Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Love and hate
I covered the local observance of the National Day of prayer last week. About a hundred or so people gathered at West High for a non-denominational prayer meeting led by pastors from several local churches. It was really kind of nice and I left with a nice warm fuzzy feeling that lasted until I saw this flyer in the office.
If you know anything about the Westboro Baptist Church then this litany of hate won't surprise you. The Westboro Church's stand against gays, soldiers, Catholics and the human race in general is legendary. They made an appearance in Tracy years ago to protest a gay student's graduation from West High. But just when you think there isn't anything more to hate in the world they find a new topic, prayer.
I was raised a Catholic, spent eight years at St. Bernard's School and one of the things we were taught is tolerance. We were told no one's religion is better than anyone else and everyone can pray to God in their own way. The National Day of prayer event was great I thought because it brought different churches together at least for one day to share a common belief in God worship together. That whole bringing down barriers thing. And then I see this stupid flyer.
It's kind of hard to believe some group could have so much hate against everyone and anyone. It just doesn't make sense sometimes. I tried to make sense of their statement but going much past the first paragraph just makes my head hurt. Funny thing is even though I really, really dislike the group I don't hate them. I more or less pity them.
I wonder if they would have been in the West High gym while everyone sang "Amazing Grace" or listened to a pastor talk about how he learned to pray to God would they really have had so much hate for that day and prayer? I think they might, their bigotry isn't based on fact or reason, they hate just because they can. It is sad way to live your life with so much hate and I do pity them. I think they would miss the message no matter where they are.
I have often said a quick prayer (Lord, don't let me die on this hike.....Lord don't let me mess up this photo assignment) I guess you are never really sure if your prayers are heard or answered but at least I am having the conversation. I pity those who fail to talk at all.