Hello Curious Friend. Welcome to my book about Hate. The number tells you where you are in the sequence. I look forward to your comments.
Why Study Hate? (Continued)
Such is the scale of humanity’s capacity for tragedy that I have the ability to show a second example that is far more tragic, hateful, and even more of an ominous portent of our shared future. For less than a month ago in Pakistan, a band of religious extremists decided that their god wanted to see 130 young, innocent children slaughtered, even while under the sheltering gaze of their elementary teachers.
These extremists apparently believed their god wanted those children dead because they were learning subjects like reading, math, and biology. In their twisted minds, they felt their all-powerful deity did not want these innocent kids to discover common concepts like as democracy, liberty, free will, and gender equality. Instead, this “heavenly being” offered his suicidal followers a bribe: an after-life paradise in return for creating Hell on Earth.
Like the senseless killings in New York City, the original cause of this tragedy can most likely be traced back to some preceding event, each of which has some kernel of similarity to what unfolded in Pakistan. Before this cowardly attack on innocent and unsuspecting school children, there may have been a drone strike in the Taliban’s village. Perhaps the drone hit a school there, we may never know. It may be that the suicide killers were told this as part of their motivational training. This we will also never know.
But the fact that each and every atrocity can have another event singled out as the “cause” of that atrocity seems to be a common denominator for all hateful acts. This seems to hold true no matter what the atrocity is, who committed it, or when.
Speaking of when, let’s leave these events of the most recent past behind and analyze a few that that have occurred over the past few years. One atrocity that comes to mind parallels the bloodshed in Pakistan, and that is the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.
Here, a classroom of children was gunned down by a deranged teenager. Perhaps it’s unfair to include this exact example in our depiction of hate, if only because there is a chance that the killer (who shall remain nameless) was not indeed hateful, but was sick instead.
Mental illness is a real and serious disease, and the science of recognizing and treating it is still in its infancy. The Sandy Hook Elementary School killer may have only been acting out deranged thoughts beyond his control.
Yet, in order to be completely fair in our analysis of hate, can we let him and those close to him off the hook completely? Perhaps not. For he lived with his mother. Being young and troubled, he could not legally own guns.
To be continued …