New Definition of Hate

  What do you think the answer is to the following riddle? What do you get   when you mix Oprah Winfrey interviewing Pastor TD Jakes (megapastor  of the 30,000 member Potter’s house in Texas), with asking the  questions, “Do you think being gay is a sin and would you say that  everyone is embraced in your church.” Well in our day an age you  allegedly get a hate crime.

Appearing on Oprah’s Next Chapter in April of 2012, Oprah interviewed  the influential pastor. In responding to those enviable questions in our  hateophobic climate (extreme fear of being classified as hateful) Jakes  was labeled as an extreme hateful homophobe. In our culture right now the acid test of whether you are full of hate is heading toward how you think on the issue of homosexuality and same sex marriages.

Jakes did his best to communicate that he isn’t anti-gay, he loves everyone, and he isn’t a hate filled bigot. Here are some of his responses.

“The perception in our society today is that if you don’t say you’re for same-sex marriage or if you say that homosexuality is a sin that you’re homophobic and you’re not for gay people. That’s not true… It doesn’t mean I have to agree with you to love you.”

“I think that sex between two people of the same sex is condemned in the Scriptures, and as long as it is condemned in the Scriptures, I don’t get tot say what I think. I get to say what the Bible says.”

Well those kind of answers were not good enough to distance himself from being considered full of hate. One writer, Austin Cline, who seems to believe that any disagreement with same sex marriage or homosexuality is hate commented, “There is no way to say “I don’t agree with homosexuality’ that doesn’t end up being bigoted, hateful, and homophobic” (wow, did you get that). This writer further commented, “So why do people like Oprah continue to give bigots like T.D. Jakes a platform to promote their hate?” In case you didn’t get what he is saying, if you disagree with gay marriage or homosexuality you are automatically full of hate and a bigot.

Another writer, Rich Juzwiak writing in Gawker leads with the title “Anti-Gay Pastor Doesn’t Want to Be Known For Being Anti-Gay.” In responding to Jake’s idea that he doesn’t have to agree with homosexuality to love homosexuals Juzwiaki said something incredible (be prepared not to fall out of your chair). “Actually, you do, because when you “disagree” with gay people, you are disagreeing with something that is fundamental to their existence: how they love…Jakes is picking and choosing what Biblical teachings to adhere to…Jakes’ “love” for homosexuals is worthless.”

I have a big concern right now about the cultural fear of hate right now. Not so much for the culture at large but how “Christians” respond to it. Out of a fear of not wanting to appear hateful like legitimate haters Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist bunch (who seem to hate everyone who doesn’t agree with them), Christians go to the other extreme. They end up ignoring what God has said in order not to appear hateful. They simply hide their beliefs and keep their mouths shut in order to avoid the stigma.

Disagreement with sexual practice is the new definition of hate

If disagreement with someone’s sexual practice is the definition of hate then we will have to consider other issues in the media recently. How about the polygamous Joe Darger and his three wives who recently appeared on talk shows (April 2012) discussing their new book “Love Times Three: Our True Story of a Polygamous Marriage.”

In 2004, polyamory advocate Jasmine Walston stated, “We’re where the gay rights movement was 30 years ago.” Just five years later, Newsweek featured an article entitled, “Polyamory: The Next Sexual Revolution,” stating, “traditionalists had better get used to it.” The story reported that, “Researchers are just beginning to study the phenomenon, but the few who do estimate that openly polyamorous families in the United States number more than half a million, with thriving contingents in nearly every major city.”

Is it, or will it soon be considered hateful to disagree with Polygamy?

What about Columbia University professor David Epstein who was charged in 2010 with carrying on a three-year affair with his biological adult daughter. In defense Epstein’s lawyer, gave comment to “It’s OK for homosexuals to do whatever they want in their own home…how is this so different? We have to figure out why some behavior is tolerated and some is not.”

Epstein finally pled guilty to misdemeanor Incest in June 2011, and at last check is still a professor at Columbia. Was the government full of hate by not only saying he was wrong for what he did but also legally charging him with it.

Is it, or will it soon be considered hateful to disagree with incest?

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Hateophobia “the extreme fear of being hateful”

I couldn’t believe the reporter said it after seeing with his own eyes what had just happened, “What we’re clearly seeing…is a lot of anger and hate quite honestly on both sides.” What had just happened was that a little old lady walked in among a group of people protesting California’s Proposition 8 ballet amendment which would have banned same sex couples from getting married. She simply walked among them carrying a cross and what happened to her was nothing short of a riot and assault. Angry protestors grabbed the cross out of her hands, pushed her, began to stomp on the sign, and shouted terrible things at her. A reporter who was on scene trying to interview the lady visible became fearful for her own safety.

When the reporter in the studio used the phrase to sum up what had just happened “clearly seeing…a lot of anger and hate, quite honestly on both sides,” I wondered what he must have been smoking. Didn’t he just see what we all saw? Was he wearing a blindfold? Well I think he was wearing a blindfold. It didn’t cover his eyes but it did cover his heart. It is a cultural blindfold that is in the hearts of many causing them to deny the reality of what is going on. Check out the video and listen carefully to what the guy says at the end!

Hate Crimes

Hate crime, hate speech, anti-bullying, racist, homophobia, are all words that express a strong cultural aversion to right now. In our politically correct climate there is clearly a new phobia that clinical psychologist will probably soon bring into vogue, hateophobia. Yes, hateophobia (a word I just created) which is an anxiety disorder in which people have an extreme fear of the idea of hatred. The popular chant we have heard echoed in a variety of situations is, “don’t hate, tolerate.”

In February 2012 a national case made headlines stirring up the whole aversion to hatred of any kind. Sandra Fluke, a third-year law student at Georgetown University Law Center, who has served as president of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice, was denied an opportunity to testify at a congregational hearing on government rules requiring employers to offer insurance coverage for contraception. On February 23, Fluke was given the opportunity and testified at an unofficial hearing convened by Democrats.

She criticizes the health insurance policies of Georgetown, a Jesuit university, saying the school’s lack of contraception coverage has a harmful impact on female students. Understand, this is a Catholic university that has certain theological beliefs regarding contraception.

A few days later, February 29, the controversy was further stirred when Rush Limbaugh slammed Fluke on his talk show by referring to her as a slut. He used the rational that because she wanted the government, through mandated health control plans, to pay for her birth control to cover her sexual activity, is a form of prostitution (payment for sexual activity). Obviously the mean spirited attack of an individual by Rush Limbaugh has to be called into account as hatred. There was another however, who also came off publically as full of hate, the Catholic University. That’s right. They have a theological belief against birth control, and refused to cover it for student’s sexual activity. Because of that, according to the prevailing cultural climate, they are hateful as well.

                                                                                                          The issue of hate

For the Christian responding to the cultural pressure against hate, there appears to be only two extremes of direction one can go. You either end up full of hatred in the name of religion like Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist bunch (who seem to hate everyone who doesn’t agree with them), or go the other direction of the liberal, progressive, anything goes, quasi Christian form of toleration (“don’t fear, don’t hate, tolerate and celebrate”).

Here is the problem for Christians regarding hateophobia. If they disagree with any current cultural trend that is being presented, because of what God has said in His word, they are automatically labeled as hateful. It doesn’t matter what attitude they have (hate filled or meek and mild) they are automatically seen as full of hate. And anything they do falls into the category of a hate crime. Simply because they disagree with what is culturally popular because of what God has said. Because of this many times Christians keep their mouths shut because the stigma of hatred is so inflammatory.

I think that hateophobia is causing the Church (God’s city) to receive a “Trojan horse” within its gates. The enemies hide in it and once the horse is inside the city, the enemy wreaks havoc among God’s people. In the name of tolerance and not appearing hateful, the Church becomes the “First Inclusive Church” that ends up tolerating and celebrating what God thinks is an outrage.

The church isn’t to be like the Westboro Baptist bunch who hates everything and everybody. Nor is it to be “The First Church of Inclusion” that loves and tolerates what God hates? Here is a good rule of thumb for evaluation. If you always seem to be persecuted and rarely attract people to Jesus, it may because you are obnoxiously hateful. On the other hand, if you are never persecuted for your faith it’s probably because you are a big coward that is more conscious with how you look before men rather than how you look to God.

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