Est. May 2008

06 May, 2013

They Call It Hate

‘I hate you!’

How often do parents hear that from their child(ren)?  And when does it usually come?  Normally, right after the parent denies the child(ren) something they desire or perceive to need; it’s often accompanied by the accusation, ‘you don’t love me.’

This childlike mind-set regarding hate seems rather prevalent even today, and not only among children; a great many of the people who accuse others of ‘hate-speech’ seem to adhere to the same idea: that denial of their perceived needs and/or desires constitutes hate.

Obviously, there are certain crimes which would fall under the umbrella of ‘hate-crimes’ – things such as theft, murder, assault, slander, and the like.  Why did I add ‘theft’ to that list?  Well, to take something from someone else indicates a degree of contempt or, in fact, of outright hatred for the person who originally had it – you took it, not specifically because you needed it, but because you perceived that they didn’t, and you ‘hated’ them for having it.

Of course, that’s something which could be called ‘small-hate’, since it’s not to the same degree as the hatred one needs to feel for someone in order to beat them up or murder them.

The dictionary defines hate as ‘to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest’.  Note that it gives no reason for these feelings, and that they are all feelings – emotional responses to something or someone.  And as I’ve written in the past, formulating laws and jurisprudence based on emotions is a fool’s errand, because emotions and feelings are variable.

Speaking of ‘hate-speech’ and ‘hate-crimes’, take a gander at this:
“There is no legal meaning. It’s just a phrase…Hate speech is in the ear of the beholder.” (Mark Potok, spokesman of The Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama)
Yes, that’s the SPLC which has as a part of its website a listing of ‘hate-groups’.  Apparently, defining hate isn’t as hard as Mr. Potok claims, since his own people were able to define it adequately enough to make a list of ‘haters’.

But I digress; back to the childlike mind-set regarding hate.

The progression for the child is 1) ‘They don’t love me because they won’t give me what I want’ to 2) ‘They hate me’ to 3) ‘Therefore, I’ll hate them back’.  This seems to be the same progression we see in certain groups who like to fling the ‘hate-speech’ accusation today, isn’t it?  And there’s a pretty obvious target-group many (if not most) of the ‘hate-speech’ accusations are thrown at: Christians (I’ll only mention the folks who are trying to point out the inherent violence in the holy book of a certain religions which will not be named – folks like Robert SpencerRaymond Ibrahim, Nonie Darwish, Pamela Geller, and others do a lot better job of that than I ever could).

For a lot of people, when Christians tell them they don’t want them doing certain things because they love them, it doesn’t seem to ring true.  But in the same way, a child has a hard time understanding how Mom and Dad can say they love them when they don’t let them do whatever they want, too.

In both cases you have to look at the ‘what they want to do’ part in order to determine whether the denial is reasonable or not. 

Why do parents deny their children certain things?  Sometimes it’s financial – they can’t afford to get their child what they want.  Other times it may be a form of punishment – the child misbehaved, and good parents aren’t going to reward a child for bad behavior.

Other times, though, it’s to keep a child from harm, whether that harm is physical or emotional.  A parent won’t let a child play with a knife, for example, because the child might very well cut him/herself with it; likewise, a parent might deny a child a hamster because they know the hamster will die, and perhaps the child is too mentally young to handle the death that’s sure to come.

In short, parents deny their children in order to teach them personal responsibility, and to shield them from pain and suffering.

In a similar fashion, Christians will often cite their love for others when they warn them about potential punishment from God for their misbehavior.  There’s this thing called ‘sin’, which far too many people haven’t heard about or, if they have heard about it, don’t pay it too much attention.  Which is bad, because not knowing what sin is, or not caring what sin is, will – if it’s left un-dealt-with – lead to a one-way ticket to the worst punishment imaginable.

In fact, you really can’t imagine the degree of punishment it will bring, because nobody’s ever suffered the punishment of hell and is around to tell us about it.

Christian love, therefore, comes from the concern for the immortal and eternal soul of the person they’re warning: we don’t want you to end up in hell – even though you deserve it, like all of us do – because we don’t want anyone to suffer.

Just like God would prefer that nobody suffered the eternal pain of hell (though He also knows some folks are going to end up there).

Christians also know that unless you acknowledge Jesus as your Savior, and unless you do your level best to let the Holy Spirit work in you to help you battle against your own sinful nature, you’re going to hell, and you’re going to burn.

And we don’t want that for you.

But, just like the child who believes that, since their parents won’t indulge their whims that their parents don’t love them – that they hate them – even grown-ups who hear Christians warning them of their sins and the torments of hell must hate because they won’t let people do whatever they want to do.

But, just like parents who deny their children because they want them to be responsible for their actions and don’t want them to harm themselves, so Christians warn others against the self-harm their irresponsible self-interest breeds.

We love because we don’t want to see you suffer eternally.  That’s the long and the short of it.  That’s not hate, folks, not anymore ‘hate’ than a parent guarding and training their child.

That’s love.  Call it tough-love if you want, but it’s actually love.

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