It’s an old question: What makes a man hate another man? Okay, so maybe it’s really an old Depeche Mode lyric (growing up in the 80s, it was hard to escape them–and girls always seemed to like the band, so I just went with it). But it also presents a pretty good example of the fallen nature of humankind, and how we’re all in need of redemption. After all, if we who are so deserving of God’s contempt still receive His love and forgiveness, who are we to hate on each other?
And yet still we do. The really twisted part, though, is how we manage to gin up hatred for people we don’t even know. Take, for example, this warm and fuzzy missive I picked up from Twitter the other day:
I hate white, evangelical Christians. All of them.
I know, it's something I'm working on. https://t.co/zRsrEAJUXV
— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) May 13, 2017
Admittedly, I don’t know who the hell this CJ Werleman is–he describes himself as a columnist for the Middle East Eye, whatever that is–but apparently he got his feathers in a ruffle because of Donald Trump’s commencement address at Liberty University, during which the graduating class gave the president a rousing welcome with shouts of, “USA! USA!” Liberty, of course, is an avowed Evangelical Christian college (run by Jerry Fallwell, Jr. no less); and since Wereleman also hosts a podcast called Resistance Radio–way to go with such an original title, bruh–and is the author of something called The New Atheist Threat, I’m guessing he’s not a Donald Trump fan and is even less enamored of religion.
All of that is well and good, I suppose. This is America, and you have a right to your views even if you express them with an obnoxiousness that makes Screech from Saved By the Bell seem charming by comparison. It is ironic, though, that Werleman is also demonstrating a central weakness of his own secular humanism–for as much as he probably thinks that Christianity has been the cause of untold grief and strife over the millennia, he’s consumed by his own little brand of hate. Right now, that hate is confined to spouting off on Twitter–but if given the chance, would he not act on his hatred with as much fervency as any religious crusader?
History shows us that he and others like him would. People often ask themselves how the horrors of Nazis could have happened while ordinary Germans just stood by and did nothing. That’s because Adolph Hiter licensed hatred against a particular kind of people. He made it okay to hate Jews, and gypsies, and gays because they were corrupt, or had evil motives, or stood against the kind of progress that the Nazis wanted. And what about in the American South during Reconstruction? Fear and loathing of newly-freed slaves led directly to the creation of the Ku Klux Klan, which had broad popular support because people were perfectly okay with their hatred. It was not only encouraged, but seen as noble–a defense of values that were threatened by the cultural aggression of the North.
Is that really the kind of historic company that CJ Werleman and his ilk want to keep?
I don’t know, maybe it is. If so, it’s a pretty sad spectacle–and further proof that secularism is no cure for the evils that lay in the hearts of all human beings. In fact, it puts people at a disadvantage because it prevents them from realizing their own sinful natures. Hate is probably the most natural expression of that nature.
And that’s why it’s never okay.