Monday, May 12, 2014


Facebook has post after post that seems irrational to me. On the one hand, the same person will post a picture of the confederate flag with or without comment and then in the next post next post quote the bible or insisting, “Jesus loves you”. This sequence seems almost invariable and echoes much of the right wing literature. Often, the theme of the posts concerns the fact that some government unit stopped some student from reading the bible in class or praying aloud or insisting on saying “Under God” in the pledge of allegiance to the United States. When I look into the stories, especially the most hysterical ones, it turns out that, they are extremely biased exaggerations of what actually happened.

The juxtaposition of professions of exaggerated love and such intense hate side-by-side seems strange. I tend to believe that the exaggerated love is false but the hate is real. People demonstrate love and hate in different ways. Most of us demonstrate a certain degree of kindness toward one another, which is part of our gregariousness. Of course, there are those who push to the front of the line, say unkind things, or otherwise act as a bully but that is not the usual. In contrast, there is a group of people who are racists; the people who are decidedly unkind to people who are somehow different. Xenophobia is a better word than racism because the people who post a confederate flag as an act of hate are also the ones who hate more that one group: different language, different clothing, different culture, different religions, different something. This suggests the posting of bible quotes and insisting that, “Jesus loves you” is an act of defiance fueled by hate just as the posting confederate flags is an act of defiance. This seems duplicitous; if they say they love something, they seem to believe they are required to say they hate something, which makes it irrational to me. I do not have to hate something to love flowers or the environment nor do I have to hate animals to love people but somehow I have to love Jesus to hate black people or hate back people to love Jesus. Going to church on Sunday does not give you permission to do anything. Some how this love: hate thing does not balance the scales of justice. It is not OK to be a racist if you go to church every Sunday even if you run around telling everyone you go to church.  

If you are a retired construction equipment operator from West Virginia and tell me you love Jesus then post pictures of a loving grandchild setting on your lap and a confederate flag posted on your wall, I say to myself, you are a Goddamn liar about something. It is probably not your grandchild or the confederate flag but I suspect the religious crap you espouse is a cover for the hate of your fellow man because you know it is wrong to hate but you are just not man enough to step forward and say what you really believe.   

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