What Do We Do With the Hate?

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Gentle Reader,

Do we ignore it? Sweep it under the rug?

Do we scream back? Do we get talking points together?

What do we do with the hate?

Some folks from Westboro Baptist Church are coming up here in a couple of weeks. They plan to protest against some schools, a few churches, a Messianic synagogue. (You know, really threatening places). These are people who have bought into some very sad lies. They have been convinced that Christian faith involves yelling at people and telling them how much God hates them. They believe that it is right to picket soldier’s funerals and rejoice over the harsh treatment of homosexuals.

What do we do with that?

Part of me wants to ignore them. It makes me angry and uncomfortable that they’re even coming up here. It upsets me that Fred Phelps and his ilk have stirred up such a storm of controversy. I want to pretend they just don’t exist. Why can’t they just keep their garbage to themselves?

On the other hand, I want to be there when they protest. I want to stand up and say, “No, this is wrong.” I don’t want to let them come in with their inflammatory ideas without saying something in return. I want to have a big old fight.

This isn’t an easy situation at all. It may seem like a stretch, but what if more people in Germany had stood up to Hitler? History attests to the fact that many didn’t take him seriously, or they thought it best to ignore him. Let it all die down. Then again, those who did stand up to him ended up being hurt in the long run.

What do we do with the hate?

I have decided to go down to synagogue Chavurat HaMashiach at 6pm on October 21st. I think that it is important to fight hate with love and truth. I intend to stand with my brothers and sisters at this synagogue in a show of solidarity and support. They need to know that we care about them. They need to know that we don’t agree with the insults and the mockery.

And the Westboro crowd?

They need to know that they don’t get to just walk into a community and spew inflammatory remarks. They need to be exposed to the truth of Scripture, which they claim to uphold. This, to me, is the battle worth fighting. No fists, no nasty words. Just standing up to say that this is wrong, and it goes no further. To be willing to put what I believe into real action.

Everyone has to make their own decision about how to handle this.  It’s a complex situation, and there is, perhaps, no clear-cut right or wrong. My biggest hope is that everyone really spends some time thinking and praying.  Hate is real. Hate exists. There is no getting around it. We are confronted with it each and every day, and we need to have an answer for it.

Now is the time for all of us to discover what that answer is.

My journey to faith. (15)




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