We can hate evil actions, but we must not hate people. We can hate sin, but not the sinner.
What is happening in America are events which seem to reveal a strange need to hate, which is surfacing from many sources.
I taught for years a group of students who were labeled "at risk" students. At two colleges, I taught "at risk" students who were from minority groups and were the first in their families to be in college.
There are special departments for "at risk students", special tutoring, and grants. Many people who are black and Hispanic have been greatly supported in their attempt and success at obtaining certifications and degrees from these programs.
All the kids I taught wanted to improve their lot in life, their families, and they were looking towards the future. Most succeeded in moving on to careers of all types, including well-paid positions in government jobs and the medical fields.
I admired these students for working hard, as I did, to get their degrees. I respected their work ethic and drive.
Some were angry to begin with, when they first came into the programs. Some had attitude problems, but when they learned that the teachers and administrations truly had their welfare as a priority, the attitudes shifted.
A few could not change and fell back into doing and selling drugs, prostitution and other anti-social lifestyles.
Those who succeeded left hate behind, entering a new world in which they were accepted for their talents and hard work. One person told me he had to get the ghetto out of his head, and he did.
Those who left these programs fell back into defeatism and hate. Thankfully, there were a only a few who actually left the programs, of which I knew.
Hate is never justified. We have the greatest example of forgiveness from Christ the God-Man, a Person totally innocent, yet horribly tortured and killed.
He taught us the way forward in all relationships. He taught us forgiveness.
For those who choose to hate, forgiveness is seen as weakness, and revenge is chosen as a sign of strength. Yet, the truly courageous man or woman forgives.
It hurts to forgive. It hurts to forget. But, until groups decide to forgive and move on in cooperation, violence will be chosen over meekness and stability.
America stands at a crossroads. I predicted a land under martial law over six years ago, in 2008. I said it would happen over race relations,which I thought were being purposefully stirred up even then.
I hope leaders of all racial backgrounds can move people to forgiveness and reconciliation. Otherwise, America will soon become a land without freedom. Freedom can only come to those who choose love-a healthy, balanced love of self and love of neighbor.
Let us pray for Christ's love to be remembered and shared. Love is always justified.