When I was a little girl, certain words were forbidden in the home. They included all the ones you might expect, along with another four letter word: hate. We were not allowed to say that we hated anyone. We were also never permitted to say that we wished someone were dead—no matter who or why. My parents’ Christian faith told them plainly that hatred of other humans was just wrong. (But don’t take their word for it, just read pretty much anything in the New Testament. Probably lots of other religions have figured this out too, but Christianity is the religion I grew up with and that shaped my personality the most.)
The lesson stuck. But recently, I had started to wonder if my childhood was radically different from other Christian homes. I’ve felt inundated lately by hateful speech and actions. Transgendered people assaulted in public restaurants, a massacre at an open-air meeting in Arizona, ministers burning Korans or cheering for the death of gays and soldiers. Closer to home an acquaintance of mine believes Democrats should leave the United States so he won’t be forced to endure their presence and a relative hopes every last [epitaph for Muslim] is killed by our army. “Nuke them all,” he says.