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But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness,

godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. ~ 1 Timothy 6:11

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Stop Breeding Hatred

Here's a true story that happened to me yesterday, July 2, 2013.  I am not telling this story for sympathy, nor to show one side's superiority.  Please bear with me.

...

I went to the capitol to to register my support for HB2 (a pro-life bill).  After registering, I shared the elevator back up with a woman wearing a bright orange shirt and shorts (signifying she was pro-choice).

We joked about needing to get out of the suffocating environment. When we reached street level, I opened the door for her.  As we walked out we discussed what a nice day it was. 

A man covered in tattoos and piercings approached us and asked as where to go to register.  Together we provided directions that ensured he would get there. 

Afterwards, she asked me where I worked. I told her National Instruments and she shared that her grandfather had worked at NASA and was a specialist on a key piece of hardware.

At this point we had been walking together for five minutes, two amicable strangers being friendly and making conversation.

Then she asked, “So what side are you on?”

I replied, “Oh, I am very pro-life.”

Horror stretched across her face. She turned 90 degrees and starting walking away at a brisk pace while accusing me over her shoulder. 
“You disgust me.” 
“You hate women.” 
“You don't believe in religious freedom"
"You're a jihadist who wants to enslave women."

In my shock, I offered, “You don’t need to yell, we could have a discussion about this.”

She turned to face me while walking backwards and screamed:
“I will never talk with you, YOU TERRORIST!"
"You can’t tell me what to do with MY BODY!”

I replied (perhaps mistakenly), “But it’s a child.”

She was now at the street corner and stopped in a crowd to scream back:
“It is NOT."
"It is FLESH!"
"AND YOU ARE A TERRORIST!”



This event shocked and saddened me. We had been acquaintances having a friendly conversation. And the moment she found out I held an opposite point of view she was outraged and terrified. 

This woman isn't alone. And she isn't the bad guy. She is a victim of cruel leadership and vile propaganda that breeds hatred.

The “pro-choice” side isn't the only side that does it. All sides of all issues are doing it more and more. It needs to stop now.

If I’m supposed to be enemies with others who don’t share my views, does that mean I can only be friends with like-minded individuals? What a narrow minded, bland way to live!

Am I supposed to hate everyone who disagrees with me? What a hate filled, cowardly life!

The demonizing of the “other side” is hurting everyone. How can we ever have a logical discussion to settle our disputes when all we do is attack and refuse to listen?

The hatred needs to stop!


What You Can Do

Start with people who will listen to you.  Stand up to your friends when they used exaggerated, hurtful words.  Stand up and leave when people on "your side" incite hatred and bigotry.

I know that I am asking for a lot of courage.  These are the hardest people to stand up to, the ones you don't want to let down.

But the "tactics" being used now hurt everyone, including the people on "your side".  This is causing pain, ruining relationships, and eliminating any chance of ever settling a dispute logically and peacefully.

Please stop hating.


Keep Pursuing