IDEMA: The origins of hate

Jun 20, 2012

Hatred is what inspires such acts; acts that are evil by any definition in our theologies.

What are the origins of such hatred?

Sigmund Freud, to get us started, had an interesting theory that he developed — no doubt from his experience of being a Jew in Christian Vienna. He believed that a group is formed by shared ideals and symbols, such as the Cross, but the real energy of group formation comes from a shared hatred for an out-group.

We can take this theory and apply it to religious groups in all of the world religions. Just look at the bloody history of religious wars (e.g., Catholics and Protestants killing each other in Luther's Germany). Or take England, where my own church, the Anglican Church, was born into a society of religious hatred. Many Muslims today view Christians as infidels, and many Christians return the favor.

Freud's theory helps us understand bullying in our schools, where kids sometimes act like a pack of wolves and pick on someone because he or she is black, gay or from the Middle East — to name just three groups all too often picked on by groups united by their own hatreds. Many bullies are cowards when they stand alone. They find their strength in group hatred.

My own theory is that our culture makes most of us feel lousy about ourselves, that we are not pretty or handsome enough, or rich enough, thin enough or popular enough. So, we feel better about ourselves if we can look down on someone else.

Remember that black people were lynched until relatively recently. During FDR's presidency, anti-lynching laws were always defeated, mainly by southern Democrats unified by their prejudice and insecurities.

During college, I worked in factories where I used to hear blue-collar whites often using the N-word, no doubt then feeling better about themselves. They might be poor, but at least they were not black — they probably muttered to themselves. I would guess that this psychology exists in one form or another in our own community.

Do we need to hate others to feel better about ourselves? Can't we accept people for who they are?

One final point: In our local newspapers, far too often people quote the Bible to denounce others; homosexuals, for example. It is hard to believe this today, but in my college factory days, a few of my co-workers used the Bible to accuse black people of being "descendants of Ham" — a description which has been used as a justification of slavery (see Genesis 9:18-25).

Remember, Satan can quote Scripture, too. Those who quote the Bible in such a fashion usually reveal all too clearly their own hatreds.

Sadly, the Bible itself in too many places is filled with hatred: Jews hating Edomites or Canaanites and vice versa. Tax collectors were especially hated by Jews, and one reason Jesus was persecuted was that he shared table fellowship with such people. In the Book of Revelation, you see hatred of Romans by Christians, who sadly often died because of Rome's hatred of Christians. Roman hatred of Jews led to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and Jewish hatred of the Romans started the Jewish Wars in 66 AD.

"Tolerance" of each other still implies a position of power where we "tolerate" members of groups that we still may look down upon. Acceptance of each other as being equally loved by God, and as being equal children of God, is a higher principle.

As the black man Rodney King put it after being horribly beaten by white police officers many years ago in California, "Why can't we all just get along?"

— By the Rev. Henry Idema, a Tribune community columnist.
 

Comments

opinionscount

Rev. Idema, I must agree that it is quite wrong to utilize the Word of God to justify hatred towards someone simply because of the color of their skin or cultural origin. We do not have a choice as to where we are born nor into what culture. On the contrary, it is just as wrong to utilize the Word of God to justify sin. I do not "hate" homosexuals, adulterers, drunkards, or drug addicts. However, their acts are sinful and destructive not only themselves, but to those who love them. What I dislike is their sinful, wrong lifestyle and the present push for the acceptance of wrong that hides behind the trend for cultural diversity. It is wrong for various Church leaders to present a false doctrine that leads people to believe that it is "okay" to live sinfully. We are all sinners. Christ loves us all and came not for the righteous, but for the sick...to call us all to repentance of wrong, and to make the right choice to follow His teachings and those of our heavenly Father. "Love" does not translate into permissiveness. It is actually quite the opposite. If I love my child, I will discipline, guide, lead, and direct him in the right way to go. Just the same, if we truly love our neighbors who are living in sins, such as, homosexuality, adultery, and/or addictions, then we will lovingly do the same.

soip

AMEN!!

jvc

Yeah, and that goes for left handed people, too. If we truly love our neighbors who are left handed we wil guide, lead, and direct them in the right way to go.

Ecclesiastes 10:2 "A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left."

Genesis 24:49
"And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left."

And to quote Zippy Jones, who wrote this quote on another forum:

“Some people say that homosexuality is a sin. It’s not, God is perfectly cool with it, and he feels the same way about homosexuality as heterosexuality. Now you might say ‘Whoa, whoa, slow down, you move too fast. How could you have the audacity, no, the temerity to speak on behalf of God?’ Exactly. That’s an excellent point, and I pray you remember it.” — Ted Alexandro
(Thanks Zippy)

Raise your children they way you want to; it is your right. Leave God Herself to do the judging.

opinionscount

Confusion at it's best.

jvc

My point is that it is not our place to decide what is moral and immoral for others, as long as no one else gets hurt by the action. People used to be persecuted for being left handed because it was believed to be the work of the devil...so it can be said that moraility is a product of its time, constantly changing. Leave it to God to judge.

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