Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sanity/Respect Report 01: HATE

A World of Hate

"hate 1.a: an intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger or sense of injury b:extreme dislike or antipathy . . . 2: an object of hatred."

We live in a time when the fires of fear and anger are being daily stoked. An almost constant parade of evocative words march past our consciousness: Islamic terrorist, socialist government, job loss, foreclosure, nuclear war, baby killers, gay marriage, hate groups . . . . And fear often evolves into hatred. "In time we hate that which we often fear." (Shakespeare)** No wonder it has become sytlish to hate, more than to love.

As seminal as fear may be, anger is an even more potent seedbed for hate: "Anger may repast with thee for an hour, but not repose for a night; the continuance of anger is hatred, the continuance of hatred turns [into] malice." *** A warning regarding anger comes to us from the New Testament, "Let not the sun go down on your wrath."**** Because, holding onto anger, leads to hatred, and holding on to hatred fuels the desire to hurt the object of hate.

Too often we hate because we forget that we are brothers and sisters. We tend to divide the world up into "the good" and "the evil"; and, always "we" are on the side of the good, the honorable, the righteous. We make our divisive issues, e.g., racism, abortion, terrorism, etc., into sides of right and wrong. And we get so polarized in our thinking that it become impossible for us to see any good in the view opposite to ours. Iba Ezra said, "Love blinds us to faults, but hatred blinds us to virtues."

Representing the "other side" as less human than we--demonizing them, making them totally depraved and evil--makes it even more difficult to share a common vision of progress. In fact it makes us slightly paranoid, suspicious that they might do something to harm us. Hear the words of Archibald Macleish, "The man who lives, not by what he loves, but what he hates is a sick man."

With kindness, yet forcefulness, let each of us reduce hatred in our space by diminishing fear, anger and malice.

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New San Antonio mayor Julian Castro has agreed to serve as the grand marshall of the city's Gay Pride Parade July 4. He is the first SA mayor to agree to so serve.
In 2008 the US government spent $607 billion to upgrade its military. Other figures, in billions: China was second with $85, followed by France ($66), ($65), Russia ($59). Total world spending; $1.46 trillion.
Southern Poverty Law Center link:
* (copied 6/13/09)
** William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, Charmian at I, iii)
***. Quarles Francis, no citation
**** Ephesians 4.26, KJV.