On Spirituality…Prejudiced Hostility

This month’s voice concerns hate crimes and hatred of certain peoples or classes of peoples. We know that over the life span of humanity there has always existed some form of hate. Cain and Able being the first biblical murder. The first children of the first parents, so as far back as we can tell, there was never some peace filled place to call home. It makes me wonder what it is about some of us that we love to hate? Or is it about all of us, but some have found a way to love instead? When we consider the history of humankind, finding sustained periods of peace is very difficult to do. We want what others have. We want more. We want something, and that is at the beginning of conflict. The simple solution then is to not want. To be happy or at least content with who we are and what we have. I realize the challenge this philosophy poses. I also am aware that we are not programed to settle for less. We are taught from early childhood to excel, and to apply ourselves fully that we may enjoy the finer things in life. As a close follower of Jesus Christ I find the answers to most puzzling questions in Him. The gospel teaches us to treat everyone with dignity. To treat our neighbor as we want to be treated. To give to all who ask. When someone asks for a shirt give him your coat as well. To feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to visit the sick and imprisoned. For most of us this is a tall order, but it is the pathway to peace and the end of hate. Hatred is defined in Webster’s dictionary as ‘prejudiced hostility.’ To get to be prejudiced, we have to pass judgment, to get away from prejudice we cannot judge. To find peace in our life and the lives of those around us we need the Prince of Peace. We need to be connected to the one who knows hatred and evil better than we ever can. Jesus gave His life for our life, for our life eternal. In prayer and in the practice of His way may we all be a part of the end of hate.