Don’t hate anyone, even the haters

Prop 8 and KKK underscore need for tolerance

Ron Angle, a Butte County resident since 1980, has contributed both commentary and reported pieces to the CN&R.

On a Saturday morning, two headlines grab my attention. The first describes the ongoing reaction to the passage of California’s Proposition 8. The other reports a $2.5 million jury award against the Imperial Klans of America and its founder.

Both stories represent hatred and how individuals react to others whom they hate and fear.

The Mormon church, which has not been shy in expressing its dislike of the concept of gay marriage, stayed within the boundaries of the American legal system and brought about the end of same-sex marriage in California through a massive campaign of financial support from its nationwide membership.

The Klansmen, while recruiting at a Kentucky county fair, initiated an unprovoked attack upon a 16-year old youth because he was believed to be a Hispanic illegal immigrant. In fact, the young man was an American citizen of Panamanian and Native American descent. The jury award, if upheld, may bring about the seizure of all assets of the Kentucky clan, including a 15-acre compound used as its headquarters.

What the Mormons and the Klan have in common is their frequent use of the G-word in defense of their actions. Clearly, God has no time for tolerance in their respective worlds. Visit nearly any Klan Web site and you will learn that God recognizes only “the white race.” The Mormons—the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—use the home page of their Web site to proclaim that “the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.”

Hatred 101. There is never a daily headline that does not reflect upon the hatred that seems to infect much of the human race. And, much of that hatred is in the name of somebody’s god.

Personally, I struggle frequently with the concept of a supreme being that created all that is. To make things a bit easier, I try to separate the topics of god and religion. I cannot call myself an atheist, but I definitely do not believe in organized religion. To me, religion is simply a means to control individual and collective behavior. It is not the opiate of the masses as Marx proclaimed, but rather the ball and chain that keeps the masses in line.

My guiding belief system is the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would want them to treat you. Practicing the Golden Rule is a constant challenge. My instinct is to hate the Klan for its mindless violence. And my daily gut reaction is to hate the Mormon church for its illogical opposition to gay marriage.

The conflict is that if I give in to that hatred, what will I become in the end?