Last month, while on our cruise, we took a day trip to Christchurch. I was quite impressed by it. The city has been hit by two major earthquakes- one in 2010 and one in 2011. Many people lost their lives. Many buildings are still shadows of their former selves. The cathedral still is filled with rubble where one of the walls collapsed. Yet I was amazed at the resiliency of the people of the city. They seemed determined to rebuild their city.
Today, a white supremacist terrorist killed many in Christchurch. Their crime in his eyes was that they were not caucasian- they were muslims. Coldly and brutally the lives of many worshippers were snuffed out due to this hate. I have no doubt that the city of Christchurch, with its strength of character as shown in the earthquake will rebuild.
But again we have an act of hate. Like such attacks in Paris, in Manchester, in London and countless other places I grieve. Why do we hate the stranger? Why do we dehumanise the other? Why do things like this happen?
Such hate is never ok. We must teach our children that everyone is our neighbours- whether they be white, black, brown, yellow, or red. Everyone is our neighbour whether they be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or follow another faith. Everyone is our neighbour whether they are native born or an immigrant or a refugee or an asylum seeker. Everyone is my neighbour. There are no exceptions to the call to love our neighbours as ourselves. Hate must not win.