Hating the haters?

It is sad to hear news reports of protesters and Trump supporters clashing in Chicago. News for everyone, “great” people do not participate in fist fights. “Professional” people do not start attacks. “These people” are not destroying the country, and “those people” are not making the country great. We are arbitrarily diving people into “us” and “them” and fomenting hate and violence. We must return to the pacifist principles of Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King, Jr., and their many followers.

Jesus preached Love. We cannot “hate the sin.” Hate degrades the Soul.

It is time to spread Love. Even for political opponents. Americans must come together. Many people are conducting themselves very peacefully, but there is a minority that really need to be loved.

We are all humans, children of God. We all deserve love.

Jesus on Love

We do not know the true appearance of Jesus, and his exact words are subject to the ravages of time and translation, but we do know that Jesus was a firebrand rabbi who preached a message of radical love. What we know of Jesus is that he quoted parts of the Old Testament1 that were important to his message.

“Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin” Jesus never said2

People use this phrase to justify homophobia and to drive a wedge between people with whom they disagree. It is an excuse for discrimination disguised as righteousness.3 Hate is hate. We must Love instead. Learn to understand the actions (what might be considered “sin”), since through understanding, true love can flourish.

What Jesus said: The First Commandment

Mark 12 28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Jesus made it really clear that “neighbor” includes everyone (even Samaritans!). Would the only excuse to hate anyone be that you hate yourself? Perhaps it is fear that drives hate, not self-loathing.

Since “neighbor” would includes presidential candidates, so Jesus said to Love Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Not tolerate, not accept, but to Love.

Printable sign

PDF version of this sign, ready for printing



[1] 4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.[a] 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. — Deuteronomy 6:4-5
18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. — Leviticus 19:18

[2] It is a corruption of another quote, and not from the Bible.

[3] A few more views on this quote:


The Buddha taught the truth of suffering. Suffering arises from holding on to views that arise from ignorance of self. Understanding (of self and all else) grows from attaining right perspectives.

So many politicians foment false fears. Fears of threats that are exaggerated or imagined. Where does that fear lead?

Yoda shows the result of fear. Fear can be lessened if we see the true nature of the fear. To see clearly, we need to remove the filter of hate, and see with the clarity of love. Then we can only fear true threats. But still, love those who really threaten us.

More information: Thich Nhat Hanh: True Love and the Four Noble Truths – 80-minute dharma talk

“Hate the sinner” is just hate!!

Sometimes a seemingly good idea doesn’t stand up well under greater scrutiny.

Sometimes people are not quite as admirable as they seem.

This quote originates from Gandhi, who himself had some serious flaws*, so we are only dealing with this idea from him, which is often misconstrued.

“Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner”

This is often mistakenly attributed as advice from Gandhi, when the original context said that this idea spreads “the poison of hatred.” Loving the sinner and hating the sin is just hate.

I include the proper context here, from his Autobiography:

“Hate the sin and not the sinner is a precept which, though easy enough to understand, is rarely practiced, and that is why the poison of hatred spreads in the world. Man and his deed are two distinct things. It is quite proper to resist and attack a system, but to resist and attack its author is tantamount to resisting and attacking oneself. For we are all tarred with the same brush and are children of one and the same Creator, and as such the divine powers within us are infinite. To slight a single human being is to slight those divine powers, and thus to harm not only that being, but with him, the whole world.”  ― Mohandas Gandhi - Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth


* Stories about Gandhi’s life reveal disturbing practices and viewpoints. In his earlier life in South Africa, he seemed to agree with at least some of the racist ideas there, and his views on India’s caste systems were seemingly tainted. In his later life, his “experiments” with celibacy led to some abhorrent practices. Some of Gandhi’s ideas about non-violent resistance had positive influences on others, so we value those ideas. And as Gandhi was a child of God, flawed as he was, we still Love him while acknowledging his flaws.

Hate degrades the soul

If you are given a most wonderful gift, a human soul, and are not grateful to the giver, what does that say about you? If you see your soul as a wonderful gift, and then hate that wonderful gift as given to others, what does that say about the value of your soul?

“I will permit no man... to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.” 
― Booker T. Washington