Thursday, May 04, 2006

Love Your Enemy

I got my first hate comment on my blog yesterday. Now, I am not a stranger to hate mail. In 1997, when I was the President and CEO of SIECUS, I received 35,000 pieces of hate mail from a Concerned Women for America campaign. In recent years, I have periodically received what I would describe as Christian hate e-mails. People write to tell me that they are Christians and then generally quoting Revelations they call for my demise. I always wonder how they missed the parts of of the New Testament about loving your neighbor as yourself.

Anonymous sent me these words yesterday. I rejected them as a comment, as I will all hateful messages. But, I thought I'd share with you an excerpt:

It clearly says in scripture that Murder is a Sin and God Hates all sin. I heard you on KFAB from Omaha, NE and you are just telling Lies to further your choice...Stop spreading your legs and your lies. The first action would keep STDs and unwanted pregnancies from happening (it is a scientific fact.) And the second action would keep more lies from being proclaimed to the masses. Continue to read your scripture because in mine it tells me that we will be held accountable for every word that comes out of our mouths. Keep your sphincter shut. The world be the better for it.

I wish I could tell you that I am so tough that these messages don't unnerve me. But they do. And I've asked for added security at my talk in Omaha next week. But they also remind me to quote Matthew 5:44, "to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." So to Anonymous, I prayed for you and your heart and your brokenness this morning. And to the rest of you, an encouraging comment left here might be the balm I need today.

Blessings on this sunny day in the Northeast!


Purl Needlemeyer said...

How hysterical and hideously ironic that someone would actually tell YOU to, "Continue to read your scripture because in mine it tells me that we will be held accountable for every word that comes out of our mouths"...and then have the audacity and disrespect of their own teachings to follow that by writing, "Keep your sphincter shut." To me, that says it all!

Anonymous said...

is this the kind of dialog you are trying to encourage

David G. Markham said...

Hi Rev. Debra:

Hang in there. The world needs your witness, your love, your service.

I appreciate your work and your blog.

All the best,

David Markham

Rowan said...

Thank you for the courage to keep talking. Your voice speaks for millions. I don't know what to call the two sides in this divided country, but one of them encourages dialogue (and correct spelling) and the other just wants everybody they disagree with to shut up. It's the difference between, "don't listen if you don't like what I say," and, "don't say it if I don't like it."

Anonymous said...

Rev. Debra,

The world needs more reverends like you, promoting love and peace, the true messages of the scripture.

Anonymous said...

It seems these days the 'true' message of scripture is whatever one would like it to be or whatever is popular? What IS the true message? Who has the right to define it?

Anonymous said...

Loving your neighbor does not mean that you encourage them to continue in sin.

Liz said...

Rev. Debra,
I recently came across a very hateful blogger and also found it quite unnerving, particularly because he was an educated professional - a peer, even - and while I can tune him out and be mindful enough not to allow the words to run through my thoughts anymore, the question remains, what to do when your enemy is a sociopath: a really mean, hateful, powerful bully, who wants nothing more than to cause you pain? (forgive me for the longest sentence ever) There are people in our country who honestly believe that we are at "war" within our own borders - a "culture war". The phrase implies permission to respond with violence because they perceive themselves as under literal attack by people like you and me. So, yes, love your enemy (to protect your soul), but please also stay safe (to protect the rest of you).

elizabeth said...

Rev. Debra,
I know this is a late response, but having just discovered your site for the first time, I wanted to say thank you. Voices like yours make it easier for those of us who have none.

Anonymous said...

Rev. Debra,

Yes the extreme right Christians seems to miss that part.... "love your neighbor" when it suits...Along with ignoring the teaching of Jeuss on eunuchs which we know today as homosexuals.. "There are some who are eunuchs from their mothers wombs"...

They alkl claim to follow Jesus teachings but conviently leave that one out while gay bashing or justifying denial of homosexual humanhood.

But in light of those missteps of the extremist brothers and sisters, keep going to witness to the truth as we all must.

James Clark