“The mind has a thousand eyes and the heart but one. If the light of the whole life dies, then love is done.” So goes the poem by Francis William Bourdillon. Yeah. Right. Love always gets the good press and hate the bad, but in reality, especially for the poor and working class, hate is often a much more useful tool for survival in life than love. If the love of the Powers-that-be had their way for me, I would still be in the Navy spending at least half my life at sea risking it for their safety. Or worse, I would be working as a janitor back in my hometown or somewhere else as a poor humble servant of God in society while they run around gathering as much power as they can for themselves, for their children, and in the end still go to heaven. Religion and the Powers-that-be love the powerless, weak, and oppressed as long as they stay powerless, weak, and oppressed. Rationally controlled anger, hate, aggression, and ambition usually do more to help one work out of the working class or out of poverty than love unless you are some type of a politician, prostitute, or other willing to sell your soul for money and power.
I recently saw a documentary about Bob Gibson, a great baseball pitcher from the 1960’s whom I remember when I was a kid as someone who pitched with anger and aggression and did not hesitate to use a beanball when a batter was crowding the plate thus creating a high intimidation factor with batters. He blames his anger on racism. Yeah. Whatever. Racism is as good a reason as any to hate. Even if that were true, then racism is the best thing that ever happened to him. Without the anger, aggression, and ambition to defeat the Powers that racism gave him — unlike those who accepted it peacefully and tried to change it with love by turning the other cheek — he would have been just another wannabe fastball pitcher playing in sandlots somewhere with millions of others — black, white, or whatever — with nowhere to go. Everyone playing baseball loves the game, it is the skilled hatred of losing that gets you into the major leagues. Anger, aggressiveness, and competitiveness are what gave Gibson the ability to make it and survive in the major leagues as it does for any professional player. Anger, aggressiveness, and competitiveness are each accepted as a good for the Powers-that-be and as a necessary attribute of successful capitalism but somehow these attributes are seen as an evil for the poor and the working class. They are supposed to be humble and accept their lot in life. Racism breeds hate, but the rationally controlled returned hate and the fear it creates in the Powers — just as with class struggle — can beat it and eliminate it by making the Powers who breed racism too scared to promote it.
So what is hate that it gives it such a bad rap? Now that we know what love is, defining hate should be easy. It is the opposite of love. Self-hate is wanting not to exist nor to continue existing and having no hope of meaning in that existence. Once all three of these elements come together plus the opportunity to put a bullet in your head or in the head of others, suicide will shortly follow unless one of these elements changes. Hating others is wanting them not to exist, for them to stop existing, or that there be no meaning for their existence.
No ambiguity here. Hate, unlike love, is not ambiguous but is very clear and provides clarity for life. It is this clarity that makes hate such a useful tool in trying to survive and battle the Powers, if one can control it: that is avoiding having the three elements of self-hatred come together to the point of suicide. Unlike love requiring that one love oneself before one can love others, hate allows for the option of living while loving oneself but hating others. It is a much more versatile tool than love. One can will to exist, will to continue existing, and hope and have meaning for one’s life and thus self-love while at the same time hating others: 1) willing that they do not exist; 2) that they do not continue existing; and 3) that they have no meaning for their life. In fact, hate of others could act as the meaning that provides the third element for one’s self-love. So for love, you must love yourself before you can love your neighbor. But for hate, there is no need to hate yourself before you can hate your neighbor. You can love yourself and yet hate others. Hate is one side of coin with love the other.
So can God love? Or, more importantly given our topic, can He hate? Before we go on to those issues, I want to deal with some ambiguity in my contemplation and contemplate whether there is a third option between love and hate: indifference or amorality to both.