Is It Always Wrong to Hate?

hate-it-has-caused-a-lot-of-problems-in-this-worldI posted this graphic on my Facebook page and asked for reactions.  Many responded that Maya was referring to hating people.  If pressed, she probably would have agreed with that, but these kinds of platitudes are seldom precise enough to stand on their own.

My initial thought was, “What about World War II and abolition?” It was our hatred for slavery and the Axis powers that solved these problems. And since you can’t have a Nazi or slavery without persons behind them, then there must be a certain sense in which this hatred (or righteous indignation) is directed at persons.

Now, as a Christian I can certainly get on board with the idea that we can “hate” an ideology or behavior yet still value the persons behind them, but identity politics won’t allow some people to go there.

This also leaves us stuck with what to do about someone like Trump, whom many find thoroughly loathsome. The entire American left (and some of the right) seem united in their hatred of the man and are impelled by it to find ways to block or oust him. I think they have forgotten Maya’s words.

The idea that hate cannot solve anything can only be legitimate in a world without bad beliefs and desires, or without people who act upon them. It could only be true in a perfect world.

Perhaps, though, it could be true in a world ruled by a totalitarian government that did not suffer anyone to believe or act in ways not authorized by the state, but that only plays if you don’t qualify the execution or imprisonment of offenders as a form of hate.

This side of heaven, our only hope is that we continue to have the freedom to “hate” evil and the wisdom to discern the good from the bad.

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Posted on November 7, 2017, in Ethics, Musings and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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