Perhaps you’ve seen the movie “Princess Bride”…perhaps you haven’t. If you haven’t, we can’t be friends until you do, because this is one of my all-time favorite movies. (better get a move on it!)
Anyways, in the movie The Great Vizinni keeps using the word “Inconceivable” and Inigo Montoya eventually says to him, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
It’s a classic line and one that has been made into memes the world over for obvious reasons…it’s great! (just look at the picture for this blog post!!)
There are so many words (and phrases) in the English language these days that people use that I just don’t think they know what they actually mean. Because if they did, I don’t think the word would be getting as much air time as it currently does.
Here is my short list…
The First Amendment
But specifically, I want to talk about HATE.
Hate is what I get told that I am exhibiting a lot by my friends on the left. Especially when I speak out regarding things like love, marriage, being a Christian, being the church, religious freedom, the first amendment, etc.
They will say something like, “Oh Brad, I can’t believe how much you hate people to not want them to be with the one they love.” (marriage)
Or, “Oh Brad, I can’t believe how much you hate women because you support the abolition of abortion.” (abortion)
Or, “Oh Brad, why do you hate people so much by wanting to force your religious beliefs on everyone via laws.” (First Amendment)
I could go on…but I digress.
It really amazes me at how deeply confused these people are about the word “hate” because they primarily use it when referring to a view being expressed that is contrary to theirs. I mean I could certainly flip the script on them and say the same things about their views (and probably have to make a point), but the simple fact is…they keep using this word “hate” but I don’t think it means what they think it means.
So what exactly is hate?
Our friends at Merriam-Webster Dictionary define hate as:
1a: intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury b: extreme dislike or antipathy :loathing
2: an object of hatred
Let me summarize this for you – hate, in its simplest form, is an intense hostility and aversion to a thing, a place or a person.
Next, let’s examine two of the statements I have made in the past concerning popular hot topics of the day that have been called “hateful”…I have said things such as:
“I hate abortion and the murder of the unborn”.
My statement was specifically on the action of murdering the unborn children. And yes, I did indeed use the word “hate”, but again – with regard to the action of murdering the unborn.
However, supporters of the murder of the unborn hear this;
“I hate women and their right to govern themselves and their bodies.”
Now, at what point in my statement did I mention women, did I mention self-governance, and did I mention their ability to control their body?
Short answer; I didn’t.
How about another example…I say something like:
“I support marriage as being between one man and one woman only.”
My statement was a supportive statement concerning the natural and historical definition of marriage. However, supporters of gay marriage hear this;
“I hate gay people and do not want them to be happy or find love. In fact, I am absolutely terrified that their gayness may rub off on me and my children and they should be locked away never to be allowed to see the sun again.”
At what point in my statement did I use the word “hate” to begin with, or begin to attack gay people as people and wish to see them harmed or desire that they be unhappy the rest of their lives?
Short answer; I didn’t.
So why do you suppose, then, that there is such a disconnect from what people like me are saying, and what people are actually hearing me say?
I have 5 possible answers to this:
- We do not speak the same language and the interpreter completely miscommunicated what I said to them.
- They are from the future and have one of those Star Trek-style in ear speech translators, and it’s broken. Thus horrendously annihilating what I said.
- We grew up reading different dictionaries and the words we have in common have completely separate definitions one from another, thus making communication almost incomprehensible.
- We are in some giant game of “telephone” all around the world, and none of us actually realizes it.
- These people have actually taken on the identity of their sin, and therefore, when you comment on the sin negatively, you are attacking their identity as a person negatively.
I’m inclined to think that #5 is the most common answer to this question. Though I’m curious about the others…there may be some merit to them….hmmm….
Anyways, back to the topic at hand.
So what’s really happening, then, is that when I speak out regarding a public and social sin in our nation – people who identify with this sin (as in they feel this is “who they are” as a person) take personal offense and think I am being hateful because in their minds I am attacking them personally, even though in reality my beef is with the sin…not the person.
My concern for the person is that they do not see the truth of what is actually happening and that they are placing themselves in danger both in the here and now and in the life thereafter. They are allowing their sin to define them, rather than compartmentalize their sin from themselves as people engaged in sin.
But I suppose when you call abortion murder, that it does imply that the one engaged in abortion is engaged in murder. Or that when you say only one type of marriage is legitimate then you are saying what another person’s idea of marriage is, is well….wrong.
The fact of the matter is, truth is exclusionary and offensive by nature. Otherwise, truth becomes relative and thus rendering truth untrue and obsolete. If you are looking for the truth or speaking the truth publicly, it has to be understood that there is no neutral in truth, and not everyone can be right.
This is not being hateful.
This is not arrogance.
This is just the truth.
Perhaps it’s not just this simple…perhaps it is. Either way, I get tired of being told that I am hateful when I am merely speaking truth.
What’s more frustrating – is that I get called this often times by fellow “believers”. But for them, I think this comes down to a completely messed up idea of the word “Love”…which I will leave for another post at another time.