Page 2 - No hate (continued from Page 1)

individually endowed to control their own lives and bodies. However, this hasn't stopped women's rights advocates from using foul language to describe their political opponents. (That ain't right either!)

And while such language is nothing new in Texas politics, every side needs to remember to not let it escalate out of control but to find new approaches to educate and win over politicians "on the other side".

Perhaps more creative methods (hugs and cookies?) would achieve better results. Afterall, the heart of even the most obstreperous politician must surely have a soft spot for a mother's kindness. (Preach that love!) There's no room in Texas social discourse for hate.

Migration to Texas has a long and colorful past, making our cities some of the most diverse in terms of races and ethnicities in the nation.

And, while there have always been some racial tensions throughout our history, most Texans value and celebrate our rich heritage. When a few foment anti-immigrant hatred or spew intolerance over the national airwaves, Texans should stand up to say, there's no place for racial hate in a state with the motto of 'friendship'.

Immigrant bashing and other forms of racial hatred are wrong. They don't represent the traditional values of Texas--where a person is judged on how he or she contributes rather than where his/her parents came from. The next time you hear someone complaining about Mexicans (or some other group), just feed a bowl of chili until the feeling passes. (¡Órale!)

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender minorities and others at the vanguard of social change often feel that their neighbors are bigots when they rail against full social equality and say hurtful things like "we grieve for homosexuals." A Kansas pastor [sic] even recently advocated that gays should be put to death.

But Texans just aren't that way. They often surprise surprise you -- like in El Paso where citizens elected an openly gay Latina to represent them at the Capitol, trusting in her political insight over her choice of bedroom partners. She joins the ranks of other openly-gay politicians who have been elected by their neighbors all around the Lone Star State.

Perhaps the only thing some gay-bashing men need is a kiss on the cheek (or a pair of size 12 pumps). Either way, there's no place in families, neighborhoods and towns for hate in Texas. (You know that's right!)

Religious hatred has been the excuse for some of the greatest brother-on-brother atrocities known to humankind. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus…even atheists have born the brunt of attacks because of their religion (or lack thereof). But, for every group that advocates violence against another's religion, there are multiple faith-based coalitions which work together to spread the message of religious tolerance and respect for others.

One Texan, the victim of a hate-crime by a white supremacist, "turned the other cheek" when it came to the criminal's execution. He believes that the man who shot him should not be executed and even created a project to urge Texans to spare his life.

If the victim of such a brutal crime can follow the admonition to "cast out hate with love", then so can we all. The next time you hear a neighbor say she is afraid of Muslims (Jews, Hindus, etc.), read to her an Arabic love poem. Remember, there is no room for hate in Texas religious communities.

Dr. Martin Luther King's words continue to speak to a world where hatred continues to raise its ugly head. He clearly saw the arc of justice and patiently reminded us that hatred can only be overcome by love, not be suicidal longing for destruction. (Speak!)

"Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can't establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can't murder hate through violence. Darkness cannot put out darkness; only light can do that. And I say to you, I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind's problems. And I'm going to talk about it everywhere I go… I'm talking about a strong, demanding love. For I have seen too much hate… and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love."

We, all Texans who believe for peace and justice, declare that there is no room for hate in Texas, no place for it in our personal, social or political affairs. (Yes!) It is up to us to set the example for our neighbors and to gently remind them that the world can get better.

But we also need to remember that hatred stems from fear and work to educate and comfort the afflicted so that their minds will clear. We will use each day to remind our fellow Texans to transform the fear and hatred in their hearts and help make Texas part of a "blessed community". (On yeah!)

Texans for Peace

LAST WEEK: Occupy Everywhere in 2012


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