Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Overcoming Hate in Society


"The real danger is what is always inside." This is what Pope Francis said in the film: The Two Popes. The real danger is those without love are like a contagious disease spreading anger and hatred. 

A parish priest writes in a bulletin for priests on the message of the German journalist and social activist Carolin Emcke in her book Against Hate, (translated both in Korean and English), on the ways hate is spread in society. She analyzes five characteristics of hate and hate feelings. 

Even in the world of faith, failing to overcome hatred toward others creates a self-centered and secularized darkness. 

First, hate and hate feelings are collectively formed according to certain ideologies, not personal and not by accident. Second, a defined style of expression—  abusive exclusion (hate speech) is necessary. Third, distorted associations and images are required to express a hate feeling. Fourth, understanding of self-love that justifies hate feelings. Fifth, the feelings of hate need to be formed and nurtured. 

Hatred is the feeling that arises when you have anger in your heart. When hatred is amplified, false public opinion is formed and it becomes a language of exclusion and hate and the bonding of those participating in hate. In other words, 'cheap solidarity' is being formed. These days, this language ​​of hate overflows in our society. 

Many citizens are experiencing great difficulties due to corona virus. Despite the self-sacrifice, dedication, perseverance, and volunteering that we see, we continue to experience fake news and the spread of anger and hatred. 

As a way to confront hatred, it is suggested that the haters must acknowledge what they lack. First, the need to find the cause of hateful feelings. The ability to accurately analyze and observe what it is. Second, the ability to separate one's hate feelings from the ideological premise that causes hate. Thirdly, to separate oneself from the crowd, objectively examine who they are with self-awareness and introspection.

The priest concludes his article by showing how Jesus did not get caught up in the hatred of his opponents, walked his own path without being discouraged by the violent anger of others. In every situation, he observed the reality before him with a spiritual eye.  Jesus, always discerned God's will in prayer and fully entrusted himself to God, and even when obstacles were placed in his way: "Jesus walked through the middle of the crowd and went his way" (Lk 4:30).

Carolin Emcke is a humanist and treats the issue of hatred that she has experienced both with nationalist and religious fanatics. We have a lot to learn from the humanist in their desire for a just society. They believe that human experience and rational thinking provide sufficient knowledge and a moral code that will enable all to live a full life without belief in revelation and 'superstition'—the non-scientific.


The desire for a society without hate is a desire of the religious and non-religious alike, hopefully, we can dialog on this issue and become experts on what it means to love.

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