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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

A History of Hate

Today, hate is all around us. It is being taught in our schools. We see it in our media and if we believe what we are told, it is growing worse with each passing day.

This is nothing new as hate has been with us forever. What is new to me, for the first time in my life, hate is being heralded as necessary for the betterment of all.

Though hate is real, generational and knows no bias, we are not born hating each other. In fact, hate is taught, and this learned behavior crosses all social norms.

Currently, race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, and orientation are all reasons used to justify the hatred we see being expressed.

Examples of hate have existed since the beginning. In the Book of Genesis, Cain took the life of his brother Able because his sacrifice was not pleasing to God and his brothers was.

From there, we see examples throughout history where people have reacted and responded in hateful ways to dominate others, or to fulfill their own need for vengeance or retribution.

Hate has been the impetus for enslaving and killing hundreds of millions of people over time. Though this is a fact of history, the truth is, people are still being enslaved and killed throughout our world today.

According to the BBC, in 2021, there were an estimated thirty-six million people living in slavery or bondage throughout our world.

“A history of hate” is the history of humanity and if this cycle is ever going to change it will not be by demanding someone acknowledge and pay for their hatred. It will be by learning to accept and love one another.

Even with a history of hate behind us, a destiny of love lies before us if we choose to take that path.

The question is will we learn from our history, or will we continue to repeat it?

The message being echoed today is, America was founded on a “history of hate”. The sins of the past are being used to give credence to this claim and people are being encouraged to accept, recognize, and acknowledge their role in the sins of their fathers.

What makes this particularly disconcerting is every one of us has participated in behaviors that caused heartache and pain for someone else.

To deny this is as bad as denying the actual circumstance that led to their pain.

The truth is, we do have “a history of hate”. This cannot be argued or debated. But it is also true, hate is not limited to one point in history, one nation or one people group.

If we can agree with this statement, we must ask ourselves why is it different now? Why is one group of people more guilty than the countless other people groups and events of hatred that have occurred in the past and continue to occur today?

Please understand, I am not trying to diminish or minimize the heinous acts of the past. I am however, trying to communicate; these were not the first acts of hate, nor will they be the last.

As awful as “a history of hate” is, it provides us with an opportunity to ensure it never happens again. However, this is only possible if we are willing to learn from the past.

Unfortunately, the impression being given is, hating someone because of what happened in the past is not only acceptable, but also a righteous, moral, and just cause. If so, this means all acts of hate that occur as a response to a past hurt or pain must be righteous, moral, and just as well.

If we believe this is true then we must agree “a history of hate” is not only our past, but it is our present and it will be our future.

So, what can we do to curb the tide of hatred rising all around us? The answer, to quote Brad ‘B-Rad’ Gluckman from Malibu’s Most Wanted is, “don’t be hatin.”

It is the simplicity of this statement that makes it so profound.

If we will accept Jesus, stop hating and follow His command to “love one another”. Then, we just may be able to turn “a history of hate”, into a future of love.

The question is can we stop hating each other long enough to do so?

Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions.

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