Posted by: matt25 | January 11, 2014

Stop Hating and Start Listening

Okay, I have let this ride for a couple of day’s.  Jamie Stiehm’s rant was way out of line and should never have been published anywhere other than in a fringe media outlet.  I won’t flesh it out as others have done a good job of addressing it better than I could or have time to (The Anchoress DaTechGuy – The Deacon’s Bench – The Volokh ConspiracyProfessorBainbridge.com , and OpinionatedCatholic are just a few).  If you do read it, try an exercise and substitute the word Catholic every time it is said with one of the following words: Jew, Atheist, Conservative, Liberal, homosexual, heterosexual, Feminist, Black, Hispanic, Muslim, or other group of your choice.  Your emotional reaction to reading it that way may prove enlightening.

I am just going to say this.  We can choose to pigeonhole and hate on Catholics, Jews, Conservatives, Atheists, Moral Relativists,  Liberals, or other groups.  We can also choose to stop pigeonholing and hating.  We can choose to listen to and dialogue with those who feel differently than we do and actually “think” about what they are saying without engaging some mental auto-reject algorithm.  We can really try to understand the pain and angst behind what they are saying and the views that they espouse.   We just might find that they are decent human beings that we actually have a lot in common with.  Until we do that we are throwing cold water on any hope our nation has of flourishing in the years ahead.

Oh, I would ask you to do one other thing.   Don’t remain silent.  Don’t give your implicit permission to people thereby encouraging them to continue bashing groups of people with their rhetoric.  After all, the group your daughter, or grandson is a part of may be next.

If Luke and Darth can get past their differences can't we at least try?  (illustration by Ingrid Aspock.  I hope she doesn't mind me using it.)

If Luke and Darth can get past their differences can’t we at least try? (illustration by Ingrid Aspock. I hope she doesn’t mind me using it.)

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