and I’m entitled to it.

Now we have people across our country tweeting and posting how they hope a very talented and popular skier loses out in the Olympics because she said she won’t go to the White House to meet the president because she’s not a supporter.

Really, people? You’re that petty? This is an athlete representing our country in a foreign country!

This has got to stop.

And it’s both sides. BOTH SIDES. From all levels. I’m not even sure at this point which side is worse; which is more embarrassing.

When did it become so popular – and so acceptable – to speak hate against each other; and against our own country?

When did it become acceptable to mock someone, make fun of them, belittle them, because of their faith? Are they not entitled to their personal beliefs? Are they trying to force them on others?

Why is it acceptable to hate an entire group of people because of their sexual orientation? Unfortunately I’ve even heard pastors say privately how they hate gay people, when they are the very ones who should be offering them a hand of love and grace. Didn’t Jesus say to love each other? He didn’t make exceptions. Why do they?

Why is it acceptable to hate someone because their skin is black? Or brown? Or white? When are we going to get past that? And when are we going to stop the derogatory name calling of others who are a different nationality or ethnic group?

Why do so many people say it’s justified to shoot policemen because they believe some of them are bad? And they may be, but there is never a reason to shoot someone just because of their job.

Why is it acceptable for some of our news media to adjust the news to their own political beliefs? And yes this happens on BOTH SIDES! And why is it acceptable for our president to keep using the term “fake news” all the time, which further exacerbates what I’m talking about? Yes, we have freedom of the press, but does it encompass slanting news in one way or another?

When did it become acceptable to have a double standard of conduct for public figures and political leaders? That it’s ok for one person to have done something wrong because he apologized for it, or it hasn’t been proven yet, when leaders on the other side are condemned by the same people for the exact same behavior, the exact same allegations?

And when did it become acceptable for pastors and other religious leaders to condemn certain groups of people because they don’t agree with their views? Once again both sides are guilty. And that is not the definition of preaching love; condemnation is the same as hate. Our Lord told us to love each other as ourselves. He didn’t add “except for these people….” I don’t get it.

I could go on and on, but it still won’t change anything. In fact, nothing will change until each and every one of us realize that our views, our ideas, our standards, are not the only ones that can ever be right. Until each of us realize that we are all entitled to our own opinions.

What we should not be entitled to is hate. Hate towards those who have opposing views. Hate towards those who are trying to live their lives the same as we are.

There’s an epidemic in this country. And it’s not the flu. Unfortunately there’s no vaccine against it. It strikes each and every one of us at least at one point in our life.

I’m tired of hearing all the hate. It has to stop. It needs to stop now. Before even more people become victims of those who think they’re the only ones entitled to their opinion.

And as for our Olympian, I hope she scores the gold! No matter what her political views!

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