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Hate Has No Religion

June 16, 2016

 

The past few days the media has been inundated with stories about the shooting in Orlando. The worst part of it, the tragedy has been used as a platform to push biased political, religious, and social agendas, with each side instigating more hate into our society. Sadly enough, as we get pulled into these agendas, we slowly forget the real issues. But before I go into that, I want to say that this is my perception only. I also will not mention the shooters name in this blog as I believe that his name should not be immortalized in any way. He does not deserve any recognition.

A simple question to ask yourself is this: Do you follow a religion because of personal beliefs or do you have personal beliefs because of the religion? The point here, is that beliefs are born of our own personal experiences and feelings and religion is a complete separate system. True, we often associate them together, but they are fundamentally independent of each other. To say that being Muslim is to hate is to say also that being Christian is to hate as well. I am Christian myself, so I know very well the atrocities our faith in the past. The Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, the Salem Witch Trials, and KKK's cross-burnings, are but a few examples of where Christian based faith is used to justify heinous actions. The fact is, religion is used to justify hatred towards other in the belief "it" is right and others are wrong. 

This shooting is not the fault of any religion or even political stance. It is not even the fault of any legal issue either (weapons ban). Hate will manifest itself and take root within these religious, political, and legal issues. The problem is, we as humans need to blame something, so we associate any atrocious actions to what we don't understand - such as opposing beliefs or faiths. And by doing so we ignite more hate - towards that opposing view. Hate breeds hate, period!

As a society we are more connected than ever through social media, but we are also more "disconnected". We have been dehumanized by the digital world and we have simply forgotten how to interact in a humanly fashion with each other. For every site, post, or tweet of one point of view, there is also one in opposition. Even more alarming, is most of these sites or posting are not based on facts, but opinions or partial facts. We read and see, but never the whole story; mostly just what the writer or media wants you to see - again to drive their point of view and agenda. This whole dynamic can also breed hate.

There are no easy fixes here - we just have to be aware. We cannot blame external factors, when the real blame is internal; all within each of us. This is a simple moral and ethical issue - basic human rights and the ability to have empathy - no matter how difficult. I am not infallible, but I try every day; sometimes I fail and sometimes I succeed. We will never be perfect but we can all be a little bit more understanding, a little more open minded, and a lot more cognizance of hate. In the end, no matter what your religion is; hate can manifest within those beliefs. Lets stop hating and blaming each other; and instead lets have compassion and appreciation towards each other. 

See you on the high ground!

Elm Valle
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