I apologize to my readers for the delay in publishing the monthly blog. I have been quite busy as I am transitioning out of the Air Force after 35 years of service. I am very excited about the next chapter in our lives. I am writing this month’s blog concerning the hatred that is rising in America and in the world as evidence by rising violence and hate crimes, including extremist terrorist activities. When we will say enough is enough! We need to respect and love one another. I recognize that not all will adhere to my Christian worldview that every human is valuable and loved by God, but at least respect life. Moreover, please respect the right to worship and religious freedom. Religion should not be used as a platform from political issues. We must respect life. According to the FBI in 2017, hate crime, which is defined as a criminal offence against a person or property motivated by bias against race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or ancestry, rose by 17%. Remember, I believe in only one race, the human race. 2,013 attacks were aimed at those of African descent and 938 were against those of Jewish descent.
As the reader is aware, there has been a rash of crimes against society, including a shooting at a California synagogue during the last day of Passover. One person died and at least three others were wounded. The Rabbi, who was wounded in the attack, earnestly called for unity and peace. Just a week ago, over 200 people, including several Americans were killed in another apparent hate crime against Christians in coordinated bombing attack in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka does not have a large Christian population with approximately 7% being Christian, yet there are growing rivalries with rising militant groups such as the ultra-nationalist Buddhist group, Bodu Bala Sena, who has called out the Catholics for past atrocities. We cannot forget the hate crimes perpetrated against Muslim worshipers in New Zealand last month where 49 people died in the mosque shooting. Dozens more were injured. All of the above are a tragic reminder of the hate that is dominating the world and the fact that worshippers are targeted is even more heinous. In all of the hate crimes against religious bodies, we cannot forget the burning of three Louisiana churches in the last month with congregations that were attended by those primarily of African descent. The crime was allegedly committed by a person of European descent, presumably the son of one of the local deputies. I appreciated the prayer vigils that were taking place in America and around the world. I call on our civic leaders to speak up and denounce this hatred and commit the resources required to root out this growing evil.
In all of these crimes, the common denominator is hate, hate for someone who is perceived different. I could actually go a lot further on many more atrocities committed against the human race in the past several months. For instance, we have seen the famed rapper and philanthropist, Nipsey Hussle, gunned down in front of one of the establishments he owned. Not only that, in America alone, we have seen children murdered by the their parents, a young woman murdered as they were trying to catch an Uber ride home, kidnappings, and over a hundred dying in urban and rural America from gunshot wounds (news of these shootings barely making a blip on the radar because they are not celebrities or famous people, just people). It is overwhelming to even type this. As I was coming from Sunday worship today, I noticed a rash of violence in Tennessee with seven dying in homicides that appears to be linked. In the end, we must find the strength to stand. America, we must lead the way in standing for justice and righteousness for all. For me, the very thing that has been attacked in recent weeks, our faith, is what gives me the courage and strength to love. I believe that is exactly why religious institutions of major faiths are being attacked. Religious institutions are attacked to break the will of the people, to cause our faith to wane; however, we are not going to stop loving one another despite some groups believing they are superior to other ethnic groups, so called supremacy groups using the same tired “color” identification language that we all continue to subscribe to which in facts emboldens superiority ideology and inferiority ideology. I refuse to let my faith be extinguished in the midst of vile and hateful crimes. I will keep trusting in God until our change comes in America—I will not give up the faith. In the meantime, make a difference wherever you are and never lose your faith. Will you find a way to do good, to love your fellow person—stop hate and start love!
Stand up America–Keep the Faith!
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