Father, Forgive Us . . .

Why do we hate?

Today’s news headlines contain two stories about major anti-immigrant campaigns in the US and Switzerland. One of them details a chain-saw attack on an Christian Angolan janitor at a McDonalds that nearly cost the victim his life. The other article examines a massive anti-immigrant campaign in a Virginia suburb.

Everywhere I turn, in the news, in church, in small groups, at work, and on the streets, I hear and see people verbally and sometimes physically abusing foreigners and people who look, dress, or act differently from the local population. It doesn’t seem to matter how benign the difference is — if anyone is perceived as different by reason of age, weight, skin color, accent, clothing style, race, ethnic origin, or handicap, they inspire contempt. Why are we doing that? What’s that about?

. . .”Teacher,” the teacher of the Law asked, “what must I do to receive eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “What do the Scriptures say? How do you interpret them?” The man answered, ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind’; and ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ ” “You are right,” Jesus replied; “do this and you will live.” But the teacher of the Law . . . asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:25-29)

So who is your neighbor?

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