Christians must seek justice. We may wage war and must use the police power to protect from evil. We can never hate. One reason the state exists is to remove hatred, private revenge, from justice and also allow for mercy. Justice and mercy are much needed just now, but then they are always needed just now.
A traditional Christian can hate the spirit of the age, the nagging, pursed lip, kill joy, hatred of the wholesome that also celebrates the decadent. No Christian can hate a person or conflate the bad ideas with the person. We always look for hope, and err on the side of innocence. The Christian legal system would rather miss a guilty man than punish an innocent one!
There is always someone who will try to shift, justify, excuse hatred of a person. They will say we should rejoice in the death of our foes.
Hate injustice and evil. Love all people.
The Lord Jesus said :43Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy: 44but I say unto you, Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you; 45that ye may be sons of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. 46For if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the Gentiles the same? 48Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
This is hard. We must oppose legalized infanticide, euthanasia, and abortion, but without hatred. We must defend marriage as between a man and a woman, but without hate. We must love as we act. Some great leaders, Saint Kaleb of Aksum, Good Duke Wenceslas, Elizabeth New Martyr, captured this in totality, but the rest of us can only aspire to love and justice with mercy.
The South, outside of Appalachia, institutionalized hatred for centuries. This has come with a horrific price and the sooner this price is paid the better. This is not because other parts of the nation were or are guiltless, but because the South went the longest justifying the evil. Men do evil, but to make that evil central to existence is far worse and corrupts otherwise good men.
The lazy, laughing South
With blood on its mouth.
The sunny-faced South,
The child-minded South
Scratching in the dead fire’s ashes
For a Negro’s bones.
Cotton and the moon,
Warmth, earth, warmth,
The sky, the sun, the stars,
The magnolia-scented South.
Beautiful, like a woman,
Seductive as a dark-eyed whore,
That is the South.
And I, who am black, would love her
But she spits in my face.
And I, who am black,
Would give her many rare gifts
But she turns her back upon me.
So now I seek the North—
The cold-faced North,
For she, they say,
Is a kinder mistress,
And in her house my children
May escape the spell of the South.*
My newly adopted home state of Texas gets so many things right, but is crippled by a heritage of racism. I have talked to people forced into second class humanity, with the least indignity being forced to eat dinner near the garbage as children, because of race. This leaves scars not dismissed by facile changes. This is no longer true, but was true in their lifetimes. A different sort of evil can fester in unresolved repentance and restitution for such injustice. The decadence of our present elite is oft excused by the racism of our past elite.
This cannot be ignored, because it is killing the beautiful Southland. This is not “old times,” because I personally know of a dinner at a plantation mock up where white leaders were served food on Confederate battle flag plates with Black servers. This is vile. This is not ancient history.
Any truth spoken by those leaders is repudiated by the act. The Southland, including Texas, loses genius due to racism. To fail to see this and change is to be “idiot brained.” We need give the present evils no purchase by any failure to repudiate, stamp out, and make restitution for evil that occurred in our lifetimes.
Langston Hughes is right.