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SUNDAY, SEPT. 12, 2010, 3:35 A.M.

What defense is there for hatred?

Good morning, Netizens...

I am not Islamaphobic. I am not a follower of the Dr. Terry Jones , nor of Reverend Fred Phelps, Sr. and his Westboro Baptist Church, There are far too many ugly consequences of portraying our country as Islamic-hating, Koran-burning radicals bent upon characterizing all persons of Islamic faith as terrorists. What these fringe elements of Christianity have done is portray Americans to the rest of the world as hateful, racist and homophobic and the whole world is watching.

Isn't there already enough hatred in the world today to go around? What repulses me, event frightens me is that these pastors and others have become synonymous with being American, which to my way of thinking, not only inflames the world awareness; such thinking endangers not just Americans, both Christian and non-Christian alike. It preaches and advocates hatred, poorly disguised beneath theology.

Yesterday and earlier today I chanced to read the web sites of both Dr. Jones and the Reverend Fred Phelps, Sr., and although this morning at 3:00 AM Fred Phelps web site is down, it doesn't change the hatred that both men espouse as part of their belief in God. Their rather-lengthy records speak sadly of their rise to world fame.

If, as Terry Phelps has promised, he burns a copy of the Koran as an act of hatred, thus alienating and perhaps even inciting members of Islam into other acts of hatred, what will he have accomplished?

Radicalism when used to distort religious faith is still just radicalism. Hatred when hidden beneath religious faith is still simply hatred. Preaching hatred results in more hatred.

What part of this can we not understand?


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.