This Is Not the Face of Hate 2 comments

beautiful child

This Is Not the Face of Hate

It has become my habit on days I don’t have to work, to sit down with my coffee and look through the newest pins on Pinterest. As I begin with one board, I often move about and follow where my interest leads me. This morning after finding pins for my board called Strong Women I clicked on a woman I admired, then another who had her child with her because being a mom takes strength, especially if you live in a third world country. Finally, I came to a board that held photos of children. I have a very soft heart, and one look at the face of a child can make me melt.

The first child had such an incredible smile that I knew I had to pin her. She wasn’t beauty pageant pretty all dolled up with make-up, wasn’t a model, wasn’t staged for a portrait at Sears or school, or for the family Christmas card. She was a child dressed in an ill-fitting top, with tousled hair and eyes filled with the magic of happiness, wonderment, and mischievousness that only children can know.

I saved her picture and scrolled down, adding more. Children of African, Pakistan, Peru, Columbia, Native American US, China, Tibet, India, the list could go on. I didn’t choose only the beautiful. None had make up, none wore what we here in the US think of as nice clothing, some sat in the dirt, some tended their baby brother or sister, some worked to carry food, some worked in mines, some stood in deplorable conditions with backdrops where I know I wouldn’t ever want to live, but they did, and yet that spark was in their eyes.

This post isn’t going to turn into a save the children ad, because as much as it is needed, this article isn’t about whether these children appear to have a safe place to lay their head or food in their bellies. This article is about children and the loving spirit they bring to the world, the pure light of love that comes only from the heart of a child.

Each of us was born without an ounce of hatred in us. No bigotry, no malice, no belief that we are superior or entitled. We came without a love for a god, without hatred for those that are different, without any judgment, and without the conviction that we are better simply because we worship the right god or love the right kind of person. We were born a blank canvas, and it wasn’t until we were taught who was more worthy of life, more worthy of respect, more worthy of love, that our views, our prejudices, and our loathing for others of the human race took root in our hearts and battered away the simple joy of a pure heart. I looked at those children, that little boy sitting on a water can on the arid and dusty ground who had so little, smiled with a smile of happiness devoid of anything but being a happy child whose heart wasn’t yet tainted by hate, and his enduring spirit hasn’t been tarnished by lies.

Yes, here it comes, I’m coming to the main part of this post. The part where I drag out my soapbox, stand tall, I give voice to what I feel. It’s an opinion to be sure, one that comes from a woman who loves another woman, one that comes from a person who has been at first saddened, and now more and more outraged about the events in Orlando, FL. When comparing the pictures of children full of joy, with the hearts so full of hate in the aftermath of the tragedy, I don’t know whether to weep or to scream. I’ve actually done both, and know what will help the most is to write this post.

This post with help soothe my heart and take away the rage, at least a little. It may help me understand if I write it all down. I know that if I can reach just one person who has eaten from the bowl of hatred and make them at least think about their words or action, I’ve accomplished something. I know I can’t change people who have lived in a home of bigotry, who perhaps have been told from the time they were young that their god condemns people for sinning and being a homosexual, or that they are the superior race, nationality, or religion, but I can perhaps put one little spark of uncertainty in their hateful hearts and warped brains.

When I first heard of the shooting, I cringed every time the media said “gay nightclub”. Why? Because it was a human shooting, not a gay shooting. Now I know it’s important that this was a hate crime targeted against gays, but it was also so much more. I just knew then that everyone was going to grab onto the fact that this happened to the gay population, even though it broke the hearts of many more. I am proud of my life, my wife, and who I am, but I am more than just gay. I am a human. I cringed because at that point in time, when the news was first being broadcast, it wasn’t about gay or straight, religious or non, it was about 50 people who lost their lives and many more who were wounded and terrorized. Fifty human beings. Christian, Muslim, Atheist, black, white, Hispanic, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender human beings.

At some point that first day, the media stopped shouting gay, gay, gay and focused on what happened, which made me relieved because they were focusing on the people as a whole, not just that it happened to gays, or in a gay nightclub. I did not want the lives and loves diminished; I just wanted people to be people for at least awhile because I knew the hate would be spewed and I knew it would be terrible.

Here are a few of the worst. These made my mouth drop open and my heart rage.

  1. “Good thing someone started shooting gays instead of innocent people.”
  2. “At least it was only gays.”
  3. A hate-filled California pastor celebrated the terror attack on a gay Florida nightclub — and callously complained the gunman should have slaughtered more innocent people. He stated the tragedy was that “More of them didn’t die.” And “He didn’t finish the job.”

How can a man claim he is speaking the word of his god and yet spout such hate? I’m not much on religion; I prefer my own spirituality and morals like ‘Do no harm.’, but I know it says in the bible under the big ten that killing is wrong.

The last one, number three, made me snap. I sat there stunned for a moment, not really believing the words actually came out of the mouth of a man who is ‘religious.’ Lesbian or not, being the sexual deviant some make me out to be, I know that killing is hateful, evil, and abhorrent, and killing in the name of your God doesn’t give you a green light to commit such a vile act. Being of any religion, race, or sexual orientation doesn’t give you the right to spout words that will stab like knives into the hearts of the victim’s families and friends, the community of Orlando, and the world who lost so many.

I do realize the irony of the fact that here I am practicing free speech, but I am condemning others who practiced the same. I will live with the double standard I have just set upon the table. I often scold people for their bad manners, their horrendous behavior, and their hurtful words or thoughts. I do it, but I am not out to break hearts or attack a certain population by saying people like me should be slaughtered because of who we love. Your hate is despicable no matter who your intended victim and for whatever the reason.

Christians were once killed for their beliefs, Jews, Muslims, Pagans as well. We as a human race have killed so many in the name of a god. Massive slaughter is taking place in our world right now because of religious beliefs. Over time we have seen the unjust persecution, enslavement, or slaughter of nearly every kind of person on this Earth all because of hate, and this hate had to be learned. Someone taught that man in Orlando to hate just as someone taught that preacher that homosexuals are all pedophiles, deviants, sex offenders, and the like.

So now what? How do we help heal? How do we keep pushing forward when those opposed have taken advantage of a tragic event to say ‘I told you so.’ or ‘This is proof that god hates gays.’? How do we push the hate aside and push forward with our cause for equal rights and equality as a human regardless of who we love? We’ve been taking baby steps forward, my wife and I were finally able to legally marry, we were welcomed in part of the bible belt even though we are a same sex couple. Despite states working furiously to make laws that take away some of the freedoms we’ve gained, we have made steps forward. Five years ago I wouldn’t have used the term honey so casually when talking to my wife in public, and I hope that a lot fewer years will go by before we are accepted as just people.

That gay couple who wants to get married in or out of holy matrimony wants to do so because they love each other, and news flash, some of them are Christian and have been saving themselves for marriage. Gays don’t want to get married so they can practice deviant sex acts. I’m sure we can all have sex without a wedding, and who I married is about the love I feel for my wife. Sex plays little part in it. That person who wants to use the gendered bathroom for how they identify just wants to go to the toilet where they feel comfortable. They are not lying in wait to be a Peeping Tom or to molest children. They just have to pee like the rest of us. That newborn daughter, son, or grandchild may one day tell you they are gay, or they may commit suicide because of the hate, violence, and bullying they must deal with each day, some of it coming from people who are supposed to love them. I’ve never heard of a gay couple shunning their child because the child was straight.

Each child born into this world is a blank canvas, and we as a human race paint on their canvas according to the color of their skin, how much money they have, who their parents are, and what the people around them believe. 94% of religious people don’t pick their beliefs; they inherit them, and so do non-religious bigots. African people, Asia people, Hispanic people, Caucasian people, and every other race out there don’t pick the color of their skin, and they don’t hate others of a different skin color before someone scribbles hate on their canvas.

Take another look at the little girl in the picture. Do you see the happiness and innocence? Don’t look at her skin color, her clothes, or the clues that tell you where she may live, look at her heart. Her heart is still open, her spirit filled with wonder over new things and people, her laughter joyous and pure. Someone may have already begun to chip away her joy by spewing hate either towards her or within her ear shot. That someone could be a parent, a relative, the leader of a church or her community, or a teacher. That someone who is taking a permanent sharpie and drawing across her canvas of wonderment will harden her heart over time. That sharpie will permanently block out eyes that see the joyous difference, and words will kill the part that loves one another regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation.

Look in that child’s eyes and just accept, for one small moment, that each person on this Earth is worthy of love, compassion, and joy. Look at her face, look at her smile, look at her wonder, and tell me again why she must be taught to hate because I simply don’t understand.

{Post by Jolynn Raymond}

About JolynnRaymond

Writer of historical paranormal romance, kinky historical romance, and BDSM Mistress and Sex Blogger. I hold the position of being one of Kinkly's Top 100 Sex Bloggers. Two of my books, Taken in Hand A Guide to Domestic Discipline and His Lordship's Wayward Wife, have been nominated as best BDSM Non Fiction and Best BDSM Historical books of the year. The awards ceremony will take place at the BDSM Writers Con in New York City this August.

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