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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Why Do We Love To Hate?

If you watch one of the Trinity Broadcasting channels for long enough, you're sure to hear something like this:

"Not all Muslims are terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslim."

"The Antichrist will be Muslim."

"One glorious day the Mosque of Mullah Omar will be swept away (from Jerusalem's Temple Mount) and the Third Temple will take its place."

It seems that a lot of influential Christians really don't like Muslims.

In fact, most Muslims just want to live in peace, and abhor terrorism (and jihad reders, strictly speaking, to an inner struggle for faith in each believer).

We don't know who the Antichrist will be.

And I rather doubt that it's within Jesus' Great Commandment to gleefully look forward to the day that a structure important to many people of a different faith will be destroyed.

But why the emphasis on hatred? Why are we singling out a certain group as the people we love to hate?

It's happened before. A few generations ago, most terrorists were Irish, and yes, the Irish were hated by many Britons.

The Native American was respected until he was in the way of Manifest Destiny, and then turned into a hated enemy.

And the Jews...treated with careless disdain in most Western countries (including our own), and slaughtered in Russia and Germany.

Is it that we are unsure of our own 'goodness', and need to find someone 'worse' than we are, even if we have to create a fiction to justify it?

Or is it that we're so in love with the 'good vs. evil' conflict that we have to keep it going? In support of this...look at the writers who have "villains you love to hate". Characters whose death you're expected to applaud. Does this teach us that hating the 'bad guy', and delighting in his pain, is ok?

Or, most horribly, is it that we're simply bored, and we need to find someone in whose pursuit and killing we can take vicarious pleasure as spectators?

Are we the New Romans, enjoying refreshments while our lions devour the flavor-of-the-week?

We have to look at our hearts, and the people who guide our faith, very carefully. Most people, Christian or no, are about halfway between good and awful.

And to drag out an overworked cliche, we all cry when hurt.

And we all bleed red.

And no one, not even the worst villain, falls dead from a bullet to the heart.

They whimper, and struggle, and call out to their mothers.

Hatred is a choice. Free will. Yes or no.

Where do you stand?


  1. Andrew, you bring up many thought provoking points. I would agree that hatred is a choice. As is love. When hurt, hate seems to come more easily than choosing to love. I appreciate the reminder that we need to guard our hearts and watch who we give the power to influence them. Your post reminds me of how easy it is to group many into a certain stereotype. It seems to be a part of our nature, a way of classifying people so we can "figure them out," so to speak. But, in so doing, we negate the uniqueness God has instilled into each person He creates.

    I'd love to say that I'm above this, but I'm not. I am, however, praying that God helps me to see people as individuals, through His eyes. Even when their beliefs and actions contradict what I believe. I'm learning to pray for those who act contrary to the Bible, which is where I base my beliefs and try to let guide my actions. If that makes sense.

    Thank you for the reminder that I need to be careful to choose love, to show love and to pray when my initial reaction might be hate.

    1. What you say makes perfect sense. Taking guidance from the Bible, and using that guidance to engender love and compassion for those whose actions and words contradict all that you hold dear is perhaps the highest expression of Christian faith.


  2. "Most people, Christian or no, are about halfway between good and awful."

    Very true.

    1. In the words of Leonardo di Caprio's character in "Blood Diamond"...they're just people.