Would Everybody Please STOP FIGHTING HATRED!

Everybody is fighting hatred these days. Everybody is always complaining that hatred is only getting worse. What could that mean?

It means everybody who is fighting hatred is doing it wrong.

Yes, I know, there may be some success stories out there. But the big picture is that never in America has there been a more concerted push to end hatred, and never in America has there been so much of it, and never in America has the rate of acceleration of it been higher.

Lets look at just a few of the types of things that are being tried, and which–apparently–are failing:

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  • Education and Awareness: Many people and organizations are working towards educating people about the flaws in hate-based thought forms in an effort to discourage the development of those thought forms and hopefully persuade some people to leave those ideas and the groups that promote them.
  • Media and Technology: Some people and organizations are using media and technology to combat hate-filled ideologies.
  • Silencing of hate speech: social media platforms, educational institutions, churches, and many others monitor content and remove hate speech before it can reach the public.
  • Psychological Research: Researchers study the psychological processes that underlie hate, such as cognitive biases, stereotypes, and prejudice in order to identify effective interventions that can mitigate these biases.
  • Sociological Research: Sociologists study the social and cultural factors that contribute to hate, such as social norms, power dynamics, and group identities in order to identify structural changes that need to be made to address systemic hate and discrimination.
  • Historical Research: Studying the historical roots and patterns of hate in order to inform our efforts to prevent hate today.
  • Interdisciplinary Research: Researchers from different disciplines are starting to collaborate to develop a more comprehensive understanding of hate and develop more comprehensive strategies for prevention and intervention.
  • Individuals: More and more individuals are educating themselves about the origins of hate by reading books, watching documentaries, and following various channels.
  • Individuals: More and more people are volunteering with organizations that work against hatred.
  • Individuals and groups: More and more people are speaking up against hate speech and against hate itself.

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Fighting hatred only magnifies it and makes it worse.

It is like pouring gas on a grease fire.




It is silly to fight darkness.

Just turn on the light!

So let’s start STUDYING LOVE!

Let’s research it:

What it is, where it comes from, how it spreads,

Examples of it in history,

Sociological structures that promote it,

and how to demonstrate it in our daily lives.

Here are a few examples from history: Can you find more?

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  • Tom Tarrants was a violent leader in the KKK who bombed black churches and synagogues and was one of the top most wanted men in the US. In fact, J. Edgar Hoover took a personal interest in bringing him to justice, which he did. While in jail, Tarrants had nothing better to do so one day he absent-mindedly picked up a Bible and Jesus (probably thinking “finally I have this guy’s attention) absolutely hammered him! On his knees before Christ, all the hate drained out and was replaced by love. After his release, Tarrants pastored inter-racial churches and eventually earned his Doctorate and became the head of the C.S. Lewis Institute. The hateful person is not the enemy. The hatred is. It is his enemy too. Stop focusing on hatred. You are only drawing more focus on the enemy. Maybe you should read the Bible with an open heart sometime? The One who showed the greatest love of all by dying for those who hated Him is hoping for you to pay attention to Him at some point too!
  • The story of Arno Michaelis: Arno Michaelis was once a leader of a white supremacist group in the United States. However, after years of promoting hate and violence, he had a change of heart and left the group. He now works to promote love and understanding between people of different backgrounds.
  • The story of Daryl Davis: Daryl Davis is a musician who has spent decades befriending members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in the United States. Through his kindness and patience, he has convinced many KKK members to leave the group and renounce their hate-filled beliefs.
  • The story of the “Hugging Saint” Amma, who has dedicated her life to promoting love and compassion around the world. Amma travels the world giving “darshan,” or blessings, to people of all backgrounds and beliefs, hugging them and offering them words of comfort and inspiration. She has embraced millions of people over the years and has inspired many to take up the cause of love and compassion in their own lives. (I LIKE hugs! What a great idea!)
  • The Christmas Truce of 1914: During World War I, on Christmas Day, soldiers from both sides emerged from their trenches and celebrated the holiday together. They exchanged gifts, sang carols, and even played soccer together.
  • The Amish community response to the 2006 Nickel Mines shooting: In 2006, a gunman entered an Amish school in Pennsylvania and killed several young girls. Instead of seeking vengeance, the Amish community responded with forgiveness and compassion. They reached out to the gunman’s family to offer their condolences and even attended his funeral.
  • The story of the “Peace Village” in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the aftermath of the Bosnian War, a group of mothers from the town of Tuzla, which had been a target of Serbian shelling, decided to reach out to Serbian mothers from the besieged town of Srebrenica. Despite the deep-seated hatred and animosity between the two groups, the mothers were able to find common ground in their shared grief and pain over the loss of their children in the war. They formed a grassroots organization called the “Mothers of Srebrenica and Žepa Enclaves” and created a village where they could come together to promote peace and reconciliation. The village, known as “Peace Village Jajce,” became a symbol of hope and healing, and continues to host reconciliation events and workshops to this day.
  • The story of the Jewish and Palestinian mothers in the Parents Circle: The Parents Circle is a group of Israeli and Palestinian mothers who have lost children in the conflict between the two groups. Despite their initial hostility towards each other, they eventually came together to form the organization, which promotes dialogue and understanding between the two sides.

These were all spontaneous events. There have also been successful organized events, such as:

  • The story of the Friendship Village in Vietnam: The Friendship Village is a community in Vietnam that was established to provide care and support to children who were affected by the Vietnam War. The community includes children with disabilities as well as children of former enemy soldiers. The community promotes understanding and reconciliation between former enemies, and has become a symbol of hope and healing in the aftermath of the war.
  • The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa: In the aftermath of apartheid, South Africa established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which aimed to promote healing and reconciliation between the different racial groups in the country. The commission brought together victims and perpetrators of violence to share their stories and seek forgiveness, leading to greater understanding and reconciliation.
  • The story of the forgiveness between Rwandans: After the Rwandan genocide in 1994, in which an estimated 800,000 people were killed, there was a massive effort to promote reconciliation and forgiveness between the different ethnic groups in the country. This effort included community dialogues, traditional ceremonies, and public apologies from those who had committed atrocities. Despite the challenges, there has been progress towards healing and reconciliation in Rwanda. After the genocide in Rwanda, many Hutus who had committed atrocities against Tutsis were eventually tried and convicted. However, some Tutsis chose to forgive these Hutus and work towards reconciliation. Some even chose to marry each other, despite the historic animosity between the two groups.~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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Love is more than the simple absence of hatred. Suppose you finally succeed in eliminating all hate in the world. Are you thrilled at the idea? Are you sure? Because eliminating all the hatred in the world does not create one drop of love. Imagine a world where there is absolutely no hate, but no love either. Uggh! Eliminating all hatred still leaves humankind miserable.

On the other hand, if you create love, that will eliminate hate. Imagine a world with lots of love and no hate. That’s much better, isn’t it?

You can’t make someone stop hating by telling them to. You can make someone start loving by showing them love. You can’t pry a rotten rabbit carcass from a dog’s mouth. If you want him to drop it, stick a fresh steak in his face!

Whatever you may think of Jesus, everyone has to admit He has been considered one of the wisest people of all time. Yet He never commanded anybody not to hate. He commanded everybody to love. Even when He defined hatred as murder, He never told people to stop hating. He told them to love one another.

Okay, so now it’s time to make it real.

The real problem with love is that it is difficult. In fact, it is the most difficult thing a person can do. So much easier it is to protest, or to write stuff about how bad hate is, or to work the polls. No soul-searching or personal sacrifice necessary there.

But authentic love requires everything you have and everything you are. The love you have for your loved ones is no measure of your ability to love. Your ability to love the unlovable is where the true measure lies. You want to know how tough it is to love? Those on the political left, look at me:

“You don’t love anybody more than you love Donald Trump.”

Ouch! Likewise those on the political right:

“You don’t love anybody more than you love AOC.”

But this is where the news gets really good: If you can love these people, you can love anyone!  And once that happens, nothing can stop you from making the world a better place.

No matter how hard you try, you can’t make anybody stop hating. But neither can anybody stop you from loving. So focus on the things you can control. Stop fretting over all the bad that others are doing and focus on discovering all the good things you can do. (And no, nice try, but fighting hatred is not one of them.)

So much of life is based on economics and all of economics is based on the principle of scarcity, which observes that all resources are limited. Which is true. With one exception. Love. There is no limit to how much love can there can be other than our own failure to love. Love is more precious than gold, oil, cash, any resource you can think of. All of humankind should heavily invest in it. In the words of the great philosopher The Beatles: “All we need is love. Love is all we need.”

Pilate asked “What is truth?” As profound as that question may sound, it pales by comparison to the importance of the question, “What is love?” That one question is the unified field theory of metaphysics; the “Hilbert’s Problems” of human relationships; and the Holy Grail of every religion, all rolled into one. Answering that question would do way more for the future of humanity than discovering other life in the universe, discovering the origins of life on earth, or developing cures for cancer, heart disease, and spinal cord injury all at once.

The unique thing about love is it’s not enough to understand it. Love doesn’t even exist until you DO it. Nor can you begin to understand it until you are doing it. Once you understand it, you will realize that no act of love is ever wasted.

Love is sublime. Love is soul-stretching. Love is transcendent. So…How in the world are we supposed to go about doing something like that? 

I’m not going to try to answer that question. Just getting you to start asking it is a huge milestone!

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“Do not be overcome by evil, But overcome evil with good”

Romans 12:21

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