This past Friday I was driving to the Twin Cities to bring my daughter back home for spring break. All morning I was listening to NPR and the news out of New Zealand of the mass shooting at two mosques. Stories of how men, women and a child of three were massacred. All because of hate.
I just don’t understand hate. There are people I don’t like and I’m sure there are people that don’t care much for me, but nothing where we would wish each other physical harm.
I don’t understand hate, but there seems to be more of it every day. There is the rise is Islamophobia as seen last week in New Zealand. We have seen the rise anti-Antisemitism. There was the shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh killing 11 and injuring seven. Christian aren’t immune. There was shooting at the Sutherland Baptist Church in Texas that killed 26 and injured 20. Or the nine killed during a Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
I don’t understand hate, for it is not just against religious people. It is against the LGBTQ community as we saw in the Pulse nightclub shooting that killed 49 and wounded 40 others. Being a peaceful protester in Charlottesville can get you killed.
I don’t understand hate and why it exists. It’s a complicated. But I believe the fundamental reason is fear. Fear of a world that is changing faster than people can deal with. Fear can be overt through violence, bigotry and hate speech. Or it can be very subtle. For example, this past weekend a news outlet had the headline, “AOC (the controversial representative from New York) Polling is Under Water With Everyone”. If you were to read the details of the story, she is not “under water” with women, nonwhites and 18-34 year olds, these are the exceptions. So the “everyone” by default must be white men (and although the story doesn’t say it I would also guess “everyone” includes straight and Christian).
I have no answer on how to solve the issue of hate. All I can do is follow the example given to us by Jesus. To visibly eat and socialize with the outcasts. To love the unlovable. To give hope when all seems hopeless.
What do you think are the causes of hate and how should we respond?