This I Believe

Maile - Portland, Oregon
Entered on December 21, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

I was sickened this afternoon to hear of babies being stolen out of residents

Yards in the town of Eugene. I believe that these actions qualify as a hate crime.

These were only doll-babies, laid out in pretend representations of an occurance millennia ago, when a young couple found shelter in a homely barn, in order to welcome

Their newborn into this harsh world. Yet, if this action of stealing the dreams and beliefs

Of others, even if only the representation of those dreams and beliefs, does not qualify as

A hate crime, I don’t know what does.

It is four days before Christmas today, Dec. 21, 2007. I have not considered myself to be a Christian for a long, long time. My mother was a Christian, though, in her

Own quiet way. In 1962, she joined the Religious Society of Friends, in Honolulu, Hawaii, where I grew up. My father was an atheist, raised by an ardent follower of Christianity. I don’t know exactly how his faith was shattered, but one of the essential teachings of his too-brief life that he shared with me was “people are no damned good!” I am so sad that some heedless, thoughtless, careless people have confirmed this teaching, tongue-in-cheek as Ernie’s words were, when he would say this to me.

My own religious path has been circuitous. As a young person in a mixed religious household (Quaker and Atheist,) I wasn’t quite sure what my beliefs about the Great Beyond should be. Later, in my twenties, I found a path of meditation and devotion which works very well for me to this day. When I married my Jewish husband, under my own and (perhaps some divine) direction, I adopted his religion.

Religious and Political content are both worth very little, in my humble opinion, when compared to the importance of respect for others. empathy and caring for the young, the helpless, and yes, even the beliefs and prayers of other people. People’s dreams count—how do we help anything by trampleing on them?

This couldn’t possibly have been a crime perpetuated by some animal right group, could it? I myself am a vegetarian, but some of the actions of animal-rightists are so

Very counter-productive. Cows, pigs and sheep, save us from your would-be saviours, I pray to you with my whole heart. Then, if you would, perhaps we could all just get along, and have a merry little Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or any other holiday, and a New Year filled with hope and joy.