Is hate a feeling? A personal opinion or belief? Or is hate a force altogether more consuming and devastating than feelings or beliefs?
Personal hatred is a problem to be dealt with for sure. But I am more concerned with the forces of hate that organize our society.
A person recently suggested that I am “walking on thin ice to assume that a person is full of hate because their beliefs are different than mine.”
Is it hate to believe that some human beings still belong working in domestic roles because they are not human enough to be allowed to serve in leadership roles (e.g. the complementarianism of John Piper)? Is that what they are saying? Even so, hate is the exact word that describes the policies that enforce such beliefs. I can imagine the statement being said, “I don’t hate women. I just believe this is the way God wants things to be.”
Was it hate that caused some people to believe that it was their divine right to enslave a large portion of humanity, treat them as property, and amass an enormous wealth at their expense? I can imagine the statement being said, “I don’t hate black bodies. I just believe this is the way God wants things to be.”
Is it hate that says a person should be allowed to deny a person service because they believe their relationship is unnatural or even against the teachings of their religion? People did this where I grew up in Kentucky until recently with interracial couples. I can imagine the response, “I don’t *hate* gay people. I just don’t think this is the way God wants it to be.”
What these people are saying is that they do not “hate” certain people who are different from them, they just don’t believe such people or their relationships should be treated with the same respect and dignity that they expect their own bodies or their relationships to be treated with.
You can “feel” whatever you want about a person. Feelings are complicated things. You can have all kinds of personal opinions and beliefs. Whatever your feelings or beliefs, these things become forces of hate when they spread, are acted upon, become backed by systemic power, and result in violence or public policies that demean, demonize, dehumanize, and desacralize others.
Hate is not just a feeling, it is an organizing force that works to destroy the world. That is what we all should be working to eliminate within ourselves and our world.
[image credit: “Red Anger,” by Klemzo123 https://klemzo123.newgrounds.com/%5D