Friday, December 23, 2011

Purging the hate

BelieversI wish I could write a very sweet entry about the holidays and about the goodness and kindness of humanity. But I’m very bothered by something right now, and if I don’t get it out, I’ll regret it. I’ll enjoy my time with family tomorrow and Sunday, but tonight, I’m feeling an anger that I need to write about. (I suspect that some of you will understand about writing as a form of therapy.) I promise not to get too angry in what I write here—I’m more disheartened and disgusted than angry, to tell the truth—but if you don’t want to be sullied by any negative emotions at this time of year, feel free to skip this entry. I would totally understand.

This goes back to my recent entry about ‘haters,’ specifically my mention of the death of Christopher Hitchens, and how there were quite a few people who claim to be Christians who seemed to find some sort of perverse joy in his death. Last night a name popped up on Facebook; it was a person who dated back to my early days of blogging. Although I had stopped reading their blog some time ago, and had hidden their Facebook posts (I can only handle so many kid pictures), I hadn’t defriended them, and I thought I’d click through to see what they were up to.

As I scrolled down, my decision to hide their posts was confirmed. Then I came across this status update: “Christopher Hitchens is dead. Enjoy the heat.”

I wrote in that previous entry that no matter what you think of Hitchens, he was also a son, a brother, a husband, a father, and a friend. To see this sort of post from someone who claims to be a devout Catholic made me beyond disgusted. It sort of made me hate people for a very brief and disturbing moment. Obviously, not all people and not all religious people are like that, so I refuse to fall prey to such generalization, and I will not judge an entire group of people based on the remark of one big creepy jerk.

But I’ll say this: I find it appalling that anyone could find such malicious glee in the death of another human being. The gloating attitude and smug assurance that Hitchens was burning in a hell that many of us feel is nothing more than a manipulative ploy on the part of religion to foster fear, dread, and guilt in humanity is quite unattractive, and it’s one of the main reasons that so many of us are leaving religion behind. Why would I want to be around someone—or a group of people—who find a sick vindication at the thought of someone suffering eternal torment, or who think it’s perfectly fine to judge others and condemn them to the Fiery Pits™? Although I don’t want to generalize, I’ve seen far too much of this to think it is an isolated incident or the irrational hatred of just one snarky person.

Instead of offering condolences to the man’s family and friends, they just had to post about Hitchens burning in hell. Why not just say nothing? It’s actually kind of laughable, because it only serves to solidify the feelings and opinions of myself and my friends who happen to think that Hitchens was onto something. If he were still lingering about and able to see this sort of thing, I’m sure he’d laugh and say, “Typical! I’m quite unsurprised.”

The person who wrote the remark? Defriended. I don’t feel one bit sad about it, either.

Now, on to Christmas! I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and happy this holiday season. No matter what you do or don’t believe, I hope that you enjoy yourself, and feel a love and compassion for others. That’s what I try to focus on. I wish you all happy holidays!

13 comments:

  1. You've said this so very well, and I appreciate it greatly.

    This kind of hatred says something about the person who displays it, and not the one they hate. It seems they are so threatened by anyone different from themselves that they have to belittle them regardless of the cost. I would like to say they only hurt themselves with their hate but they also hurt others by spreading their hatred about.

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  2. Hate knows know boundaries, and has no filters. A real shame, really!

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  3. The hypocrites are the ones that need to learn humility, and perhaps even more, compassion.

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  4. Hiya Beth,

    Long time no see. I feel your pain. I know what its like to be on the receiving end of hate. I actually had a "baptist church" kick me out. Told never to come back. and they call themselves christians. NOT

    I really dont like people that hate others. We are all humans, why cant we all just get along?

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  5. I feel the loss of Hitch because I was just coming around to him... and now that I am mature enough to understand more about him, he is gone... I guess it was 'Closing Time' for Hitch and he simply had worked his shift..!

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  6. There is so much hatred in this world. So sad.
    You had every right to be angry enough to write about it...............

    On a kinder note: Merry Christmas!

    Hugs, Rose

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  7. i love you.

    there is a J land female who i can almost guarantee you don't read and probably never read....but who i find fascinating because she is the fakest "Christian"i have ever read online. She is a pure, judgmental bitch...and so full of herself....and she justifies her bigotry and judgment of others in every entry....but she gives it all to Jesus in just about every entry....she loves her some Jesus....HER Jesus hates people who cuss...LMFAO....and HER Jesus said it was ok to block and defriend people.....

    anyway, she would be one to say something like that about Mr. Hitchens...you read what i wrote...i loved the man and disagreed with him on the war but he actually taught me many things...and i love smart men....

    so, well, fuck that fake blogger AOL/JLand fake bitch and fuck all the haters too....

    fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck

    oh shit, now i am going to hell! DAMN!

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  8. It's all fear-based - that's one of the many issues I have with religion. Grown adults acting like 2-year olds, afraid if they say this, or do that, they'll wind up dining with the devil. I tell my Catholic boyfriend that, to me, religion is no different than Humpty Dumpty or Jack & Jill - silly stories (often aimed at misbehaving children) that have no basis in reality. Nonsense in the purest sense of the word.

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  9. There are some people in this world that i find disgusting--bin Laden, anyone--but I have never rejoiced in their death, or celebrated their death.
    And to call yourself a Christian while gleefully laughing about someone's death is the lowest of lows.

    But I digress.....

    Merry Christmas Beth.....enjoy the day!

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  10. I agree with you totally as well as the comments here. I can't and don't want to understand hate and cruelty. It upsets me when people celebrate the death of someone they disagree with. I remember when President Kennedy was assassinated and there were people who were glad about it. Horrible.

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  11. Good post Beth. Gloating is pride, under a veil. One of the seven deadly sins. Though you know I'm a atheist I think staying away from the seven deadly sins is appropriate for everyone, regardless of spiritual background. It's all about finding value in diverse experiences and reducing suffering for all in the world.

    It is too bad that many Christians can't(or more likely don't want to) see the error in their thinking and in their actions and how far their choices have taken them from the deities and sacred texts they are supposed to hold dear. Their belief system has so many wonderful things it could contribute to the world. Instead too many Christian use those beliefs as weapons to harm others. No good can come from that regardless of the religion or spiritual ways behind it.

    If I were Christian I'd be terribly sad about that and sad for those misguided, fearful souls. I know many of my Christian friends are.

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  12. Happy holidays! I hope whoever posted that 'enjoy the heat' message one day realizes just how hypocritical it is, especially this time of year, to spread hatred.

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  13. I think you said it all with the cartoon. Very apt. True Christians do not act that way, and if they realize they are, then they need to make some serious changes. We are supposed to "clothe ourselves with a new personality". Smug, snarky, hypocrisy is not that new personality.

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I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?