Educated minds and an ethos of hate.

faith-and-politicsI usually don’t know what to say when I first start out writing about something. I fumble around the keys and delete more than my share of paragraphs and sometimes pages of words before I come up with anything that I remotely believe to be an intelligible thought process. And, even after all that, I usually fall short. The most difficult part is saying what I think I need to say without exacerbating the problem.

I am afraid we all do this far too much. We, in all of our good intentions, leave a situation without resolving anything. Instead, we take something that was said personally or we begin to intend something personally when, what started out as a neutral conversation, ends up a conflagration of opinions that create a atomic explosion of hatred. Case and point: politics and religion. Two things, I believe, when faced with an opposing idea, should not be taken as a personal attack. Think about how far we would get as a society if we chose to look at things through different goggles instead of stubbornly holding on to our personal beliefs without faltering. We fear our whole world will be shaken at the core if we even consider a different paradigm.

I love what Aristotle says, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain an idea without accepting it”. But, as a society, we are afraid to even entertain an idea. How many people do you know that won’t even talk to a Mormon? Sure, maybe it’s a bit far fetched. I mean, I think it’s the whole “magic underwear” and “getting your own planet after you die” thing that throws me off, but I digress. How many of you wouldn’t shut the door in their face if they came to your house? I know I can’t stand talking to them. The point is we don’t take the time to even consider expanding our knowledge. We’re perfectly fine being complacent and ignorant. And that, my friends, is pathetic. It’s pathetic that our culture has created a society of people who shun knowledge. Are we really that afraid of new things?

During the 2008 elections I attended Liberty University. For those of you who don’t know that is the university that the late Jerry Falwell founded in 1971. So, you can imagine how the elections were handled. Being a Baptist university the Democrats are treated with a certain animosity and the Republicans are put upon a pedestal as ‘Gods party’. Ironically so, if you actually research what the party stands for, but, that’s another topic for another day. I vividly recall walking through the grounds headed to eat at the cafeteria and looking down and seeing, written in chalk, “we don’t want your change, go back to Kenya!!!”

This bothered me for the longest time and I still think back and I shudder a little. Fifteen thousand on site students and no one washed it away. I regret not doing it myself. I attended the largest Christian university in the world and no one had the spine to wash away the hate. Christianity is supposed to be a religion of love but sometimes, unfortunately, it becomes a medium for hate. Hate justified by religion strikes like a leopard. Quiet and unassuming and, before you know it, it is on top of you and there is no way get free.

Before you let yourself become persuaded by convincing orators and cunning leaders, please, for the love of god, think for yourself. Don’t let yourself be brought down by the opinions of the masses. Because, more often than not, the masses are misled.

Beware the man of one book”    

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