Hate, the demon, causes the hater to demonize others. The demons then are the ones “out to get us” or those who “take away our privilege” through demanding equality regarding those same privileges. Hate definitely projects one’s own insecurities and fears onto the other who is different and most significantly the ones who are different because of race, color, sexual orientation, religion, and country of origin.
Hate makes the hater think that mistreating others will win them the “heritage we have lost,” and regain once again “our privilege.”
Hate never imagines an alternative. Hate thrives on fear and violence. Hate makes the hater feel superior through seeing the other as a threat and as less than fully human. Dehumanization is a powerful tactic.
Hate is taught through actions and attitudes. People, all included here, learn hate in various ways. A song is heard on the radio one dislikes, and what is said – “I hate that song.” One struggles say with math and responds, “I hate math.” The weather turns from sunny to stormy and again, ‘I hate this weather” is the response.
Hate comes in teaching one to mistrust others. Hate grows through stereotypes and prejudices. Hate lurks always just inside the heart and mind. Hate hardens the heart and sows suspicion in the mind.
The only way to exorcize the demon of hate is through love. Love is grace in action. Love accepts the other without judgement and discrimination. Love is aware of the propensity to hold hate and casts a light upon it. Hate cannot abide in the light of love.
Love casts out fear – a major contributor to hate. Love casts out fear at its best in and through community where one is not alone, such love casts out the fear to act, to be open, and to risk.
More than ever those who know Love, and at some level that includes all, must be together in community to practice love, to act with love, and to grow in love. Lovers and loving community must become just every bit intentional in teaching about love and living in love as the haters are in regards to hate. No longer can those of us who love sit back and not engage.
Love now. Love boldly. Find community. Practice forgiveness. Be hospitable. Act in love. And act in love again.