His life hangs in the balance today, but I won’t celebrate once he’s passed. I also will not dignify him by speaking his name. What I will do is feel sorrow for him, his family, and for those his beliefs have harmed some way or another.
It’s sad when a person is so engrossed in hate that it becomes the foundation of their religion. People do it, though. Some people, by way of their own shortcomings, take a text held sacred by many and misconstrue the words to mean exactly what they might wish. Their message isn’t even close to what’s written in those holy books, but instead is nothing more than babble authored by madness. What’s worse is when that person spreads that message of intolerance to the masses.
We’ve seen it happen throughout history. We’ve had more than our fair share of the Jim Jones types supposedly spreading the gospel…the “good” word. Some people buy it. Most don’t, thankfully. We know these people to be extremists, and we try to combat the war they wage on the rest of us. Sometimes we do that with silence. We simply do not recognize them, exactly as I will do today.
I realize I say I’ll be silent, yet I sit here writing this piece. What I write isn’t about him per se. Rather it’s about teaching tolerance in the intolerant world he would have loved to create. See, admittedly when I read the headline of his being on his deathbed, my initial thought was “Good, one less zealot.” I thought about that for a minute. Wow. I was thinking just like him. I was letting hate invade my mind.
Hate is a disease. It crawls around the population, spreading its disgusting seeds anywhere it can. The only inoculation is understanding and tolerance. Not to say we need to tolerate hateful behavior, but responding with hate is counterproductive.
I won’t be like him. I refuse. I could write an entire essay about the horrible things he’s said and done, but I won’t. I pity him.
It’s sad, really, that we are all born with the same capacity for good and bad, to love or to hate, yet some people only find the darker side of life. We could argue all day whether it is nature or nurture or some combination of the two that makes some people so vile. That’s not really our barrel of monkeys to sort out. The thing for which we are responsible is understanding that unlike in math, multiplying two negatives does not give us a positive.
I understand some people will never love or even accept everyone for the way they were born. As much as this upsets me, I understand these people are infected with a disease so strong some never overcome it. I understand if I hate them back that only makes two of us infected, and zero people solving the problem. I also understand that someone who is so filled with contempt for his fellow human beings can never live a fulfilling life. There cannot be happiness and contentment in a mind so ill. In that way, I think people like him are tortured souls.
There is something gloriously freeing when we learn to accept others for the way they are. We are all different. We’re not clones born from a single pattern. These variations make the world colorful, enjoyable, and beautiful. When we can realize that even though a way of life is not for us it might be perfect for another (especially when it isn’t a choice, but the way they were born), hate can no longer abide. There is no room because acceptance, tolerance, and love are so big they squeeze hate out.
I feel horrible that a human being had become what he became. It’s even worse that his hatred contaminated others. He never waged war proper. He never dropped bombs or took knife in hand to kill someone. His words were all he needed to harm others. Blinded by hate, he thought it was his duty to spread his detestable gospel. What he never realized was that his words were hurting him, too. They robbed him of the happiness he could have had if he could have found it within himself to put down his sword and love his fellow humans. Let’s not give him back what he gave to others. Let’s fight the disease he carried. Hate doesn’t cure hate. Let the cycle of hate end with him, and a new cycle of love begin with us.
Tammie Niewedde shares her life with 24, 21, and 16 year old sons. She also has a 2 year old grandson whose energy level reminds her exactly how old she is (40, and she owns that proudly!). In her home, you will find a 120 pound fur factory named Dexter and a few cats whom have decided that she is merely their staff. The root of her love for books, writing, and animals comes from being a child whose only siblings were books and her animals. She is a full-time student, mother, coordinator of all that is chaos, and a hopeless list maker. Most of her writing is creative non-fiction that describes her real life adventures. Her acerbic, biting sense of humor may capture your heart, or it may induce rage. Nonetheless what she writes is true to life. You can often find her hanging out with the kiddos, studying, reading, writing, and making lists…of everything! You can find her on Facebook!