A new movie documentary, The Anatomy of Hate, is coming out that explores the origins and reasons for hate. The film documents hate in the lives of people from white supremacists in the south, Christians who define themselves as anti-gay, to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It looks fascinating. As a pastor who believes deeply in community, hatred and conflict are the primary hindrances to accomplishing this vision. People will walk out on the church because of a judgmental comment made by another member or a disagreeable position held by the pastor. Interpersonal strife and residual pain will keep a person far from God for potentially a lifetime.
Here are some clips from the movie:
American Nazi Gathering:
God Hates America:
Attack on US Troops:
These are extreme examples of hatred. They show individuals who define themselves by who they hate as well as the lamentable consequences of years of conflict that inevitably escalate into war. Bigotry and war are profoundly sad, but it’s just as sad to see hatred manifested in the petty grudges we carry, the gossip we promulgate, and the slander we say. If we reflect God primarily in the way we relate to others, then hatred is the antithesis of being human, and acting on that hatred is demonic.
But it is in all of us. We all hate, and that’s what makes community so complicated. The trick is to forgive, and not base our love for the other person in community on how much they deserve it, because they usually don’t. This is what makes Christian community unique — I love Jim, not because of who Jim is, but because of who Jesus is. Jesus loves Jim, and he is in Jim working for the salvation and healing of Jim. In all our relationships, we treat one another the way would treat Jesus. Jesus loves our neighbor with the same unconditional love with which he loves you and me. Christian community is founded on this unconditional love that refuses to hate no matter how justifiable that hatred seems. We come together in the name of Christ, forgiving one another just as Jesus forgave us.