October 13, 2003


-ESSAY: Bring Back Hate: It’s a lost virtue in lost times. (Mark Gauvreau Judge, 9/10/2003, NY Press)

All these years later, I still remember the woman’s face. It was the early 1990s and I was working for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, a liberal activist group in Washington, DC. My branch dealt with juvenile justice issues. One day we had a meeting with the head of a DC youth services advocacy group and a member of the DC government. The woman from the youth advocacy group was incensed that, due to some kind of bureaucratic logjam, teenage girls in the district had to wait several days to get abortions. The woman practically climbed out of her chair with venom. "These girls need to get these abortions!" she cried.

I was a young, dumb liberal at the time, but I felt jolted. For days, then weeks, then months, now years, I never forgot her rage–a rage that more young girls were not killing their babies. I wrestled with the power of the emotion I felt. Today, older and wiser, I have come to embrace what I felt, and feel, as a good thing. I felt hate.

It’s time to bring back hate. To be sure, as a Christian it is important that I try to separate my hate for evil from the person pushing evil, whether it’s a morally kneecapped woman screaming for abortion, a rapist or a thief. Hate the sin and love the sinner and all that. But increasingly in our culture, the rule is, psychoanalyze the sinner and explain away the sin through socioeconomics–either that or it spills vats of hate on silly targets, like the president. We are in desperate need of the real thing, saved for an appropriate target.

One wonders, for instance, how it's possible that so many on the Left feel so little hatred for Saddam Hussein's reign of terror that they think it was wrong to end it?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 13, 2003 12:56 PM

Surely the thorniest issue facing religious people and also tolerant North Americans of all beliefs.

First Things had a terrific exchange on this a couple of months ago, the gist of which was that Judaism allows for some (very limited) room for hate of a person as a virtue, while Christianity does not. I always feel a chill when I see Christian parents of gruesomely-murdered children professing the day after before the cameras that they forgive the murderer. Something not right there.

I find this issue impossible. If you hate too much, you sin and betray your faith. Not enough and you endanger the people and beliefs you were born to protect and defend. And, as friend Jeff would tell us, there is no certain way to determine where the balance between lies.

As for secularists, they start by believing in tolerating all and eschewing hate, but they have this neat way of defining themselves as oppressed minorities whatever the issue, analysing the overall good on functional or utilitarian or ideological grounds and concluding that the oppressors need to die so we can all live in a better world. Pity, of course.

Boy, I love humanity.

Posted by: Peter B at October 13, 2003 9:47 PM

Although I've felt the exact same hate that the author felt, and for much the same reason, the problem with hatered is that it's SO easy to add to the blacklist.
A cold contempt may serve the same purpose, and be more benign.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 14, 2003 3:46 AM

We've too much benign.

Posted by: OJ at October 14, 2003 7:57 AM

I love mankind.

It's people I can't stand.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at October 15, 2003 12:22 AM