Thursday, June 10, 2010
Hatred: The Greatest of Your Fears Revealed - New Thought Sunday Message June 13, 2010
You probably live in a city or town that has community access TV channels. In my city, there are several.
The other night, I was flipping through the channels and happened upon a weird little program put on by the so-called Aryan Nation. This white guy, around 30, was spouting about how the white race was superior, how he hated Hispanics and Jews in particular, and what we needed to do to get rid of "the pests." He didn't come right out and advocate murder and terrorism, but it was implied-heavily.
The guy claimed that the white race had given all its best stuff—technology, literature, music, art—to the inferior races of Asia, Africa and South America. And they had used it all against us. (What?)
He said that the other races, especially Hispanics, were overrunning the United States and turning it into a Third World country. They only take, he said; they don't really contribute anything of substance. (What?)
He said that the Jews were using the US to perpetuate their own agenda, that is, to totally control the Middle East. They take American money from American banks, that is, American pockets, to finance their covert operations around the world. What?
Then, in a final bit of rage, he declared war on Islam. The Muslims, he claimed, were pouring into the US and setting us up for the internal war of wars. They were planning on bombing everything possible to bring the US to its knees. Then, when it was weakened, the Muslim groups from outside the US could come and take control, demolishing American democracy-and thus, the democracies all over the world—and setting up an Islamic theocracy in its place. (What?)
Growing up in the 1950's, I encountered a lot of racism. Most of the kids I went to school with were white, and they thought nothing of telling racist and sexist jokes. Me, too, I'm afraid. It didn't matter; it wasn't important. We were not told that black people, Hispanic people, and Asian people were actually part of the human family. Oh, we knew they were human, in a sense, but they were different from us, less educated and educable; they were dirty, and caused most of the crime in our cities. They came in from foreign countries and stole jobs from white people. And you didn't want your daughter or sister or even son to marry one.
Did our schoolteachers seek to enlighten us with the truth? Did they tell us that these other folks who seemed so different were actually the same as us, with dreams and hopes and fears? Did they admonish us to treat people who appeared different with understanding and friendship? Hardly. Most of the teachers and administrators-and our parents--were as prejudice as the kids. That's where we got it.
And what about our ministers? Once in a great while, I would hear a preacher mention that we should be "tolerant" of our darker brothers and sisters, but for the most part, I rarely heard any truly loving language concerning racially different people coming from the pulpit.
Has all that ended? Only to a degree. We still carry a great deal of prejudice in our collective hearts. It may seem subtle, but not to those who are still the recipients of it. And it's not just white people who are prejudice. Americans of every stripe carry seeds of racism, sexism, homophobia, even ageism. You no longer have to be Caucasian to be mean-spirited.
Now, with all the terrorism reports, all the bombings and shootings in London, New York, Baghdad, Mumbai, and Karachi (and probably more by the time this is published), more and more people are allowing the old prejudiced and fear-filled mindset to return. "Kill all the Muslims" read a sign in downtown Portland not long ago.
Are the Muslims to blame for all the world's trouble? Of course not. There is a handful of radicals who are claiming that they kill in the name of Islam, to destroy the enemies of Islam, to protect the good names of Allah and Muhammad. But the vast majority of Muslims, like the vast majority of Christians, Jews, and Hindus, are peace loving, hard working people. They want the best for their children, for their neighborhoods, for their nations. A few misguided fundamentalists, including the KKK, who believe they are doing God's will, are actually setting the world up for a possible letting of blood unlike anything we have ever experienced in world history. And no one, including the radicals, will win.
Can we change that scenario? Do we even want to change it? If we can, how? When? With what? Or even why? (Let Armageddon happen, some say.)
You will learn how next week. You don't want to miss it. You play a major role.