Stop hate-filled ugliness

Published 10:34 am Friday, May 3, 2019

By Glenn Mollette

Contributing Columnist

Hate showed its ugly face again last Saturday at Congregation Chabad in Poway, California, a community about 22 miles north of San Diego. Suspect John Earnest, a 19-year-old student at California State University San Marcus, wearing sunglasses, pointed his automatic rifle at Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein. “I couldn’t see his eyes. I couldn’t see his soul,” said Goldstein. Earnest who had just shot 60-year-old Lori Kaye a close family friend proceeded to shoot at Rabbi Goldstein and shot off one of the Rabbi’s index fingers and severely wounded the other index finger.

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The gunman killed Kaye and wounded three others — including an 8-year old girl and uncle who were visiting from Israel. Reports indicate the gun jammed and an off duty armed border patrol agent who had been invited by Rabbi Goldstein to always attend armed as a precaution chased after the shooter.

Earnest is also suspected in setting fire to an Escondido California mosque which just happened March 25.

Oct. 27 the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh was attacked. During Shabbat morning services, 46-year-old shooter Robert Gregory Bowers killed 11 people and injured seven others.

On March 15 in New Zealand, 50 people were killed by a shooter at mosques in Christchurch. The attacks began at the Al Noor Mosque and then continued at the Linwood Islamic Centre. Fifty people were killed and fifty more injured in New Zealand.

On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old, murdered nine African Americans including the senior pastor, state senator Clementa C. Pinckney during a prayer service at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charlestown, South Carolina. Three victims survived.

On Nov. 5, 2017 First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, Texas, 26 year-old Devin Patrick killed 26 people and wounded 20 others.

On Sept. 24, 2017, Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, was charged with killing a woman and wounding six others at Brunette Chapel Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee

From Nigeria in Western Africa it’s difficult to keep up with the massive numbers of churches that are being burned and Christians slaughtered.

For too long there has been hatred between all religions. However, these terrorist acts aren’t being carried out by people of faith. They are coming from the mentally ill filled with hate. Hate in whatever form it appears is always ugly and often people are hurt.

We have to stop the hate. We have to stop it in politics, social media, entertainment and religion. Hate consumes the soul, lashes out in ugliness and leaves severe wounds and scars.

Sadly, always have a couple of people standing in the entrance of your place of worship. They can at last spot somebody entering with an automatic rifle. Plus, they need to be armed and willing to use their weapons.

Most importantly we must all individually do our part to eliminate hate filled ugliness from society.

Dr. Glenn Mollette is president of Newburgh Theological Seminary, Newburgh, Indiana. Contact him at Learn more at His Facebook page is at