According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are 36 hate-related groups in Pennsylvania, and 41 more in West Virginia and Ohio. They are a quantifiable presence in our Synod. But beyond the groups, hate behavior is growing across the country as it finds its way into public commentary and actions. It shows itself through these organized groups as well as through individuals – and even some in our pews.
How can we shine a light on these behaviors and raise awareness in our congregations that leads to engagement? Too often, we act as if not participating in “hate” is our best option for addressing the behavior. It is not.
Below are links to websites, articles and other resources that will assist you and your congregation in taking a stand against hate groups and hate-related behavior.
Ten Ways To Fight Hate, Southern Poverty Law Center
Quick Start Guide, Not In Our Town
Welcome the Stranger trilogy by the Community Responders Network
Hate Crime Prevention: A Few Things to Consider by Jim Nolan, professor of sociology, West Virginia University
Speech on Perils of Indifference by Elie Weisel
Retired Elizabethtown College professor founder of H.L. Mencken Club, “an organization for independent-minded intellectuals and academics of the Right”
A West Virginia man was indicted in 2017 for making derogatory comments regarding a woman’s actual and perceived sexual orientation and used a glass bottle to hit her multiple times in the head