I’ve noticed that the Westboro Baptist Church has had a substantial amount of time swimming under the media’s spotlight recently. And, well, I finally found an interview that I think portrays the best message in demonstrating how we should treat people of their particular sort.
I’m a little bit biased, because I’m somewhat of a Russell Brand fanatic. I love everything that he does. And there’s not much that he can really do wrong in my eyes. Though, and having said this, I’ve been waiting for someone to illustrate exactly how people who claim to be loving and kind and generally benevolent, should treat those are quite openly homophobic or xenophobic or bigoted or hate clowns. And that illustration is …
To treat hate with love. Exactly how Russell Brand has in this interview.
It’s very easy to see someone whose opinions differ from yours, so fundamentally, and apparently so narrow-mindedly, get on your high unicorn, and play the blame game. People who are loudly and proudly against equal rights, or, even worse, think that the act of bumming will drag your soul down to hell once your flesh and bones body passes onto the next life make an easy target.
You uneducated clown. You bastard. You hater of cats. You unenlightened hillbilly. You dumb poop head. You’re not God, you didn’t choose his Will. Notions of love and compassion and respect trump a bit of bumming. You fuck-tard.
Yes, it is indeed easy and extremely tempting to stoop to this level of blind hate.
However, what good does it accomplish?
Immediately before the two are even on stage, Russell Brand tells his audience to welcome the two preachers with love and applause and to refrain from making catcalls. Then, when the two sit down and people get a bit rowdy, he reiterates to his audience how difficult it must be to come onto a show where people are obviously not going to agree with your views. He did his best in encouraging the crowd to let the preachers have their voice.
He kept this attitude all throughout the entire interview, and, at least by my subjective standards, didn’t deviate from this loving and all encompassing stance once. Granted, yes, he’s a comedian, so he made a few funnies. But never, I really don’t think, did he directly intend to belittle the two preachers, whom Russell referred to as being courageous for coming to his show, knowing that they’d face such adversity.
He even tried to give them a hug at the end. And one of them even obliged. In a manly, I’ll lean in and pat your shoulder but ensure that our genitals are too remote to make any sort of rubbing contact, sort of way.
If you watch the interview, you’ll notice that they really are doing what they think is good. They truly believe that by condemning faggots to hell, they are saving people’s souls. By spreading their biblical word, as interpreted by their own selves, they are doing God’s work, and thus, sparing “the sinners” from an eternity in hell.
Though we may not at all agree with them, they truly do believe, I think, that their actions are benevolent. And kind. And compassionate. Through their own lens, by allowing “sinners” to keep flamboyantly skipping down hell lane, arm in arm, willy in bum, they are no different from, I don’t know, a family parent watching their child smoke crystal meth every day and ruin his life, without doing anything to prevent it.
Something like that. I guess? I don’t know. Whatever.
The point is:
Fighting hate with hate is only going to encourage more hate.
If we all adopted an attitude akin to Russell Brand’s and treated people who’s opinions and views we so essentially stand in contrast to, with love and compassion, like how we would treat those we care about and love – well, without the sexing or the touching or the kissing or the bumming, of course – then what a world this could be.
I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again:
Discriminating against discrimination is still discrimination.
No matter what angle you look at it from, you’re left with a big ball of nasty. Treating hate with love is somewhat of a morass, and probably something that may cause internal conflict within for some, though, haranguing those full of contempt merely paints another picture using hateful colours.
Let us all do our best to use water to unburden fire. As opposed to gasoline.
Humans-are-self-righteous-creatures. And often, incapable of seeing otherwise.