I am not going to point fingers at specific "leaders" or others in the public sphere, because I believe the problems that are unfolding on an almost daily basis mean the fingers need to point at all of us. We are allowing our moral compass, our humanness, our basic decency, to be debased by those who seem to lack those values.
If someone allows hate to be spoken often enough, then soon the hate seems normal. The ability of the human mind to become numb to a grotestic level of abuse is why folks were able to emerge alive from Nazi death camps after World War II. It is why people like John McCain were able to survive 6 years of torture with his humanity intact (yes, he was a hero). It is a self defense mechanism that allows humans to survive against unspeakable ills.
It is also one of the reasons we seem to tolerate things that are so blatantly wrong, evil, and hateful. It must be why we allow people to shrink and poison our humanity without rising up against it, rejecting it fully and completely. We start to shrug at the horrors and retreat into our own space, thus allowing it to continue.
What someone feels about homosexual people, people of color, people of different religions, people of different cultural heritage, or people who are just, different, is a matter between that person, his conscious, and his or her creator. It has no place being used to destroy or discriminate in public.
Make beliefs known? Yes. Work to change laws if you disagree? Absolutely. Kill, denigrate, destroy, humiliate or marginalize others. No. Regardless of how much we think of ourselves, we are are not a Supreme Being and have no right to act like one. This applies to Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, follows of Hinduism, Atheists...whatever. We are not in control.
I don't expect these few words to change anyone or anything directly. But, if what I believe is true, then I must take this small, public stand against allowing others to steal my humanness when I stay silent.
I reject the mean-spiritedness that is our current method of public discourse. I reject the people who point their finger at others while ignoring their own part in the problem.
I reject hate.
I choose tolerance.
I choose love.