Saturday, September 1, 2012

I do not hate you

I feel I must say this, or suffer the consequences in some form, whether it be an ulcer or the regret of being silent when I should not be.

Being a Catholic, Conservative, and (usually) Republican in Philadelphia is not a comfortable thing. But being maligned, misrepresented, and (to give benefit of the doubt where applicable), misunderstood, has been tough. I have lost some dear friends. Now, I am not whining, because I understand that to do one's best to follow Christ is to at times incur all of those things. But as the Presidential campaign heats up, and the verbal bombs are lobbed from one camp to another, I want to say a few things.

Bashing the Catholics and conservatives has become a pop culture badge of honor. It's so hip to slap labels on us. Depending on their origin, it goes from unintelligent,  "shiny objects" (DWS), to, racists, bigots, greedy wealth-hoarders, or war mongers. And don't forget hate-filled.

While I could very easily counter every one of those un-thought out labels, what I mainly want to clarify is this.

 I am your fellow human being.  

I may not agree with you on everything.

 I may not completely understand you.  

    But I do not hate you.

The political movers and shakers, mainly on the left, have found a few buzz words that are very effective and have plied them freely via every media vehicle available. It was so effective that even some people, in 2008, who identified themselves as Catholics or conservatives or what have you, suddenly felt that not to vote for Barack Obama was to embody all those labels, especially the H word.

I think that to fundamentally disagree with someone should not mean giving up your voice entirely in favor of dodging the difficult discussions. 

Sadly, some real hateful speech flies pretty freely in our direction. It is accepted and  popular now. I could, again, name names and specifics, but I am choosing not to go there right now. It's all a matter of record.

Disagreement             Hate

I have the responsibility to speak the truth at all times, with humility, and in love. As I had to explain to one of my daughters the other day, truly loving someone means NEVER lying to them to smooth things over. ALL my kids know that I love them to the ends of the earth and back again. For example, I will not lie and say that unmarried cohabitation is really okay. I will share my own heartbreak and failures at having tried that. But I will keep right on loving them if they make that choice. I will love their boyfriends/girlfriends. I will take them shopping, laugh, cry, joke, and be here for them.  There is no hate in the equation.

There is fear that some choices can lead in a direction that could possibly drag them ultimately to hell. I will work at living, loving, and praying them away from that end. I lay awake last night praying this:

Listen, I am not the author of Truth or the Universe. I am bound to love and serve the Savior who loves and saved me.  But He loved and died for the whole world. He does not hate anyone.

There are many, many great people, some great thinkers of history, who have died for love of Christ. I submit to any that would brush off all believers with easy, lazy reasoning, to do some objective research. Read the Early Church Fathers, who lived with Jesus or those that knew Him. Pray and ask God to help you really understand. Don't be so immersed in the pop culture, make-it-up-as-they-go-along, media icons. Don't do what we are so oft accused of -- following blindly. Think and reason for yourself, and let Him reveal Himself to you.

Demonizing people of faith, as frail and flawed as we may be, is no way to go about moving "forward" in this country.

I will support Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan because I believe they will do better for ALL of us. Do I endorse every single thing they promote? No! And I will take every opportunity to communicate that, if hopefully, they win the election. 

I will not apologize for my beliefs. But if you, dear reader, believe that I would hate you for yours, you would be wrong.  I have lived and experienced the following verse.

"For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little."  
Luke 7:47 

God Bless you~



  1. Amen Kelly, I too am not comfortable being labeled a "hater" because I have a set of values and beliefs that some may not agree with. We do not hate anyone, I have been taught to "hate the sin but love the sinner". How can we bring more people to faith but to love them. I heard it said once that Christianity is the easiest religion to walk on-we love our enemies rather than eliminating them (as most others do). I think that about says it all.

  2. Hard for me to conceive how anyone who knows you could hate you Kelly! The tone of political discourse in this country is sickening but it has been for a long time. Look at what candidates in the same party do to one another during primaries and it should come as no surprise what members of opposing parties will say about each other.

    Anyway, you're not alone. I've lost a few friends myself, particularly over my support for Chick-fil-A. If the moral tide in this country turns for the better, I truly believe that the purveyors of that delicious little chicken sandwich will have had more to do with it than any politician could ever hope.

    I think Justice Roberts' vote for Obamacare pretty much lays to rest the argument that a conservative will necessarily appoint judges who will overturn Roe v Wade. We just don't know and I for one am tired of being faced with a choice between Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum every four years. I truly believe that if I continue to personally challenge people who think abortion should be legal and gays should be free to marry I have a better chance of turning the tide than if I pull a lever for a candidate I can stomach only slightly more than his opponent. On the other hand, the HHS mandate was such an assault that I think this may be one time I have to just hold my nose and vote for Romney, who seems hell-bent on losing. I really wish Santorum had been able to close the deal but he didn't so it's time to make lemonade with the lemons we've been dealt - at least that's how I look at it!

  3. I know exactly how you feel Kelly. My family is almost all Democrat. I guess my friends are mostly Conservative since people who don't agree drift apart. I don't hate anyone period, but especially over political differences. Peace be with all and let God's will play out in the world. All I can do is vote my conscience and voice my free speech. At least this president hasn't taken that civil right away yet.

  4. It's a real shame that the political and cultural climate is so harsh and divisive. I too am offended by the name calling, hate-mongering and intolerance, but I am a liberal-minded Democrat and it seems to me that the vitriol is coming from the right toward the left just as much as it is the other way. The point being - we are too divided! There is way too much "us vs. them" going on, and I would so much rather see more "meet in the middle", consideration of all points of view, and more willingness on everyone's part to have a country where we are all able to live according to our value code and respect each other for doing so.

  5. Jenny - I can understand how the words from the right could very well have been offensive to the ears of those that hold a different position. Some, in their zeal, forget that they are speaking about other human beings, created and loved by God.

    Part of my point is how cool it currently is to be of the liberal mindset at this time. Most TV organizations openly support the Pres. and the left, as well as most celebs and talk show hosts. Fox news is daily maligned, though there must be somebody watching it, as it has great ratings. But if you are a Catholic and have endured the popularization of debasing our faith, or a conservative Christian seen as some kind of backwoods morons who "cling to their guns and religion, it is a tiring thing. All the removing of crosses and traces of Christianity in the public.

    I would not like to see the shoe on the other foot, however. I would not like to see those I do not agree with ridiculed or maligned. See where I am coming from? Just because I am a very pro life person, does not mean I look down on those who have had them (if you read some of my posts about my experiences you will know what I am saying). Or that I somehow want the "born " to suffer in some way because I work for the rights of the unborn.
    It is the way our beliefs are entirely misrepresented that makes me nuts.
    I am sure you have times when you felt that too.
    And, as I said to Melissa, if you and I were to meet, we would probably think one another perfectly lovely.