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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Hate Speech versus Love Speech
On this day I had pain, my son reminded me to look up and not down.
Are you socially redeeming?
There is a wonderful quote from a very prominent Supreme Court justice that has stood the test of many years and changes in our societal acceptance. It is very cool in it’s acceptance that even logic sometimes requires other innate senses. It is about pornography. And can easily be used to judge what is hate speech and what is not. Oh our fractured mind delving from the subjective to objective and back again with no warning to the thinker. As hard as man has tried feelings cannot be avoided.
So the Supreme Court quote and the case around it is just wonderful to look into even in a cursory manner like Wicki. What is pornography? And Justice Stewart say’s in his opinion that no definition is forth coming from the court but he “knows it when he sees it”. Now be careful here we are not talking offended as in, someone who gets offended because someone farts or calls someone an idiot. That just was not on the table in the ‘60s. This notion of offense taken because of unique or heightened sensitivities is a fad not an organic truth. Scared of cockroaches is normal but not rational.
So, I think you would be interested into looking into this court case. Again don’t pull up the opinions, as I think there were actually four. Just look up the phrase or the case of Jacobellis v Ohio. But most over 50 will remember something about Miller v. California which established pornography as something “without any redeeming social value”. Sorry it took so long to get here but here we are nevertheless.
It is the premise here that although we think every selfie ever taken and every foul word uttered against someone we dislike has socially redeeming value and in fact it does not. So what the heck is hate speech?
I ain't confessing but maybe one night down in Nogales this song rang true.
My son has never spoken in hate. Do I need to teach him?
Could you imagine I said to you "may hate be with you"?
Now we have to get into the notion of brutal honesty. What happens if we truly believe that your friend is full of hate? Notice right away it is the changing of our belief into a fact. So we say I think your friend is being hateful. The only fact here is what is believed, not that which is true by empirical data. Now let us hear this phrase and you can fill in the parties very easily to match you own disguised hate. “I hear what you are saying be she/he is an idiot”. Well we see immediately a disconnect. And one should note that the word idiot was used up to about the ‘60’s to describe a fairly specific level of mental acuity. Very fascinating to look up “Moron, Imbecile and idiot. And of course we all know that we stopped using such terms at about the time we stopped using queer, yet here it is back in vogue.
So we can gleam from the evolution and sometimes devolution of words that certain words are now words to hurt another. Calling someone an idiot today is just trying to hurt them or their friends. There is no other reason for it. It is no longer descriptive of a condition it is hate speech. It is meant to hurt.
(now there is a caveat here and that is my older brother Brian. One of the most awesome men I have ever known. Rainey in “Into the Wild” and the world’s premier, without competition, river runner in the world. He never says “that was a bonehead move” he says with conviction that you are a bonehead. Kind of like in the Marines)
We hope that gets the point across about speech coming from the heart. The Bible says something like “your words are the overflow of your heart”. Hate speech = hate in heart.
Just a little place I call home above Sedona.
I prayed this a few times and my guns and badge was my mouth.
I care that you do not speak in hate. I love you but you are speaking in hate.
Let us move into the area of love speech. One I like these days is “I love you bro”. Almost never sincere. But when my 31 year old poet, artist, leader of a band, and famous model says it to me, his old man, it is sincere. What son calls their dad “bro”? Well only a son who also thinks of his dad as his friend. That is love speech. “Honey you look fat in that dress”. The husband will be crucified. There is no way that he says that unless he really loves his wife enough to be honest and receive the wrath. Sometimes love speech is as nearly brutal as hate speech. But what is not overflowing from the heart is hate, it is love.
Let us take a moment to check out what is almost always said at a marriage ceremony. I had a County Clerk actually say it at my quickie wedding, my wife at the time Buddhist and the only witness a secretary. Not to worry we are now 14 great years and a wonderful, this Thursday seven year old son. She read: 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (charity means love in a brotherly sense)
So notice this was not meant as between loving wife and husband but between – men.
Oh I just these wrap ups incorporating seemingly disconnected thoughts.
If you voice your hate of one side as opposed to another you speak in hate. If you speak of one issue as opposed to another, you speak in context. But if you speak that you do not care for a thought you speak in love. He is a “jackboot”, she is a “criminal” you lower yourself to hate. Please my friends do not slip into the easy way out of repeating what someone else says or just copying hate speech from another. It does you no favor. By repeating words of anger we simply create more anger. Let me be crude, people are not assholes, assholes are assholes.
Perhaps we can all look at what our hearts overflow with. I know I must and it is up to my objective to change my subjective into love.