Political Rants · Uncategorized

No, I don’t have to love you.

Love your neighbor who doesn't: look like you, think like you, love like you, speak like you, pray like you, vote like you. Love your neighbor. No exceptions.Today I saw a sign being shared that was originally from an Episcopal church. People commented on it about how great it was, how it was all about love, and how this is what Jesus meant.

I call bullshit.

A massive, steaming pile of fresh, fly-attracting bullshit.

A field full of massive, steaming piles of fresh, fly-attracting bullshit.

Because, no.

I don’t love you.

I don’t have to love you.

Love is like respect.

You try to love and respect people when you meet them.

You try to assume the best in them.

You try to believe that the love and respect will be reciprocated, that there is a level of parity that is reached, and that there will be a mutual response.

When that doesn’t happen – when that person makes it clear that they want to oppress you, deny you your rights, imprison you, and, yes, even kill you simply because of who you are at your fundamental core…

Then, no.

I do not have to love that person.

You do not have to love that person.

Loving that person is allowing them to continue with their messages of hatred.

Loving that person is being complicit in their hate and anger and behavior.

Loving that person is agreeing that it is okay to discriminate

They do not desire your love.

They do not respect your love.

They will use your love against you.

Do not love that person.

Uncategorized

People are crazy, but you don’t have to be an asshole about it

ImageI really think my title says it all, but let me explain.

First – the Boston marathon bombing was horrific.  Straight up, no questions asked, completely horrific. 

Second – the escape attempts (thus far) for the two bombers (alleged bombers? Maybe not so much at this point) have also been horrific.

 The number of people terrorized, frightened, seriously injured, killed, or otherwise impacted is horrific, too.

Do you see the point I’m making here?  It’s all horrific.  And the bombers are crazy, obviously, because no sane person could do this while maintaining their sanity.  Even if they began sane, they lost is somewhere along the line.  (And while there’s an argument to be made here about sanity versus insanity and whether or not violent acts cause it or are the cause of it…well, that’s for another time.)

Because once I’ve made sure you understand that this whole thing is horrific, we get to the fact that some people are just assholes when things like this happen and the news comes out.

Yes, the bombers are immigrants.  They are brothers.  One received a scholarship from the City of Cambridge. 

But…and here’s a big but…you can’t just turn around and say, “Those bastards needed to have gone home instead of taking all this from us and then attacking us.”  Because then you’ve started to move beyond just the two brothers.  You’ve moved into more.  Because, while I’m paraphrased this from a Facebook posting I saw on someone’s page – someone I used to think was intelligent and well-educated and tolerant of humanity – the immediate response from this person’s friend was that, yeah, people like that do it in other countries, too, and we need to get rid of these immigrants.

This making of an “other” has been a favorite topic of mine for a long time, and this is what we’ve doing.  Forget that they have gone to school here.  Forget that they have family here who are horrified at what was done and that have said that, could they speak to the boy, would tell him to give himself up.

We need to somehow remove this “other” from our society, and so we say that all immigrants who get free things have no right to be crazy and attack us.   We call them terrorists, and I’m not arguing that, but there was talk of them being “homegrown terrorists” (i.e. Americans by birth).  Why make the distinction?  Why bring it up at all?  If someone is crazy and kills someone, their immigrant status should not matter, unless it’s a question of deportation.  Otherwise, if they are living here, and if they are being educated here, and if they are part of our society, they are part of us.  They are not other. 

I just fear that this is going to turn into another witch hunt, where anyone who is not American by birth is going to be viewed with suspicion and hatred.  We have enough of that.  We need to understand that just because two immigrants did something bad, there are millions more that have not and never will.

Because, as the Ghandi quote as is currently circulating goes – “You must not lose faith in humanity.  Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

Let’s try to remember that we are that ocean.  Don’t assume that all of it is dirty just because of a few specks of dirt.  (And it’s also worth taking the metaphor even further to point out that there will always be dirt in the ocean; it’s best to build up an immunity and work to clean it than to just wipe it out and suffer the consequences of a wide-sweeping action that we don’t understand the full import of…)