Love Has First Amendment Rights As Well
I am a regular supporter of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). I have been for years. They have often been at the forefront of the effort to expose and disable organizations promoting various hate-filled agendas. Recently SPLC sent out a booklet to its supporters titled Ten Ways to Fight Hate. It lists and elaborates on ten actions individuals and organizations can undertake to help create a more loving world. Suggestions include lobbying leaders for changes in laws, teaching tolerance and speaking up. All of which are solid ideas, and proven methods for combating racism, sexism, and other forms of hate.
Very realistically the booklet acknowledges that things like hate rallies will continue in the future. Indeed, as the booklet's writers state, "Hate has a first amendment right." But, they go on to suggest, "Create an Alternative." For while they don't state it this way, love, too, has a first amendment right! It is one thing to engage in the anti-hate conversation with yet more hate and anger. "What a bunch of idiots!" "That candidate is a real jerk!" And so on and so on. Ever pushing us further into the mud and dirt of despair.
But creating an alternative--one rooted in love, one rooted in compassion, one rooted in goodness--now that is an approach that might make a real difference.
So what alternative can you create? How can you engage in something good, something positive, something that will contribute to greater understanding, greater tolerance and maybe even greater love?