(Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson)
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”-James 3:13
I have heard people say “Ignorance is bliss”, but I highly disagree. When people are ignorant it means they have a lack of knowledge. Someone who is ignorant of anything has two choices:
1) Remain silent and continue to remain ignorant until they learn on their own
2) Ask the question, acknowledging their ignorance, aiming to be educated.
Notice there is no option to speak about what we don’t know in a hateful way?
When I saw some of the responses this morning to the Miss America winner, I was appalled. I could not believe the hate and the ignorance spewed out of people’s mouths. However, the ignorance spewed revealed people who do not experience bliss from their lack of knowledge. When someone is ignorant, anger shouldn’t come out. If someone is ignorant they should be seeking knowledge to understand why certain events occur or who someone is. Why didn’t that happen last night?
People were calling this young lady, who was born in America, a foreigner and a terrorist. There were harsher words that I can’t share here and people making judgment calls that they had no right to make. Why? They were ignorant, but without bliss. Sadly, these were ignorant people with anger.
Any of these people sharing hate speech could have jumped online and checked the facts about this young lady, but instead they spoke unintelligently about what they did not know. I bet they didn’t know her parents came here before she was born in 1981? I bet they didn’t know she was born in Syracuse, NY? However, if they paid any attention to the details shared about her on the show, they would have. So, they chose to refrain from learning anything about her and pass their own ridiculous judgment.
How should the Church respond to this behavior? It isn’t necessarily our responsibility to rise up and stand for Miss America. However, it is our responsibility to rise up and stand against ignorance and hate. We need to learn about people. We need to learn their stories. We need to learn their background. We need to be willing to set the standard for knowledge and acceptance.
Let us refrain from using hate speech towards anyone, especially if they are different from us. Let’s learn about them and seek out the answers needed. Then, and only then, can we truly have the right to speak and be heard. When we do take the time to learn, then our ignorance turns to knowledge and that is truly blissful thinking.