Question of the Day: What Constitutes Hate?

What constitutes hate speech?

  • God hates fags
  • Queerness is a sin
  • Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand

Is it taking a stance against sin or asking for God to strike down the sinners in a violent death? What constitutes hate?

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69 Replies to “Question of the Day: What Constitutes Hate?”

    1. Westboro Baptist Church is easily the most hate-filled group of self-proclaimed Christians in America. Their “God Hates ___________” movement is a vile representation of sheer evil run amok. You know you’ve reached a stunning level of evil when even the KKK repudiates you…

      1. That’s pretty bad – as Stuart posted yesterday – with the KKK calls you out for bigotry.

        And yes, Westboro constitutes the vilest of hate. I was there at the counter protest yesterday. I wonder how many people realize that they only send out women and children to their protests?

  1. I wonder how many people realize that they only send out women and children to their protests?

    You’re joking, although I shouldn’t be so surprised as evil can manifest in an surprisingly cowardly form….

    1. No, not joking, Stuart. That way, if someone does something, they have to do it to the women and children, and good, decent people just aren’t.

  2. Joe.My.God has a post today about an instance of hate-speech:

    “In the next few weeks, President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and their homosexual and transgender allies will attempt to ram through the so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). What you may not know is that ENDA normalizes and provides special federal protection for 30+ bizarre sexual orientations listed by the American Psychiatric Association – the so-called ‘Dirty 30.’ These 30+ fetishes include behaviors that are felonies or misdemeanors in most states.

    ENDA’s ‘Dirty 30’ includes such bizarre criminal acts as incest, pedophilia, prostitution, beastiality, and cross-dressing. If we don’t act today, Obama and Pelosi will normalize these disorders by federal law on April 21! In a moment of candor, liberal Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) openly admitted on the House floor that the ‘Dirty 30’ would be covered by federal law. In fact, he wants the Dirty 30 to be given special protection! In his own words: ‘all of these philias and fetishes and isms that were put forward–need not live in fear because of who they are.’

    “If Obama, Pelosi, Hastings and the Congressional Democrats pass ENDA, co-workers will be forced to work alongside individuals with these bizarre sex fetishes. Christian businesses will be directly impacted by ENDA. They would be forced to hire or retain cross-dressers and individuals who engage in these sinful behaviors. Students will be indoctrinated that ‘alternative lifestyles’ are no different than traditional lifestyles. Young children will be forced to learn about these bizarre sexual fetishes – and you will have no say in the matter.” – Traditional Values Coalition director Rev. Lou Sheldon, reviving the outrageous lies used against the Matthew Shepard Act.

      1. The problem is Gov. McDonnell’s pre-apology statements concerning slavery and his attempts to white wash the issue for the sake of tourism.

        I worked in our state’s Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism for over a decade, focusing on heritage/cultural tourism projects in south Louisiana that often required finding ways to interpret aspects of our history (& present) that are less-than flattering. For example, it’s impossible to tell the story of Louisiana’s rich plantation history without recognizing the role of slaves and slavery. There are an infinite number of respectful and honest ways to accomplish this, but eliminating or ignoring painful parts of history is the most hateful, insulting and demeaning thing one can do.

  3. Pointing to an example like Westboro and calling it hateful does not answer the question. What constitutes hate? What are the necessary conditions an act must have in order to qualify as hateful? Stated more platonically: When we call acts hateful, what are we saying they resemble? What is that quality like?

    A follow up question suggests itself: What’s wrong with hate?

      1. See, I don’t think you guys are getting what groups like Westboro does. This is not about hating sin or sins but about hating people and believing in a vengeful, wrathful God who kills others, such as coal miners, soldiers and children for the sins of say, the homosexual community. Doesn’t anyone find anything wrong with that?

        You need to focus on the problem.

        1. Joel,
          The problem is always “spiritual”, (Note, Eph.6:12). I will always maintain that the biblical understanding of the fall, the Law of God and Original Sin, are needed to seek to understand the doctrine of God! This is again, the real issue! (Rom. 2: 12-16)

          1. No, the real issue is that you are skirting the issue. The real issue is that people hold up signs that says God Hates Fags, God Killed the Coal Miners Because of Fags and and a hole of host of related issues, you refuse to answer that. Do you support Westboro? Is that the problem? Do you think that Christians need to take to the streets with signs that says God Hates You to get the message across?

            Don’t give me that spiritual garbage. Nor the ‘biblical understanding’ tripe. Answer the question and don’t dance.

            Do you support the hate messages that are coming from Westboro?

          2. Joel,

            Of course I DO NOT! What a stupid question! But, the question of Hate, Sin, Evil, etc. Will always be a spiritual one! And I note again, Eph.6:12!

            As Jim West wrote in his blog, if people just stopped paying attention to these morons, it would be a much better service. Myself as an old reconnaissance officer, one should better understand the ‘terrain and territory’, before they engage. And this is really a battle with light & darkness, i.e. “spiritual”.

            Christians should step back, wait pray and keep their heads and good order!

          3. Talking past the subject is no way to carry the conversation, neither is trying only to state your point without addressing what is on the table.

          4. Joel,

            This maybe you blog, but this is not your private war! And am not “talking past the subject”, but seeking to see it in its “spiritual” and somewhat theological manner. We must not personalize our battles, but see them biblically, theologically and spiritually!

          5. Yes, indeed, you still are.

            And yes, it is a private war, as it should be for us all to make sure that the name of Christ is not reproached.

          6. Joel,

            Again, I disagree..as our friend Glenn makes point also. To lift an idea: “For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.” (2 Cor. 13:8)

            As 2 Cor. 13:5, the real test of Christianity is the “living Christ within”! And this always finds the ‘love and peace’ of God (13:11).

  4. I’d say of your three statements the first two are unvarnished hate speech and the third is fine unless it’s being used by hateful folks.

    By the way, one of my roommates this morning showed me video of the counter-protest against WBC held this morning–so your protest has made quite a positive splash, portraying Christians in a more compassionate light.

  5. How can a statement like “________ is a sin” be “unvarnished hate speech”? Seriously, how?

    Does this mean we cannot say that “bigotry is sinful”?

    And as for Westboro, Polycarp, wow, why are you insisting that before anyoen says anything helpful, they say the “down with Westboro” creed (on pain for being accused of “dacing” around the issue)? Of course they’re a manifestation of inappropriate hate and revolting misrepresentation of God. I would have hoped a subject like this, however, invited discussion of something more interesting than THEM!

    1. I don’t think saying that something is a sin qualifies as hate speech.

      I am not insisting on that at all, Glenn.

    2. For me, it’s not the “is a sin” bit that’s hateful. I’d take no offense to someone saying that homosexual relations are a sin. It’s the choice of the word “Queerness” that makes the speech hateful: it selects not an act per se but simply a vague term designed to sound as offensive as possible “Queerness.”

      1. That’s pretty weak. To call it “unvarnished hate speech” because you’d prefer that they used a different descriptor than “queerness” won’t wash. Imgine if I condemned adultery by saying “it’s a sin to play the harlot.” That’s surely not hate speech, in spite of the offense that a person might take.

        You cannot fairly claim that whether or not a statement is hateful depends on the attitude of the hearer.

        1. Fair enough, Glenn. I suppose I shouldn’t have made such a broad generalization without qualifying it. To tell the truth, as I was looking at the three statements I was picturing in my mind the Westboro folks. Still, it’s hard for me to imagine someone saying “Queerness is a sin” without having at least some inention to insult and inflame.

          1. Mitchell – right at the end of your comment you actually gave an answer to the question of what constitutes hate. You referred to the intention to insult and inflame.

            Is that, in your view, what constitutes hate?

  6. Joel–

    This thread demonstrates everything I’ve been saying about Christianity and Christians… Congrats to your commenters for all but endorsing the acts of America’s most notorious Fundamentalist Christian Terrorists.

    1. Robert, do you say that because of the fact that every single person who refers to that group has done so to reject theim and their actions? Or was it for some other equally dishonest and illogical reason?

  7. To Glen: Hate is, of course, an internal issue, an inner obsessive malintent towards someone. But the question I was originally trying to respond to was “What constitutes hate speech?”, and so I was attempting to way the statements involved as to whether they showed evidence of hatred.

    To Robert: All your website link shows is that they happen to be some extremely hateful people. I didn’t see any evidence of their using violence against civilians in order to instill terror.

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