September 28, 2001


God is Love

written by
John Hartness



















for more comment from John,
please read "Flag Waving"

Another week. I watched the telethon. So did everybody else. I put a flag on my car. So did everybody else. I decided that maybe GW Bush is going to be a good leader for this country after all. So did most everybody else.

I still wake up every morning and think to myself "Normal is different now." The world I grew up in is gone. Blown to dust with the twin towers. But I believe a new America is being forged in the fires of September 11. You look on the television and see Rudy Guiliani wearing an FDNY cap, or an NYPD cap, or PAPD. You watch Dan Rather cry on Letterman, and you don't dare think less of him for it, because dammit, he's human. We're all allowed to cry, let him weep for the fallen, too.

I read the news and hear talks about the Taliban asking Bin Laden to leave. I hear speculation about how long the "Anti-Terror Alliance" will last. I think that's not the point. Or vengeance on Osama Bin Laden is not the point. Don't get me wrong, I would like nothing more to go a few rounds with the skinny bastard myself, but that's not the point. The point is hatred.

Osama Bin Laden was able to accumulate this power because of hatred. He hates Americans and ostensibly all non-Muslims. His hatred so far has led to the death of thousands. Adolf Hitler hated Jews and all who did not fit his view of "the Master Race." His hatred resulted in the deaths of millions of Jews, Blacks, homosexuals and others. Jerry Falwell hates gay people. His hatred has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons over the past few years alone. Rev. Falwell has not carried out his murders in as direct a fashion as Hitler and Bin Laden, but he is an accomplice before the fact nonetheless.

Every time a gay youth is beaten, jeered at, or are told "you're going to hell" Rev. Falwell and those who behave and preach hatred like him are to blame. Every time a gay man or woman commits suicide because they don't fit in or feel that their lifestyle is wrong, these people are to blame. These supposed men of God are as abominable as George Wallace and Bull Connor in 1960's Alabama. There is no gray space in this - God says "Thou Shalt Not Kill." When you put a gun in a man's hand and he kills someone with it, you are culpable. Why do you consider yourself innocent when you put an idea in a man's head and he bludgeons someone to death with it?

This is a time when I have felt so very proud to be an American. Proud of our people and the way we have banded together, proud of the unity that we finally share. The only dark spots for me are the incredible loss of life that it took to make us come together, and the shadow of hatred on our own hearts. Judge not, lest ye yourself be judged, Rev. Falwell. My God loves everyone, regardless of race, creed, color, sexual orientation or gender identity. Except bigots.

~ John Hartness

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