Thehate-filled grafitti painted on St. Joseph's Chaldean Church, and earlier at the Sikh Gurdwara in Madison Heights, is simply unacceptable. As a community we must stand to together with those who have been attacked, and make it clear that we will not accept this as a normal occurrence in our community.
Sadly, what has been painted on the side of these buildings is a reflection of attitudes that are increasingly prevalent in our communities. It's okay disagree on on politics and religion, but when we move from disagreement to hate-filled rants, vandalism, and violence, then a line has been crossed.
Many Americans have taken refuge in the First Amendment, suggesting that it's their right to say whatever they please. Technically this is correct. The First Amendment gives a lot of latitude to free expression, but as I'm constantly reminded by a passage from the New Testament, although "all things are lawful, not all things are beneficial" (1 Corinthians 10:23). What needs to be acknowledged is that what we say about other people, can lead to acts of violence. Maybe it's not the person making the statement, that does the violence. But if young people hear hateful speech at home, then they may act out in "inappropriate ways."
Bullying is a major problem in our schools. The question is -- where does this stem from? Attitudes that are shared at home or on the airwaves or on TV.
Whether or not you agree with Sarah Fluke or you accept Rush Limbaugh's apology, his hateful rant against this young woman who testified in support of contraception is reprehensible. Whether or not you agree with Gay marriage, hateful speech defaming gays and lesbians isn't acceptable. Racism is not acceptable nor is gender bias.
We're living in difficult times, economically, and unfortunately at times like this the worst can come out in people. The person who is different can often become the target of fear-induced actions. The fear is understandable, but it needn't control our lives.
Rather than act in such ways, why don't we get to each other better? Whether a person is Sikh, Muslim, Chaldean Christian, Baptist, Hindu, Roman Catholic, Gay, Straight, young or old, when we take time to get to know each other the fear subsides and hate is defanged. May we commit ourselves to pursuing the common good.