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Can't See Hate if you believe People do Love Sinners and Hate the Sins

Love the sinner and hate the sin is a religious thing.  Why do we hear it all the time and never, "Love the wrongdoer but hate the action that hurts them or others"?  Something needs investigation here.  It looks like a religious refusal to admit to hating sinful people.

 

Even the majority of religious people would hold that it is not possible to properly want somebody to have wellbeing while having insufficient respect for their belief system (be it atheist or religious), their culture or their choices.  We must remember that nobody really sees a sinner as just a sinner.  The homosexual sinner is seen as part of people who are like her or him.  So when somebody talks about hating sins they mean group sins.  It is never really individual - get that?  Nobody really believes somebody who claims to "Love those sinners and hate their sins."  It is groups and group think that we fear.  Those who keep talking in individual terms are clearly lying and hiding something.

 

Hating the choices of others is clearly the thing which implies the most hate for them.  It cannot be anything but personal.

 

Hating their culture next and it implies hating a person as part of a sort of group so it is really the group that is implicitly hated.  That is personal too.

 

Hating their belief system is only hating them for what they believe as if they can control what they believe.  Instead of doing that we should be helping them rethink and providing them with resources to make up their own minds.  Religions accuse critics of their beliefs of hate and thus they want to conflate any challenge of religious doctrine as being an attack on the person who accepts the doctrine.  Religion thus argues that, "Your beliefs are not you.  I challenge your arguments and beliefs.  I attack them not you" is false and thus is inviting you to hate the believer you challenge.  It programs that believer to feel hated.  Religion does not believe then that one can hate the religious belief and love the believer and it expects us to believe it loves sinners and hates sins!  Ironic!

 

Love the sinner and hate the sin claims that the person matters to us more than the act. If this sounds like a self-righteous boast that is because it is. If I stole a cup or a tiny amount of money from colleagues they will detest that act. They will not be saying, “Its only a cup.” They will be saying, “It’s an insult to us how he let us down and cannot be trusted. We trusted him and we are let down.” You will hate cancer like it is an abomination. If cancer is nobody’s fault and not even God’s you will hate it is as it is. You will personalise it and hate it as an enemy. Religion wants you to personalise and hate sin.  The hate will torment you and you will blame the sinner for provoking it or making it necessary.  Love the sinner and hate the sin is a lie for it pretends to be not personal when it is.

 

The Bible says, "Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth."  This is put forward as being the answer but all it is is a poetic way of saying love the sinner and hate the sin.  The argument that love does not delight in somebody doing evil is just hate the sin in another guise.  Love the sinner and hate the sin IS a boast for one is claiming to do the impossible or near-impossible.  Then the rest is, "It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."  Loving a sinner and trusting them to give up sin or not to sin is impossible.  And love can be love even if it does not persevere.  The Bible is just offering fake love.  The text if anything just fuels the fire.

 

If the believers divide you into soul, the "real" you and body, then clearly they are compartmentalising.  People who hate you but who have to be nice to you do that all the time.  It is like, "I like you when I have to be in your company but in reality I hate you."  That is why you can have a charming enemy who hates your guts at the same time. 

 

Another way to compartmentalise is to see the person as lovable as in being a child of God but otherwise despicable.  The person is still seen as a walking sin.

 

Compartmentalising is only about believers trying to look good in their own estimation and that of others.

 

"I love you, and I don’t want to see you get hurt" is not in any way like love the sinner and hate the sin for a sin is bad not because it hurts but because it assaults the dignity of God.  It is God's being "hurt" that the believer has to worry about.  Love the sinner and hate the sin is off-putting in secular world.  Religion presumes that sin hurts in all sorts of mystical ways.  For religion there is more to evil than corrupting yourself and inflicting something on somebody else.  Evil is seen as a power that is full of all sorts of bad supernatural mysteries.

 

"Love the sinner and hate the sin" is what you are told not "Love unconditionally."  Why not?  Clearly there is a threat: "I will love you correctly or unconditionally if you give up such and such a choice."  It is using love to control and that is not love.  It disempowers the victim by confusing her or him.

 

Does "I love Jerry but hate the rapist paedophile in him that would mean he would target my child" ring true?  It absolutely totally does not.  We would question the sanity or integrity of the people who would say that.  It is worse if it becomes, "We love Jerry but hate the rapist paedophile in him that would mean he would target our child".  Why?  It is people all convincing one another of the impossible.  Each person speaking for the others is not on.  What right has person x to say his friends love sinners and hate sins too when they say the line between this love and hate of the person is very thin?

 

"Love the maths student but hate his mistake" is definitely personal for why are we saying hate? Why not just correct?

 

When you criticise a country for cutting the hands off thieves they tell you, "Unlike you who punish criminals, we punish crimes."  Is loving the sinner and hating the sin really a safeguard of any kind?  It is nonsense.  Hating the criminals and jailing them would mean they are punished and they still have their hands.

 

We do not know most people and do not care much if at all what happens to them.  Yet if some stranger hurts us or our loved ones that person becomes so important that we end up trying to forgive.  Why don't we give them the same lack of concern as we give others?  Making them important so that you can hate and then forgive them sounds more like passive aggressive hate that is in denial than any kind of love. As you need to care about a person enough to be able to hate them the risk of raging hate is very great.  Is the forgiveness trying to take a step to that?

 

It is better to see the bad side you have as part of you as a character than to pretend you don’t have it for that is effectively denying what you are and denying your character. Other people need to respect you as a character as well. Religion works against that. It only leads to you being dehumanised by the love the sinner hate the sin brigade.  Dehumanising love is not love at all and as bad as hate.  Religion cannot object to hate when it offers you that!

 

The reason that the philosophy of "love the sinner and hate the sin" is so popular and manages to protect the public image of religions like Catholicism and Islam is because it makes hatred for the person manifest as passive aggression. The passive aggressive person often does good in order to look good and to disempower his or her victim. The hate is there though it may be latent. It is internalised and made part of you as much as obvious mad hate is.  In a sense, when it is disguised it is more ingrained and harmful.  Evil that is given the appearance of good becomes part of what you are better than evil that looks more like what it really is.

 

To label another person as a sinner when you are a sinner yourself is to create a sense that you are superior to them and not really a sinner at least any more or that their sins are worse than yours just because they are different from yours.

 

Some believe that God does not literally hate sin but he merely contradicts it. It is incompatible with God and what God wants. They say he is not against sin for any reason than that it hurts us.


It is usually impossible if not always impossible to separate what a person does from what they are. You cannot do this emotionally or psychologically or rationally it is impossible. There are no grades of impossible - impossible is just impossible.  You would not tell a diabetic person that you love them but hate their choice to eat food that harms them.  They would feel degraded by you.  If you told them they were sinning or abusing themselves that degradation would be compounded a million times.  We do not like being moralised at even in the name of love.


With love the sinner and hate the sin why do do people not just take the word love and stop there? To say you do not judge say gays implies you in fact do judge them for you are saying they should be judged but you do not judge them. Or you could be trying to convince yourself that you do not judge them when in fact you do. You do not judge somebody for buying a white car and you do not say, “I do not judge them.”  Your saying that suggests that you do judge them!!  Why should our sinner feel warmed and charmed by a liar like you?  It is not them you love but yourself so you could be a danger to them especially when you see them as sinners.

 

Love the sinner and hate the sin contradicts the Christian doctrine that we do not do wrong by the sin but in the sin. By the sin would imply that it is the act that matters not what it makes me. In the sin is about what the sin reveals about me - it reveals that I am not all-good. I have internalised evil and made myself evil.

 

Nobody but the superficial and the hypocrites pretend that loving the sinner and hating the sin is easy or that it is meant to be. They certainly do not love sinners and hate sins if they find it easy!

 

Love the sinner and hate the sin is irresponsible for we have enough problems trying to love insane and troubled people. And those of us who don't believe in sin believe that people still do wrong.  And those of us who are sure that free will is a myth still find themselves hating and resenting some people. It stands to reason that if loving the sinner and hating the sin is hard, we make it worse if we inflate how terrible and bad sin actually is. You may see wrongdoing as bad if you are an atheist. You will object to it as it hurts people. But you will not object to it because it hurts God for you do not believe. You will then have an additional reason to be upset about it if you believe. You have an additional reason for condemning it. Evil is not intended to be as malicious when the evildoer is atheist.

 

Love the sinner and hate the sin gives us an interpretation of evil that is too strong and that is evil considering it is possible not to know if you hate the person or love them. "The language you are using about God being on the side of love and not on the side of hate seems like a binary or polar understanding of how these two emotions exist. From a psychological point of view, can't the emotions of love and hate sometimes seem indistinguishable? As a psychologist, how does your psychological understanding of feelings inform your theological or Christian understanding of those concepts? Fraser Watts: Well, I agree about the psychology ...we tend to go for a too nice, or anodyne view of God ... we need to recover some sense of the wrath of God as part of his majesty" page 148, Conversations on Religion (Continuum, London, 2008).

 

Actions speak louder than words one way but another way they do not. Words are actions. People who hate you usually prefer others to hurt you for them. So hate speech or sweetened up slow poison is their way of getting somebody to hurt you.  They are nevertheless trying to do you harm but through someone else.

 

To hate is to wish harm on.

 

To love is to wish for somebody's wellbeing.

 

Yet religion says we can love the person and hate their sin.

 

It says you can love yourself and hate your sin. But can you? You know that your fears and jealousies and pridefulness etc are part of you as much as your hands and feet are. These things are what you make into sin. Thus sin is you and you are sin when you sin.

 

The husband who beats his wife to a pulp because of her adultery will say it happened because he loves her. He will even believe that. The doctrine of love the sinner hates the sin trains him to manipulate his wife to get her to believe he loves her. What about the man who beats his wife just because the dinner was cold?

 

We judge if somebody hates you by what they may say or think of you. If somebody says with emotion that you are a very bad person we justly conclude that the person hates you.

 

The love sinner and hate sin idea tries to make it impossible to tell if anybody hates you. If you could love the sinner and hate the sin there would be no way to tell and to accuse anybody of hating would be vindictive.

 

We can do evil while thinking it is good and intending it to be good. The signs that a person hates you then could be misleading.

 

Society and religion teach, "You love a person morally or immorally." Moral love is a tough love that corrects the other person. Immoral love would be like rewarding a person for robbing a bank with a nice dinner. It would be helping them to feel good about harming others seriously. If you feel that hating sin too easily leads to hating the sinner you will tend to err on the side of caution and be soft on evil people. It is a fact that if you are good at loving sinners and hating sins, that skill will be useless if the sinners start doing grave evils.

 

Christians are to love God for being what he is and not what they think he should be. God by definition is the being who knows best and does best. Loving sinners is supposed to be about loving them for what they are and not for what you think they should be. In other words you ignore the sin and even tell yourself that there is no sin in them at all! This is contradicted then by your calling them sinners and calling them opponents of holiness and the law of God and the perfect love of God. So you love them for the perfect people they are. If you partly hate the sinner and claim to mostly love them then you do not love them at all. You fail to love the persons for what they are and not for what you think they should be. Love the sinner and hate the sin only impresses those who do not really understand love. Those who preach the principle are propagating saccharinised evil.

 

The world is full of people who engage in immoral love while thinking they love the sinner and hate the sin.

 

Surely the more a person is brainwashed about love the sinner and hate the sin the more they can develop Stockholm Syndrome?

 

If you hate and cannot see it, the hate is far more dangerous. It simmers away undisturbed. At least if it is out in the open you can do something about it.

 

If you are blind to the hate you have for others who do wrong, you will soon become blind to the hate you have for yourself. Not seeing your own hate for yourself is very dangerous. Hating yourself means you cannot see yourself as valuable and thus you will hate others as you will see them as dangerous. You will fear them not valuing you and hurting you.

 

Guilt and shame may be linked but they are not the same thing. John hits Mike. John feels guilty because he hit Mike. John feels ashamed because he hit Mike. Guilt is about the action. Shame is about others, including Mike knowing what you have done. If John believes in loving the sinner and hating the sin some problems arise. What about his own sin? If he loves himself and hates his sin how can he let himself feel guilty? How can he punish himself with guilt? Love the sinner and hating the sin puts people in denial where their own guilt is concerned. It leads only to moral destruction. Shame is hypocritical in the sense that nobody feels it until they are caught out. It is not the wrongdoing they are worried about but what others think of it. Shame is proof that we are more worried about fitting in with society than about really being good. We value being thought good more than being good.

 

Some who say you should love the sinner and hate the sin mean only that you may not exercise violence against the sinner or ostracise her or him. But there is more to hate than these things. The most poisonous form of hate is more subtle and crafty. The craftier forms are more popular for they make it possible to seduce others while avoiding the perils of looking bad and dangerous. Then as hate feeds on hate, the day will come when they attack the sinners and you will tell yourself it is their responsibility and not yours. Clever eh?

 

Suppose Satan needed medicine to live. If Jesus cares about his wellbeing and not his sins or how dangerous he is he will give him the medicine. If Jesus is afraid to help him for he will recover and do terrible harm to others he might refrain for their sake. That would mean that anybody loving you and hating your sins is not necessarily going to help you or work for your wellbeing. So it is odd why people take consolation from the love the sinner and hate the sin doctrine. The love is not about the other person's wellbeing at all but about them. The person who says they forgive X though he has ate babies alive because they want to be free from bitterness and ill-feeling are doing it for themselves not X. They do not really accept X though they may act nice towards him. That is an example of loving the sinner and hating the sin - it is not really loving. The sinner is used as a means of making yourself feel you love him and getting a nice warm smug glow when you do not in fact love him at all. Such blindness will only get worse.

 

The person is his or her actions. To hate the action is to hate a person and to do it in a way that degrades them but which spares you the suffering and pollution that comes from raging hate. In other words, you know hate can be bad for you so you find a way to hate that isn't so bad or you flavour the hate with sugar.

 

We are not primarily moral beings. If your beloved sister or brother goes to jail for murder or drug dealing, you may want them back and not even feel mad at them or what they have done. This love will render you unable to see that if you try to get them off you belittle their victims and hurt them. You are in opposition to the victims and their families. Love can blind us to what we are. It is no surprise that hate is given a new form when you claim to love those who make themselves despicable. 

 

The doctrine is just about going into denial about how capable of hate you are.