I’ve been trying to think of something good to write on. Being a geek blog, it needs to be geeky and with my focus on mobile apps, my posts have all been on that topic lately, I don’t want to overwhelm the blog with those posts. So I decided to venture into a dangerous ground.
Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Well, “we” meaning Christianity. “We” is a dangerous term given that only 1/3 of the people on the planet are Christian. It is, however; the dominate religion in the United States, which many of you are from, so I’ll brave the term and go with “we”.
Take the Rick Perry “I’m a Christian and therefore Gay’s are Evil” ad that he’s running to try and become President as an example. He’s targeting a group to blame for all the country’s problems and encouraging you to hate them because its the Christian thing to do. “The Christian thing to do…..”
Jesus taught us to love not hate, yet it seems that message gets lost today. “We” are anti-gay marriage (well anti-gay everything it seems.) “We” are against a mosque being built down the street. “We” are against the growing culture of Spanish speakers. “We” are against socialists and communists. “We” are against anything that isn’t like us.
Where does that come from? It seems to me that we’ve forsaken Jesus’s message of love and tolerance and forgiveness to one of hate those that don’t believe in God. Hate those who violate 4 verses in the Bible, 3 in the Old Testament and of which two are in the same writing as hurl rocks at your kids until they die for back talking you. You know, the verses you cherry pick that gives you permission to hate the GLBT community.
Frequently this hate comes from a lack of familiarity with the people you are hating on. Its a distrust formed because “they” are different and “we” are not comfortable with them or their culture. Its easy for people to group together in common circles to protect your status quo. But when that need to protect only stems from not knowing those outside your group, that’s when problems start. War’s have started because of this.
For those who are Star Wars fans (obligatory geekism), you know that hate leads to the dark side. The dark side is evil, therefor hate is evil.
Hate and distrust leads to bullying. Many of us think of bullies as big kids beating up on weaklings. That’s true, but its also people saying hurtful things about others. Its about excluding people because they are different. Its making fun of a kid because he prefers art over football. Because she wears glasses. Why is different wrong? Why must “we” do things to hurt people who are different?
Since this is a season of Love, Family, Giving, Sharing and as we move to the new year, one of resolve…. Lets not worry about how we got to a state of hate, but instead focus on love and tolerance.
I challenge each and every one of you as we move into 2012 to work to find some group/culture/faith that you “hate” or uncomfortable with and try to learn something about them. Maybe its learning a little bit about Chinese culture. Perhaps its reading a few verses of the Koran. Learn a little bit of Spanish. Read about the origins of Kwanzaa.
Take this time and make it your New Years resolution. Make it one you will keep. It doesn’t take much.
If we all take a few steps towards love and tolerance then perhaps the world will be a better place. A more peaceful place and one were different is a good quality not a bad one.