But we have to admit it’s getting increasingly harder to do this job because the tide is raging against us. For all our efforts and the progress we make, the follow-through is out of our hands. As clergy, our powers are limited to appealing to the goodness of humankind. We can’t legislate and we can’t enforce. There comes a point at which the good work we’ve done has to be carried forward outside our doors and into the community. It is there that our legislators must take over where we leave off. Right now, here in Georgia, they aren’t doing that.
Among the many agonizing consequences of this conscious deficiency, we must immediately recognize the long-term damage being done and the irreversible course on which we’re putting our children. For every single hate crime perpetrated without consequence, there is a family and there is a legacy. There is also the irrevocable impression on our precious youth that hate is okay, that it’s the norm. The negative impact on our society is immeasurable. Parents tell us they fear not only that their sons and daughters will be preyed upon, but that they will eventually be compelled to feel hate and to act on hate, because the message of hate and division is louder than the message of love and unity. Young people tell us they don’t want to bring children into this world, because hate has become so prevalent, so everyday, so accepted. It’s not because of what they learn at church or at school, it’s because of what our laws allow people to do to each other, despite what they learn at church and at school. How can we have any real lasting impact on the souls of our society if the laws continue to circumvent the values they should uphold?