13 Oct Two Huge Lies
By Breaunna Stone
Tori Black recently published an article on the United Families International blog that discussed how some individuals and groups silence their ideological opponent with a label. One of the most popular labels used today is “hateful.”
In my few short years advocating for the family, whether it be at the United Nations in New York City or on my personal social media pages, I have been inundated with comments, questions, arguments, name-calling, and negative labeling more than ever before. Recently the words “hate” and “hateful” have been thrown around as though once said it becomes fact.
A Boston College study discussed a perceived heated conflict between rival groups: Israelis and Palestinians, and Democrats and Republicans. When asked what motivated the actions of advocacy for their own group, each group stated they were motivated by love more than hate. When asked what their opposition’s motivates were, they pointed to hate as their motivation.
As I did some self-reflection I realized that I am guilty of thinking that the “other side” is motivated by selfishness and radical tolerance. My mindset changed as I considered the idea that both sides are motivated by what they believe in their heart to be true, or love. All too often we assume that the “other side” is motivated by hate just because they oppose us.
Being labeled as hateful because one does not agree with a certain statement, article, etc., can be hurtful. Being on the receiving end of the label hate does not give one permission to be disrespectful or unkind to the labeler. We are all human beings with emotions, feelings, opinions, and ideas; this should be respected.
More often I see instances in personal and public conversation where one individual decides to argue to prove the other wrong. I would suggest that instead of having a conversation to prove your point, have a conversation with the intent to truly understand the other’s point of view. It is likely that the outcome of such an exchange is that both parties will disagree with each other. However, disagreement is not hateful and you do not have to compromise what you believe to show respect, compassion, and understanding for another person.
Pastor Rick Warren said, “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”
Each of us has our motivations, opinions, and convictions that we choose to express or keep to ourselves. If we are truly motivated by love, we would love and respect those whose opinions and convictions are different from our own.