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HATRED.

This is a topic that’s been on my mind a lot lately.

I see it in politics. I see it in churches. I see it every day at work, while shopping, on the internet.

People hate a lot of things, but lately this hatred appears to be focused on homosexuality. It feels as if we’re in the middle of the civil rights movement of our generation, and twenty years from now, we’ll look back and wonder how people could be so passionately against gay marriage. I hope that is the case.

I love the “It Gets Better” videos and the powerful voices we are hearing against bullying and hatred. People are talking more openly about bullying and hatred, schools are trying to find ways to improve and protect students, but we can do better. We need to do better.

I read this today, and it really made me think about my life, my views on religion, and what I can do to make it better. Here’s what I can do: I can talk about it. I can be one of the many voices speaking out against HATRED.

Remember this:

You’re not better than anyone else. You can’t see into the minds of others; you can’t see their past and the obstacles thrown at them. You can’t read their inner thoughts or feelings to determine if they’re a “good” or “bad” person. But you can see yourself and how you treat others.

Let’s focus on yourself.

Christians, you aren’t a better Christian than anyone else. We all have our faults, but if you’re truly a Christian you know you have no right to judge anyone else. You’re supposed to love people, not judge them.

Let’s focus on unconditional love, charity, and the spirit of brotherhood that Christians preach.

Give people the benefit of the doubt. Assume they mean well, instead of assuming they are out to get us. Look at everyone with love in our hearts and show them that with our warm eyes and generous smile. Maybe even wave now and then (I know hugs are too much to ask of Scandinavians, you know).

Let’s focus on kindness.

Don’t worry about love. Love is awesome. Two consenting adults, looking each other in the eye, ready to spend their lives together — that’s a beautiful thing.

Let’s focus on the beauty.

Twenty years from now, I hope, we’ll look back and be ashamed at the members of our government who rose to publicity with hate speeches. We’ll wonder why anyone would support constitutional amendments that deny rights instead of protecting them, the same way we look back at the civil rights movement and wonder.

Let’s focus on what really matters.

LOVE.