Thursday, June 11, 2009


Satan's Garden: The Cultivation and Care of Hate

Reflecting on recent events, the shooting of Dr. Tiller, the soldiers in Arkansas, the guard at the Holocaust Museum, Rev. Wright's comments about Jews, and David Letterman's crude joke about Sarah Palin's daughter, my mind traveled to thoughts on the processes that build hate in the human mind. This is not to claim any esoteric insights but rather a mild exploration of what I've seen over the years.

As a child in parochial school, nuns taught me in no uncertain terms that hating someone was a ticket to hell. To this day, I refuse to say, or write, that I hate someone. I feel disgusted by some. I find some people loathsome. I recognize negative traits, even evil, in others. But, I don't hate them, perhaps out of fear of burning for eternity but, whatever the case, I don't hate them.

I wonder what, if any, sort of process or events that occur in a person's childhood and formative years that contribute to hating. Physical abuse, emotional abuse, inadequate love and caring from parents, I'm sure the list is almost endless. I'm also sure that two people experiencing the same life events could come out totally different.

Watching others from their teen years on, I noticed one pattern at least: that hate needs constant care and cultivation to grow and flourish. One couple I used to spend a lot of time with used to watch televangelists. They would sit on the couch and exclaim how they hated, yes they used that word, televangelists. They called them thieves, hypocrites, and worse. They would sometimes call and fake a donation to a televangelist claiming to be from the Mary Magdalene Home for Women or such. I always wondered why they watched if they found it so repulsive. I didn't care for televangelists either and simply didn't/don't watch them.

It's easy to see how the shooters in the recent events, and events past, often read materials and/or were part of groups that supported their hate. Often, their minds were so warped that books, TV shows, etc that had no intention of supporting hate were taken as such. Charlie Manson and the Beatles "White Album" come to mind as an excellent example of misinterpretation.

Interacting with others either feeds or starves the hate. Sometimes a hater finds moderation in others. Other times a hater finds fertilizer for hate. As with the couple above, they built their hate up over years of watching televangelists and similar activities.

Read some of the comments on this blog post regarding the Willow Palin joke.
...let’s clarify for all the hyperventilating GOPasaurs,
A neo-con loony shot up the Holocaust Museum, another shining example of the smelly piles of hate coming from the right,...
Neo-con loony? The guy hated neo-cons and may have been plotting to attack an conservative magazine office. Hate doesn't care about the truth.

I'm sure most people who hate don't consider it hate. They probably think something along the lines of "It's not hate. It's disdain they deserve because of who they are." The haters dehumanize the hated to the point that expressing hatred towards them feels as natural as ordering a Happy Meal at McDonald's.

I'm reminded of a truism: If you want to change the world, change yourself. You'll be guaranteed success. But, apparently, some find it quite rewarding to hate. They enjoy the burning fire and don't want to change. If whomever they hated changed so that they could no longer be hated, the haters would have to find some other object for their hate.

But, I still don't understand the need to hate. It takes a lot of effort to maintain hate. What a waste of emotion and energy, if nothing else.

P.S. Two other things I learned from the nuns and still live by today. Never test God or tempt the devil.

...some find it rewarding to hate.

So true. I know a few people who really cultivate their hatred for various people/groups. I know someone who claims to hate the Boy Scouts. Never could get her to explain precisely why.

It takes a lot of effort to maintain hate.

Yes indeed. Lots of time and energy. I've got better things to do, bet you do too.
I've come across the Boy Scout hate too. They give reasons like "They wear uniforms. It's silly" or other such ridiculous stuff for hating.

Speaking of anti-Semitism, it's Jerry Falwell and other fundy leaders who've gleefully predicted that in the future EVERY nation will be against Israel (an international first?) and that TWO-THIRDS of all Jews will be killed, right?
Wrong! It's the ancient Jewish prophet Zechariah who predicted all this in the 13th and 14th chapters of his book! The last prophet, Malachi, explains the reason for this future Holocaust that'll outdo even Hitler's by stating that "Judah hath dealt treacherously" and "the Lord will cut off the man that doeth this" and asks "Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother?"
Haven't evangelicals generally been the best friends of Israel and Jewish persons? Then please explain the recent filthy, hate-filled, back-stabbing tirades by David Letterman (and Sandra Bernhard) against a leading evangelical named Sarah Palin, and explain why most Jewish leaders have seemingly condoned Palin's continuing "crucifixion"!
While David and Sandra are tragically turning comedy into tragedy, they are also helping to speed up and fulfill the Final Holocaust a la Zechariah and Malachi, thus helping to make the Bible even more believable!
Some folks define their lives by what makes them happy, and some people define their lives by what makes them unhappy.

You sit around being unhappy long enough, the only thing you can do is take it out on others.
People have an overwhelming need to belong. Simply gather up a few people who feel rejected, overlooked, or otherwise harmed by the current order of things, provide them with a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose, and a someone to blame and you've got yourself the nucleus of a hate group.

Hitler was quite successful with this basic formula. Of course...he ended up in a ditch, soaked in diesel fuel, on fire.
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