Saturday, February 28, 2009

No Hating Allowed!

Our society sees hate as an undesirable thing. As early as Kindergarten and preschool, we are taught not to hate; some legislators even want to pass laws prohibiting what they call "hate speech" in public settings.

But how did our culture obtain this dislike for hate? Why do we have this aversion to hatred?

Our civilization has been greatly influenced by the New Testament, one of the most widely-read documents on the plant. A little analysis of this text is illuminating: the Greek words which underlie the English translation into words like hate, hated, hating, and hates occur between 11 and 38 times in the entire text. If we classify these occurrences, we find situations of people hating each other, people hating God, people hating things, people accusing others of hating them, and a few other circumstances. The one case which we do not find is God hating any person. According to the New Testament, God hates some things, but He never hates a human being.

God hates, for example, violence, stealing, lying, and other such things; but He doesn't hate any man, woman, or child. Although He hates violence, He doesn't even hate the person who commits it.

This extreme tendency to avoid hatred is the source for our culture's antipathy to hatred.

It also sets our community, whether you call it Western Civilization or European Culture, apart from other nations, in which hatred is allowed, encouraged, and even required of its population. Given our society's efforts to get rid of hatred, it is difficult to understand that in other parts of the world, leaders teach and encourage hatred.