I really want to be a better person.
I am not a nasty or vile individual, but like everyone, there are some things I would like to improve about myself.
I do understand and, when I am being reasonable, accept that no one is perfect. But, I do believe that we have the power within us to be more perfected beings, and becoming the best person that I can be is something I am striving for.
However, when I heard about the actions of two individuals who gave off the impression that they are a part of the army of God, I was hoping that they, too, would try to work on themselves.
I was disappointed when I heard about statements Pat Robertson, founder and chairman of The Christian Broadcast Network Inc. (CBN), made recently on "The 700 Club" concerning Venezuela President Hugo Chavez.
And I know I am not alone.
"If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it," is what Robertson is quoted as saying about Chavez according to CNN.com.
Robertson is not someone who I personally look to as a model of sainthood, but someone with an impressive resume such as his and as someone who has entrenched themselves in Christian values and teachings, I expected him to have mastered the whole emotion thing, and would have more control over his tongue.
Calling for the killing of an individual goes against what the God I know he supports. Simply put, it is irresponsible.
But Robertson did issue an apology. According to Robertson's Web site, he was speaking out of frustration "that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him."
But no one's actions were as disturbing to me over the past few weeks as Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church founder Rev. Fred Phelps. His church's decision to picket at the funerals of those who died, believing they were protecting this country is just in bad taste.
How can so much hatred and disdain come from the mouths of people who believe themselves to be in the army of God?
There is so much hatred, so much anger in his statements that makes you wonder where it is stemmed from.
Believe what you want to believe. But why not choose to be a positive example of those beliefs? Why not say, you know, my wife and I have 13 healthy children and dozens of grandchildren, and promote your lifestyle in that manner?
After perusing Phelps' church Web site, it seems like he is heavily focused on the anti-gay agenda.
Not on murder, adultery, racism, sexism, crimes against children, theft or just plain old ugly behavior, but primarily on homosexuality.
I am not sure what god Phelps worships, but I know the God I know wouldn't condone such intolerance.
Remember, according to John 13:34, Jesus said to the Apostles, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."
But Robertson and Phelps are not alone. At times we all think, say and do things that are really unproductive and promote negativity.
While there are times when we all get hurt or are frustrated by a situation or the actions of another, we have to take a step back, assess the situation and take deep breath, and trust in the Creator.
Operating out of fear or hatred, regardless of what you claim your beliefs are, has never done anyone any good.
Aisha I. Jefferson covers police and courts for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .