“Fear leads to anger… Anger leads to hate… Hate leads to suffering.” Jedi Master Yoda

On Saturday, my wife Julie, son Max, and I attended church. This was a very special mass as it was the mass at which Max was being baptized. Julie’s family was present as were friends of ours. As a lot of my friends know, I’m not religious. My stance on religion is that I choose complete freedom over being beholden to humans interpreting what they believe to be the word of God. I have seen religion twisted to a few extremes in my days on this earth therefore I choose not to be a follower. However, I am not going to sway people to see things my way. I wholeheartedly support my Catholic wife and family in their choices.

This was the first mass after the tragic events at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. The friar led his homily by saying that humans fear what they do not understand. This is true in almost all facets of life. Be it politics, careers, or technology people fear what they don’t understand. This lack of understanding often turns into hate. There is no greater example of this than religion’s tenuous relationship with the LGBTQ community. But during this mass, a friar led the congregation in saying that he along with all the other Friars at the church were in agreement that all people, regardless of sexual orientation, are indeed human and deserve to be treated as such. The Catholic Church is getting it.

The religious right in this country has often been anti-gay. To which I ask of those people what is more important; your religion or your ideals? For if you are truly conservative you do not care what people do in the privacy of their own home. If you are a conservative you are not in favor of government coming in and telling people how to use the bathroom. If the Catholics do not care about sexual orientation then who should? The answer to this question is those who do not understand. This lack of understanding leads to fear and then hate.

The liberal left in this country has been historically anti-gun. To which I ask of those people what is more important; your government or your ideals? For if you are truly liberal you should be trying to seek out understanding. As a liberal, I believe you should truly feel that hate in all forms is bad, not just the hate you approve of. If the fourth amendment protects your iPhone then the second amendment must protect more than 18th century muskets. If a gay person wants a concealed carry permit after the attack in Orlando, who would question their motive? The answer to this question is those who do not understand. This lack of understanding leads to fear and then hate.

Much like when a new technology emerges, you cannot immediately discount it as a fad. You should look at its value and assess whether the technology is worth investing in or at the very least seeing where it goes. You should never discredit someone for their beliefs if you do not understand them. To understand what someone believes you have to talk to them without trying to sway their opinion. Simply saying Technology X is working for us right now is not going to motivate people to try new things and innovate. Much like not talking to people to gain an understanding will not change what people think is wrong in the United States.

If there is one thing I hope that comes from the Orlando attack is for Americans to try to stop hating one thing or another. People hopefully will understand that they might hate something because of a fear. As humans we should never accept fear of something we do not understand. We must seek out understanding to better ourselves and our society.

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