Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hate crimes, legislation, and speech.

Actions and motivations may certainly be motivated by hate. People generally hate what they fear. Fear can be overcome by knowledge and understanding. Finger-pointing and name-calling do not further knowledge and understanding. Ad-hominem attacks always make things worse and are generally the response of the ignorant to things they fear. It is wrong to *assume* that a person's disapproval of any action or belief is hate-driven. A person can be opposed to hunting on moral grounds without hating hunters. Their belief and the opposition to the action of hunting does not make them a hater. Their ad-hominem attacks on hunters make them a hater. Now we have to ask: who uses name-calling and ad-hominem attacks in their rhetoric? When you see that, you are seeing a hate-driven action. You see it from both sides, but the attacks from the left toward the right seem to be much more personal and vitriolic, a simple example is the oft-heard: You only disagree with our current president because you are a hateful racist. B.S. You only favor Right-to-Work over union domination because you are an unreformed slave owner. B.S. You only go to Tea Party rallies because you are a White Supremacist. B.S. I can disagree with the administration's policies and actions based on my beliefs and understandings regarding those policies and actions regardless of the race/color/creed/orientation of anyone in that administration. The left does not seem to be able to differentiate between support/opposition to policies and support/opposition of persons. The left is not rational in that respect. A person may have a family member or friend whose actions are distasteful and, to some, morally wrong. It does not mean they hate that person if they try to rationally influence the behavior. Sometimes, as they come to knowledge and understanding their feelings and beliefs moderate or change. But calling them haters or other names does nothing to further change. Sadly, there are extremists on both ends of the political spectrum. Each person deserves thoughtful respect of their beliefs and thoughts. Why can't the we get that simple human courtesy from each other?