A Culture of Hate

This post is going to be inflammatory.  It shouldn’t read that way, but it will.  I am not coming from a place of being inflamed, just tired.

I have really grown exhausted with this culture of hate that we live in.  What hate?  Take a look out of your kitchen window.  Hate rides on the air, looks for cracks and seeps into our homes.  Hate travels into our eyes and ears, saturating our minds and hearts.  You may say, “Well I don’t hate anyone!”  I’m sorry, you do.  If you did not hate, your life would be an unmanageable mess.  Some people hate injustice, some hate curse words,  some hate PBS.  Hate is the excuse we use to eliminate things from our lives.  Sometimes the excuses are valid.  Most often, they are not.

Western culture has fought hard to eliminate the need for God to exist.  In many ways it has succeeded.  We hold ourselves to a basic moral code at best.  Kind of like, don’t murder (unless you HAVE to),  and uh, well, don’t murder.  One could get up in arms and say, “I believe that everyone should be treated kindly!”  No, you don’t.  Sorry, I don’t either.  Let me illustrate:

I believe in the Creator.  I believe life begins at conception and that abortion is MURDER.  I think evolution is ludicrous, bunk science, with natural selection being the only part that kind of makes sense.  I think liberals are misguided and are leading us into communism, which in turn leads to dictatorship.  I think public schools should be called government schools.  I believe there is an active, enforced, program of indoctrination going on in universities.

Are you angry yet?  If you presented the flip side to me.  I would at the very least be highly irritated.  I may even want you treated unkindly.  Not by me, of course.  And I would only want you punished enough to “show you the light”.  Thus begins the process of me “hating” you and eliminating you from my life.

If you hate, dislike, are uncomfortable, or disagree with something, that makes it okay, easy, necessary to destroy eliminate or ban. Hating God makes it okay to brand Christians as morons.  Hating atheists makes it okay for them to burn in hell.  Hating people makes it okay to kill them,  their culture,  their belief system.  Hating the unborn child makes it okay to remove it. Hating abortion makes it okay for a woman to die during one, or in the least for it sterilize her.   Hating the oil companies makes it okay to kill 9 million jobs.  Hating the President makes it okay for all of the Solyndra employees to go down in flames.   Hating big agriculture makes it okay to shut off their irrigation water and starve people around the world.  Hating independent farmers makes it okay for the Health Department to descend on a dinner party and forcefully throw all of the food away.  Hating vaccines makes it okay for vaccinated children to get autism.  Hating anti-vaccine parents makes it okay for children to die of whooping cough.  Hating the boy who is dressed like a typical teenage punk makes it okay to shoot him.

Well, THEY should know better.  Be better informed.  Be more intelligent.  Be more resourceful.  Be less stupid. Be like ME.

The arrogance.

I know it is easy to look in the mirror and think of all the beautiful things I THINK I have done for mankind.  But I haven’t.  I do more harm than good.  Daily.  I can turn on a news channel that will back up my views.  I can get the spin on any story and go spout “my” opinion to my friends and neighbors.  I can even make it sound really great.  I appear so informed.  But, I am so naive.  So are you.   We are chasing the wind.  We have too much knowledge and very little wisdom.  (Maybe we should quit hating our elders and locking them up in a closet somewhere.)

The basic biblical concept of loving your neighbor as yourself is lost on today’s society.  Why?  Because we have expunged anything related to God from our lives.  If we hadn’t we would remember that ALL have fallen short.  ALL of us are in the same boat.  We would KNOW that whoever is the least is the greatest.  Jesus, Others, You.  In that order.  That is where true JOY comes from.  We would know that hating someone in your heart is the same as murdering them.

Here we are.  We are here.

Unless hate is eliminated we will come to the same conclusion.  I am sorry to report that hatred will not disappear.  This is a broken world.  Only One will fix it. Until then, we hate.  Even if we raised our children to never judge (hate) a person for the color of their skin, hatred would just take another form.  How virus like!  Even if we raised our children not to hate others because of their beliefs, hatred would morph itself around another cause.  Hate can be so subtle and prettily packaged.  (I’d rather go naked than wear fur, you fur wearing troglodyte!) (Choosy moms choose Jif!)

Sigh.  It’s hard.  I think that’s why the Bible says “Faith, hope, love…but the greatest of these is love.”  Love is much harder, but I am willing to try.  Are you?


A little update.

I haven’t written about my husband and his struggle with addiction for a couple of months, so I figured it was time for an update.  Yay!  Updates!  Well, the progress report is very good.  When I last wrote about him, really, I was pulling my hair out and ready to move back to California.  I was soooooo ready.  I was also kicking myself for not having some sort of financial back up that would let me leave at a moments notice.  So that was then.

The church stepped in and took Jon under its wing.  I had so much support from the ladies.  The pastor and his wife met with us several times, then the pastor put Jon in his back pocket for a few weeks and got down to the nitty gritty with him.  He took the time to lay out what alcoholism was doing to Jon spiritually, the danger it was putting him in.  Not just physical danger, but eternal danger.  The pastor charged Jon with getting into God’s word every day, listening to Christian music, and reading Christian authors.  Basically, he wanted Jon to wash his spirit clean.  This may all sound hokey to you, but so far, it’s working.  The changes are amazing to see.

My impatient, stressed out husband has become more understanding and tries to not sweat the small stuff.  I am NOT saying he is perfect and is Mr. WON-der-FUL.  He still sweats a lot of small things. He still can get snappy. ( I do too.) But, overall, he speaks differently.  He carries himself differently.  His eyes and smile are different.  There is change.  He is bearing fruit!  It’s such a difference from before.  No more trying to desperately patch things up.  No more wrestling furiously to keep the alcohol monster at bay.  The attitude that life is unfair and doesn’t make him “happy” is dwindling.  I love it.

The Bible reading, and prayer have been number one in his healing process.  I would have to say a very close number two in the process is our church.  Every week we are recharged with such amazing messages of hope.  We don’t HAVE to live the American dream.  We can throw off those shackles!  We were not put here to serve ourselves, but God and others!  We have the HOPE of eternity!  We have a calling on our lives that makes us different.  We have the responsibility to be a light that shines for people, and draw them near to God.

I don’t know about you, but when I look at the world through the eyes of God, and His plan, my own selfish desires become trivial.  I know that  same force is at work in Jon.  He can’t drink, feel sorry for himself, and then have the joy of the Lord.  He is learning, and succeeding, so far, at letting himself go, and letting God work.  So, I am glad that God has been working behind the scenes. I’m glad that I did not take off with my kids and a wad of cash.  I’m thankful for God’s love…even if Jon stumbles again…even if the world says I am bonkers…even if the stars fall on my head.

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Humans First.

When I was  a little girl, I spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s house. My grandpa let me follow him outside quite a bit.  Now that I have my own children, I think I know why.  I was probably full of energy, got into everything, asked a lot of questions and drove my grandma nuts.  So outside we would go.  As I look back, those times with him are where I learned the most about the world.  Not that he and my grandma had a grand estate with twelve ecosystems, far from it.  They had a ten acre farm that was mostly a walnut orchard.  Nevertheless, the lessons were big and I carry them with me today.

He would tell me about animals, show me where they lived.  He pointed out danger.  He whistled.  He made up stories.  He answered all of my many, many questions.  If he planted a tree he would tell me all about it as he walked me to it.  He made me care about my surroundings.  He instilled an excitement about nature and new life. He was also willing to share with me the hard facts about loving animals as well.  Dear furry friends did in fact die, and it could be really tough on the heart.  My big tall grandpa hated to lose a pet.  He also made no bones about the difference between pets and livestock.  There were no tears shed over the little lambs who grew up to be sheep, then soon appeared on the dinner table.

I think about how lucky I am to have a grandpa like him.  He is still alive and well, but so very far away.  I wish my kids could walk with him, but they can’t, so I do my best to fill the void.  I find myself whistling and telling them tales, or getting excited about birds, trees, and bugs.  I have them help me dig in the dirt, or plant seeds for the garden.  Those are moments that I treasure.

I guess what I am getting at is this:  we need more effortless times of wonder with our kids.  We need to get excited about rainbows, and rain, finding a bird’s nest, steering clear of snakes.  There is a connection that is made with their surroundings.  THEIR world.  If you teach a child the proper order of things, they get it.  In turn, they won’t grow up and destroy what is precious to them.  I’m not talking about going crazy with worshiping the earth or joining a radical environmentalist group.  I’m talking about a natural love and tenderness that grows for people, plants and animals, from the heart of the child.  That is how you change the world.  Put humans first. Take time to teach a small human.  Then this beautiful garden we have been blessed with will only benefit.

You may say, “My neighbors are idiots and their children blow up their toys all day.”  Well, if you can, be a positive influence on those wild kids.  If you can’t, society will probably weed them out quickly and they will be housed in some sort of long-term facility.  At least then maybe they can recycle something.  Just skip the rhetoric, hate, and misguided legislation.  Raise up a generation of passionate people.  Better than any weapon, stronger than any army.  Human hearts are an untapped, renewable resource!  (But not suitable for fuel or food, let’s not go Soylent Green here people!)

Humans First.