3528 – Tuesday, September 3, 2019 — Love versus Hate:  Does Hate Trump Love?

love versus hate

God calls us to love others, just as he loves us.  We show love to others by forgiving, accepting and honoring them.  —  From a quote in a Lutheran Church Brochure

Pick up a newspaper any day of the week.  How much love do you see?  Very little I would bet.  How much hate?  Pages and pages of hate.

  • Man kills seven and injures 31 with assault rifle.
  • Woman with five DUI’s kills mother and daughter in auto crash.
  • Israeli bomb attack kills fifteen jihadists.
  • Terrorist bomb kills 35 soldiers in Iraq.
  • Trump encourages beating up protesters.

I propose that you will find at least ten times more hate in the news than you do love.  But that is not news to you or anyone else, is it?  Newspapers exist to sell advertising, and nothing sells like hate, violence, gore, mayhem and disasters.  The crème de la crème is reserved for serial killings, mass killings and family murders.  Local news is full of crime stories from places that are thousands of miles away and that no one has ever heard of.  Bad news and hate crowd out the good and love that society has.  In a way it is ironic, since so many people in the world regard themselves as Christians.  Christianity professes to follow the teachings of a man named Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ (for those of you who might be unfamiliar with him) was a big advocate of love and peace.  Jesus told his followers “A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”  — John 13:34.  Jesus is also reputed to have said “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  — Mathew 5:44.  Another irony, considering that numerous Christian churches have supported racism and hatred towards Blacks and other minorities.

One would think that particularly in those parts of the United States dominated by Christian churches, love would blossom like a million flowers.  You would expect that in the so called “Bible Belt” you would see evidence of love and not hate everywhere you look.  If any place was against prejudice, discrimination, bigotry and ill will towards their fellow human beings, it should be in the Bible Belt.  Another irony, since according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the South has more hate groups than any other area of the United States.  Even more confusing, are the Christian ministers who preach hate and use Christs name to justify it.  This is a recent map of hate groups in the USA.

ir166-hate-map-launch

A few Sundays ago, Pastor Joe Major of Louisiana’s Faith Baptist Church gave a guest sermon at the Philippines church of Pastor Logan Robertson.  You’ll never guess what Major talked about.  In a sermon titled “Make the World Straight Again,” Major told the raucous crowd about how all homosexuals were inherently pedophiles and that’s why they deserved to be executed.  Several years past, the Rev. Steven Anderson quoted passages from the Old Testament to the congregation of his Faithful Word Baptist Church about the kinds of people God hates in Tempe Arizona.  Anderson told worshipers he interprets these passages to include Mr. Obama and that he prays for the president’s death.  Is it ironic that Anderson believes he is a Christian and promotes hate in the name of Jesus?

But enough looking at hate, what about love?  Can we find examples of love in the world?  Do we even know what love really is?  We all know the quote about “love is kind, love is patient, etc.”  But what is the difference between love and compassion or between love and mercy or between love and charity?  What about the role of forgiveness?  Can we have love without forgiveness?  Should we forgive everyone?

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,

with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry

and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,

then your light will rise in the darkness,

and your night will become like the noonday.  —

Isaiah, 58:9-10

Love can not exist in the dark.  Hate brings the dark.  Love is extinguished by hate. In order to have love, you must eliminate hate.  The two cannot go together.  Love opens the door.  Hate closes the door.  Love leads to mercy.  Hate leads to revenge.  Love leads to compassion.  Hate leads to scorn.  Love leads to forgiveness.  Hate leads to vendettas.  Love leads to charity.  Hate leads to greed.   If you want to bring love into the world, you must work to eliminate hate.  Love cannot blossom in a soil that is contaminated with the poison of hate.

I think we are love deprived today.  I mean real love.  Not love of things.  I love my car.  I love my new watch.  I love my blender.  This is not love.  This is idolatry.  It is a Madison avenue con that has been foisted on us to buy stuff and more stuff.  No where in the world do people own more stuff than in America.  Rich or poor in this country, we all have the disease of stuff.  We buy and sell and buy more stuff.  A t-shirt exhorts us to “shop till we drop.”  The midnight madness sales during the Holiday seasons are an ironic example of what it means to be really crazy.  Ironic, because when things matter more than people, we have a world that is truly mad and insane.  We have a world without love.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” — Martin Luther King

 

 

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Vic Nurcombe
    Sep 03, 2019 @ 19:34:36

    “……We can only love others when we are full of God’s love.”
    How extremely odd you would have to be to believe such utter twaddle!! By demotion then, Buddhists would be incapable of love. Not to mention Taoists.

    Reply

    • Dr. John Persico Jr.
      Sep 04, 2019 @ 05:24:13

      More of a Christian perspective Vic. As you know, I am an Atheist but I sometimes like to remind Christians of their ideas since they seldom seem to apply them to other groups in fact seldom to other Christians. When I look at the history of Christianity, I think Jesus would have committed suicide if he knew how often his name would be used to justify acts of barbarism. If Christians even practiced 1/10 of what they say they believe in, the world would be a lot better place. I have deleted some of the quote though, since it is too much when I think more on it.

      Reply

  2. Vic Nurcombe
    Sep 04, 2019 @ 22:12:26

    Hard living in a society where so many people take religion seriously. In Australia, it has slipped even further down in estimation, from a low base, as the Head Catholic in the country, Cardinal Pell, lost his appeal against his conviction for child sexual abuse. Scrambling him off to the Vatican didn’t help. It follows hard on the heels from a mountain of grotesque evidence given to the Victorian Royal Commission into Child Abuse. Hard to think that the Australian Catholic Church, dominated by hardcore Irish catholicism, isn’t just one big organised paedophile ring. Along with the YMCA, the samaritans, the anglicans and the Salvos. These chaps modelled themselves as “God’s children”. Speaks volumes to a rationalist. If Jesus even existed – an interesting and arguable point – I don’t think he’d care. Several times he said he was only there for the jews, and that the gentiles were “as dogs”. It was Paul, out-propagandising the Jamesian faction, who extended gentiles into the tent, against the wishes of Jesus’ disciples. Strategically a good move……the Roman Empire eventually succumbed as it got weaker……but the idea that Gentiles could have anything to do with Jesus has always struck me as odd. Bart Ehrman explains this well. The anomalies about the Jesus stories that are most interesting and novel…..treat women well, look after the poor, money is an evil you must eschew……are very unusual (loving your enemy isn’t novel)…..and the precepts most often ignored by “christians”. Ah humans……nothing in the manual says they have to make sense.

    Reply

  3. Dr. John Persico Jr.
    Sep 05, 2019 @ 11:13:53

    You raise some interesting issues Vic. My own take on Paul is that he is more beloved by the Evangelical Christians than even Jesus, since many of his writings are much closer to old testament than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

    Reply

    • Vic Nurcombe
      Sep 09, 2019 @ 00:29:24

      if interested, there was a good book, “Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity” by the scholar James D. Tabor which makes starkly clear just how different the Apostle was from his Messiah. Wildly different! Jesus bequeathed his ministry to his brother, before Paul usurped it…….and its why the Epistle of James, properly in the tradition of Jesus, is irreconcilable with the rest of the new testament. A real theological mess. Not that Christians are interested in being consistent. Paul was right in assessing Jesus’ brand of teaching as just way too hard and inconvenient, especially for gentiles (give away all your money, and the clothes off your back, if you want to enter the kingdom of heaven, for example). Jesus clearly preached the end of the world was JUST about to happen. Paul realised that was BS. Paul also didn’t believe in a bodily resurrection, which was interesting.

      Reply

  4. Dr. John Persico Jr.
    Sep 09, 2019 @ 10:33:44

    Thanks Vic, interesting coincidence. I have been researching the difference between Paul’s and Jesus’s teachings. Something, I really just discovered this year. Funny, all those years in Catholic School and I never heard anything about it. Modern Christianity seems to have followed Paul and not Jesus. Helps to explain why the Evangelicals and Fundamentalists love Paul and the Old Testament so much. Thanks for the reference, I will look it up. John

    Reply

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