This past weekend showed us how hateful people can truly be - "man's inhumanity to man" (Robert Burns, 1785). Many cried, many yelled and many prayed. I continue to struggle with the idea that some people are "less than" other people. I continue to struggle with the idea that all people are created equally - some are just more equal than others. I continue to struggle so I continue to pray.
I sometimes use a story from childhood when trying to help others see a different viewpoint - and to help myself see one as well. It is the story of the Three Blind Men and the Elephant. Each man had heard about this unusual animal but none could actually see it. Each of them were given a chance to feel an elephant. The first man felt the legs - he stated, "The elephant is very like a tree trunk." The second man felt the tail, "The elephant is very like a wispy fan." The third man felt the trunk, "The elephant is very like a snake." And so the men could not agree. In this story all of them were correct and all of them were wrong. The problem is that none of them were able to see the whole.
When looking at this past weekend's tragedy in Charlottesville, VA, I realize that I am having difficulty seeing the "other man's view." I am struggling to allow all people to have their own opinion but finding it difficult when it is so radically different than mine.
After much thought, prayer and tears, here is my conclusion: HATE is always wrong. Things done out of HATE are always wrong. I cannot see the whole picture - only God can see that. I cannot and will not, however, ever believe that things done out of exclusiveness and hate can ever be right. I cannot accept the viewpoint of those that call themselves white supremacists or part of a nazi group is viable and true. This hatred can never be right. Violence and hatred can have no place in my world.
I am sure that I will continue to struggle. I am sure that I will continue to cry. I am sure that I will continue to pray. I will find ways that I can support people that are marginalized, people that look different than myself and people that worship differently. I will look inward and see how my own thinking perpetuates racism. I will work on myself. What I am most sure of is that LOVE and ACCEPTANCE of all people will be the only thing that wins.