Who do you hate?

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[todaysdate]

By Mark Azzara

Professor Donald G. Ellis’ brief but powerful explication on the joys of hatred confirms a matter of faith from a scientific point of view.

Logical thinking is no match for hatred because hating is easy and fun. It doesn’t require careful thought because it’s instinctual, it makes you feel superior to those you hate, and it relieves you of the burden of acting with moral scruples.

If hatred cannot be tamed by logic, then how do we deal with it?

The short answer: WE don’t.

In a few paragraphs, Ellis has given us the perfect reason why we all need a savior. We need someone who can rid us of knee-jerk reactions that are blind to truth and reality. We need someone to save us from ourselves, in other words.

Enter Jesus Christ.

If salvation is nothing more than a ticket to heaven then we should be prepared for a long period of hellish hatred. But if salvation leads to sanctification — our being made holy on Earth — then we have some reason for hope because one sign of holiness is the total absence of hatred.

You may already have anticipated what comes next. What about Christians who hate? It makes no difference whether it’s Fred Phelps and his Westboro “Baptist Church” or the Ku Klux Klan or the American bigots who engineered Uganda’s harsh new anti-gay law. They’re not Christian.

Hatred is a fundamental human condition. “The person’s beliefs are firmly established and foundational to the experience of hating. There’s no questioning or insecurity,” Ellis wrote. When those beliefs are wrapped in the mantle of Christian faith, hatred becomes even more enjoyable because you believe God is on your side.

He isn’t. He never has been. And He never will be.

My first question: Who do you hate? Don’t tell me you don’t hate. As I said it’s part of the basic human condition. Anyone who has experienced road rage can verify that. So-called “liberal” Christians justify their hatred of “conservative” Christians because they assert that conservatives advocate hatred by opposing abortion or same-sex marriage. And conservatives hate the liberals, whom they accuse of violating God’s law. The illogic is simple: If you can hate, then we can hate you.

My next question: When are we going to knock this off and admit we need that Savior? Or will we simply let hatred be our savior?

Mark Azzara

About Mark Azzara

Mark Azzara spent 45 years in print journalism, most of them with the Waterbury Republican in Connecticut, where he was a features writer with a special focus on religion at the time of his retirement. He also worked for newspapers in New Haven and Danbury, Conn. At the latter paper, while sports editor, he won a national first-place writing award on college baseball. Azzara also has served as the only admissions recruiter for a small Catholic college in Connecticut and wrote a self-published book on spirituality, "And So Are You." He is active in his church and facilitates two Christian study groups for men. Azzara grew up in southern California, graduating from Cal State Los Angeles. He holds a master's degree from the University of Connecticut.

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