Hatred as a spectator sport

I’ve never lived in an area like this. There’s a number of reasons why I don’t fit in where I’m at:

1) I’m lutheran, not only lutheran but ELCA lutheran.
2) I don’t have a large family in the area, and I did not grow up around a lot of family
3) I see things in black and white (no pun intended), but live in a head filled with shades of grey

Here’s the thing, I think I’ve talked before about how the area strikes me as very divided based on color, to me that’s ridiculous. In my head people are people and when you can’t see what I see it’s not worth talking to you. The same thing about sexual orientation, disability, and any number of other things. I like people based on them, not based on some external attribute or supposed bond. So, here is where I get into trouble with the first two problems:

There is a huge catholic community here, I do have friends that are catholic so I’m not judging individually, this is based on the general ideals of the church here that hurts my head. The church is afraid of change, afraid of different, and afraid of opening their doors to those that are different. This causes problems for discussion of race and sexual orientation for me. The church I found here embodies everything I love about the ELCA, everyone is allowed no matter what their affiliation. That is how I want my son raised, Terry says over and over the only thing that would disappoint him is if Edgar becomes a bigot. Why do people choose to follow a church system that excludes people? Why, when we have an opportunity to allow more people rights, do people choose to passively hate instead? The excuses for allowing hate are ridiculous, there are memes all over the internet to prove that. It hurts my heart.

The family thing is a side effect of the pain I feel about the passive hate on the large scale. I’m clearly not used to dealing with a lot of family. There’s this underscore of pessimism and dislike through every conversation, I’ve cried because of things people have said to me, I’ve been deliberately left off of family gifts, in my head this is normal. In my black and white world you’re either family or your not. With as much as everyone hates each other and is uncomfortable with each other I don’t see a place for people to love someone who isn’t blood related. I can’t figure out who we like and who we don’t or why. My head is shades of grey, but hatred is black and white for me. If you hate someone you don’t hang around them. You don’t talk to them or about them. Hatred is not passive in my world. It’s a yes or no and doesn’t change. When it happens the people are no longer included in your world. This to me is separate but equal. There is no room for that in politics, or in government, only in individual worlds. This hatred as a spectator sport is so foreign to me I can’t even begin to process. I love my family, they live really far away but I have fantastic memories and when I think of them, there is nothing but love. What benefit is there in passive hate, except slowly eating the insides of the person who harbors the emotion?

This summer I need to learn how to keep others passive hate from eating up my insides. I’m constantly feeling like I’ve screwed up because I invite the wrong people. When I’m thinking of what I want to do and who I want to do it with I’m judging myself based on others passive hate. The worst is the assumption that I am a victim of others passive hate when I’m not invited. It has to stop. I want so badly to return and succeed at school in the fall. This is going to do nothing but distract me from what I really need to focus on in order to accomplish that.

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