I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am sorry for him and wish to lighten his load by all means possible … except by getting off his back. - Leo TolstoyFollowing the right-wing celebrations at George Zimmerman's not guilty verdict has been an exercise is trying to find room for compassion for people who hate and fear so much they can shrug off the taking of the life of an innocent 17 year old kid.
The linked post at Patheos led to this post. While the context is anti-gay bigotry, it fits in well with any form of hatred:
So, in the interest of public service, I have decided to help my fellow Christians out a bit — and offer some loving advice on how to not be viewed as a bigot. After all, that is obviously the greatest fear out there in Evangelical land (second only to the unspoken fear that we gays will destroy the fabric of society and make straight marriages illegal. Or something). Poor Ralph Reed. He really, really, didn’t like the idea of being a bigot. So let’s help him out, shall we?
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10) Understand that we’re not you.
What does this mean? Simple. We are not interested in squelching your rights like you have done to us for decades. We’re not interested in preventing you from getting married. We’re not going to pass a law that makes it legal for someone to fire you because you’re Christian. We’re certainly not going to make Christianity illegal. Our agenda is, and always has been for you to STOP doing this things to us.The thought that real justice might yet prevail in the land leads to fear that the tables might well turn. Thus the claims that Christianity will be outlawed and/or Christian persecuted. Thus the constant barrage of claims that those seeking justice for Trayon Martin are "race-baiters" and "the real racists". Thus the lack of remorse on Zimmerman's part when he told Sean Hannity he would do the same things in the same way even knowing what he knows now. Thus Dan Riehl's claim that Trayon Martin got what he deserved, even wanted.
Frankly, you’ve been punching us on the face for years. It’s not an infringement on your rights to say “stop punching them in the face.” Never has been, never will be.
Such fear is hard to excise. Yet we must. For all our sakes. Most of all, for the memory of a young man who only wanted to get back to his father's house and had his life ended because someone in the neighborhood through which he walked was terrified of his mere presence.