Where is the hate coming from? PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 April 2017 10:52

By: Remedios F. Marmoleño

We need not go back many centuries in the history of the world to point out that even that long ago hate crimes– actions very often at the level of crimes- have been carried out against members of a group because of their religion or the color of their skin or the slant or their eyes or their gender identification.  In our own current history we read almost daily of the persecution of groups because of their faith -  the Rohingya who are Muslims by the Buddhists in Burma; of Jews by far right Christians; of Christians by radical Muslims; of Hindus by those of other faiths or no faith at all; of atheists by those who profess a deep belief in whatever religion they have.

And yet official positions on the matter of respecting the right of people to belong to any organized faith group are stated in the following quotes attributed to prominent government officials abroad:

“We must never accept a situation where people try and divide Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs from each other or from those who are not members of organised faith….  “[W]e must never accept a situation where people incite hatred against people because of the faith they belong to.”

“The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the civil rights of  any community in this country on the basis of their religious beliefs…”

So where is this hatred coming from?  A Sikh in Kansas, USA  was killed because he was a Sikh, as identified by the turban most Sikhs wear. Ironically  he was killed because the killer mistakenly took him to be a Muslim. A waiter refused to serve 4 Latina women unless they could  show IDs that they were legitimate residents of the US.

Suspicion of people who are different from us is not anything new. When we lived in villages everybody knew who everybody else was. We did not always like each other but it was not common to be so openly hostile to one’s neighbor. But when people began to move around, leaving their villages to  move into new villages, people then experienced what it was like to live with those who came from different backgrounds. And this became the source of suspicion and mistrust,  and sometimes  hostility. Sometimes people acted out their suspicion and this very often resulted in open ill will.

Both old time residents and newcomers need to remember that when God makes people He does not use a cookie cutter. As I remember, my old catechism lesson said people are made in “ the image and likeness of God”. Like Him in love and respect for other people and for  all of  His creation.