“Love one another as I have loved you.”
Jesus of Nazareth was born in Bethlehem on December 25th in the year O*. We’ll celebrate his 2012th birthday soon.
[So, you may be wondering why am I bumping up Jesus in the usual chronological birthday list of Thought of the Day and featuring Him today? I did it because I was looking for a good quote that reflected how I felt about current events, and this quote says it all. Let me explain…]
I must be.
Certainly I’m naive.
Absolutely I’m a fool.
Because… no matter how often I am presented with it…I just don’t understand hate.
This week has been a good one for hate and the haters. The bullies and the manipulators have been out in force. Frankly, people, I just don’t get it and I’m telling you to stop.
Please stop making (or rather manipulating**) movies so they are purposefully incendiary to an entire religion. While you are at it, stop sanctioning that movie in some misguided blessing from my God (as one Florida preacher did). Don’t speak for Jesus unless it is a direct quote. Jesus, as I recall, said “Love one another as I have loved you.” ONE ANOTHER — meaning everybody, not just the people who look, think, love, vote, or pray the way you do.
I’m a writer. (The word “write” is in the NAME of my BLOG). Obviously I believe in FREE SPEECH, but I also believe that Freedom of Speech comes with responsibility. You can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theatre and then, after people stampede out, shrug and say “Free Speech.” You can’t liable someone and evoke the right. And you shouldn’t knowingly spew hatred. Is it your free speech right to make any movie you want? Yes, but it is wrong, and you know it.
Hatred hurts. In this case it killed.
That brings me to the other side of this crisis, and the other side of the world. To those of you in Muslim countries and of the Muslim faith, PLEASE know that most of us in the U.S. are just as revolted by that movie as you are. In fact most of us didn’t know anything about it until the protest started in Egypt.
That movie in no way represents America.
But, it is also wrong that this stupid little movie is being used to insight violence through out the Middle East and in other Muslim countries. What happened in Libya was horribly wrong and senseless, and the only agenda it promoted is one of hate.
To my Muslim brothers and sisters I ask you to consider a more peaceful response.
I hope we can all dial back the rhetoric, the name calling, the stone throwing and resentment and redirect our efforts towards building peaceful relationships… large and small.
I know I’m not a genius, but I do know that hate begets nothing but hate, whereas a hand held out in peace can build a better world.
Peace be with you, my friends.
(*Jesus’ birth is either on year O 0r the year 6 or 4 BC depending on which scholar you read)
(**The actors and crew for that movie didn’t know that their work would be over dubbed to become an anti-Muslim film btw. They thought it was just a low budget sci-fi movie about a astroid falling to the desert.)