Hate Mail Disguised as Love Letters



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Dan Dick-Hate Mail

I sincerely agree that no person has 100% of the truth. How we address each other does matter, though, regardless of the content of our opinions or beliefs. Several years ago I attended an event at Mt. Sequoyah and happened to be sitting at a table with an active UM bishop and a seminary professor. Their viewpoints were generally divergent on many issues, but both were persons of great faith and intellect. It was a pleasure to overhear them. At one point, when the professor mentioned that people on both ends of the spectrum can indulge in hate mail and hate speech, the bishop agreed in principle but added, "Almost all my hate mail tends to come from one end of the spectrum." In my own nearly 40 years in the local church and serving on a district, I can confirm that the most passionate, outraged people tend to come from one end of the spectrum. Whatever our convictions and opinions may be, there are Godly ways to share them. I pray that General Conference will proceed in such a fashion.

Jeanne Devine more than 5 years ago

loud voices

Larry- you are right, these are people who are mostly on the extremes and fringes. The problem in our media and social media driven society is that these are the very voices which are read, heard, reprinted, reposted, and quoted most often. Every day I see and hear these sentiments in articles, blogs and facebook postings. We are becoming more polarized in our culture and our churches.

I agree with Dan in keeping the letters and e-mails and in keeping them before us. If we keep on dealing with them the way we always have (ignoring them, trying to to argue them away, etc.) we will always be where we are; greatly divided and drawing lines in the sand.

If General Conference is anything like Annual Conference, there will be lots of posturing, lots of debate without actually listening, and most people feeling like they lost in the end. There has to be a better way to live as a part of the Body of Christ called United Methodists.

Mark Payne more than 5 years ago

Hate Mail Etc

I think trotting out these kind of emails that we all get from time to time clouds the issues and does nothing to advance of the conversation and debate. Of course ... these are hateful. They are also the fringe, and the fact of the matter is that those who get elected to General Conference would overwhelmingly reject them regardless of their theological positions or stances on particular issues. If we quoted the fringes on almost all of the issues we would probably be horrified. When I get these kinds of email I throw them away. I don't keep them in a file to irritate me.

Larry R. Baird more than 5 years ago


Dan, THANK YOU for taking such a courageous stand exposing the bitter diversity in a clear and dignified manner, not only within Methodism but also within our country. As you so vividly pointed out, those who spew out the hate are sincerely convinced they are doing the "right" thing in God's name. But love can overcome hate and your article is a powerful step in tearing down the walls that separate us and helping build bridges of understanding. Maybe the General Conference will have a "Damascus Road" experience. EVEN WITH SUCH VICIOUS DIVERSITY, THERE IS LOVE AND HOPE, NOT ONLY FOR METHODISM BUT FOR THE WORLD.


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Jim Manning

Jim Manning more than 5 years ago

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