Morning is not my favourite time of day… there are days when I hate it... and the news rarely does much to improve my mood… And yesterday was a case in point, with a number of news stories sharing a similar theme. One that, sadly, there have been at least 320 hate crimes against the small Muslim community here in Belfast over the past five years…
Then there was the appalling video circulating on social media of young people, some wearing Northern Ireland football shirts, singing "we hate Catholics" to the chorus of Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now". The IFA were encouragingly swift to speak out against this, saying that they condemn sectarianism of any kind, threatening to ban those involved.
Meanwhile it seems that a number of England players were subjectto racist abuse during the previous night’s demolition of Montenegro, with Raheem Sterling tweeting that his goal and celebration was the best way to silence the haters.
Sadly, on any other day it could easily be stories of other groups being the targets of hate… people of other nationalities, sexual orientation, political opinions, women… There’s a lot of hate doing the rounds at present, stoked up by all sorts of tensions, and certainly not helped by anti-social media.
But it brought to mind a car advert that won lots of awards back in 2004. It was voiced by Garrison Keillor who introduced it saying:
It was inspired by the story of the car company’s chief engine designer, who hated the noise, smell, and appearance of diesel engines. When asked to design that company's first diesel, he refused unless allowed to start from scratch, resulting in a generation of quieter, cleaner engines. He described this as "positive hate" inspiring the advertising copywriters to write the chorus
Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love.
Romans 12: 9-10
It’s not just enough to hate the bad… we must cling to the better, indeed cling lovingly to each other, despite all our differences…
In the words of Garrison Keillor. “Come on s