Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:8
God is love. Simple words that bring about a simple thought. God is love. It does make one wonder, however, if God is love, who is hate. Hate seems to have become an increasingly popular commodity these days.
We all remember during the Presidential Campaign of Barack Obama when his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, let lose. Sadly and tragically, he let lose with a barrage of hate statements. His statements, and the man himself, proved to be indefensible.
Every day Rush Limbaugh gets on the radio and lets loose a torrent of hatred toward those he disagrees with. Glenn Beck does likewise. Keith Olbermann, from the other perspective, does so as well. Hate.
Of late, in the health care debate, there was lots of hatred generated.
At a tea party rally in Columbus, Ohio several taunted and humiliated a man who was sitting on the ground with a sign that said he had Parkinson’s disease. One of the Tea Party protesters leaned over the man and sneered: “If you’re looking for a handout, you’re in the wrong end of town.” Another threw money at the man, first one bill and then another. Pure hate.
Rep. John Lewis, well noted person in the civil rights movement was called the “N-Word,” as he walked toward Congress. Usage of racial slurs is a sign and symbol of hatred.
Barney Frank was taunted because he was gay. Hate.
Another person was spit on. Hate.
John Boehner, it is stated over and over again, has fried brains from his tanning salon. Hate.
A blogger in my town referred to the President and Speaker of the House as Hussein Odumbo and Botox Pelosi. Hate.
We like to diminish things and say that these are all isolated incidents. They really aren’t. The hate-mongers show up every day and every night on radio and television. The demonstrations have incidents like the one recorded in Columbus, Ohio, that appear to be isolated until you read the signs. Lots of hate in those signs.
The recent Health Care legislation was an amazing display. In observing the House the other night, contempt and disdain were two auras in the air. There was lots of harsh language, a plethora of lies and half truths, and hate. Hate.
We want to blame hate on others. We like to blame hate on the talk show hosts, on the columnists, on the politicians, and on the sign holders. Yet, everyone is to blame. When we turn on the radio or television and listen to the hate talk, we have complicity in their words and actions. When we find ourselves using slurs or referring to others or the opinions of other people as ‘stupid,’ we are part of the problem. Many of the people outraged when President Obama is called a Socialist were very fast to call President Bush a Fascist. (Of course, there are the people who call President Obama both a Socialist and a Fascist; but that’s a bit like saying he’s a square and a circle at the same time.)
There is a solution to all of this hate that can be quickly summarized.
Hate: Don’t do it! I'm not sure who hate is, but God is love; and God does not call people to hate one another.