Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner . . . or Vice Versa? . . . Er, Whatever

Brown_roof tops_2012-07-31

2015-01-25 – Tuesday I wrote about creationism versus evolution. But I had an interesting reaction from a couple of my friends—Amy and John. They seemed to think that I was painting “all conservatives”  as know-nothings, or something of the sort.

I was surprised by that. Here’s how I started out:

“What do conservative believe about evolution? It’s probably mixed. Some go along with it. Some don’t.”

You’d think this would put me on safe ground, but disclaimers are nothing if you don’t follow through. If I was pigeon-holing anyone, I ought to stop that right now.

Because it really bugs me when people do this. You know: All liberals are this. All conservatives are that. All blacks are this. All whites are that. You see it everywhere. So it would kill me to think that I do it. But who knows. I’m just asking that you don’t let me get away with it.

By coincidence, the very day that Amy and John wrote me, I watched an episode of the Daily Show in which Jon Stewart interviewed Mike Huckabee. In the interview, Stewart, who I like very much, took Huckabee to task for trashing the Harvard elite. Huckabee’s taste in people seems to prefer “bubbas” (his term). Stewart’s handling of this interview won high praise in the liberal media.

But I didn’t think too much of it.

In my mind, Stewart could do the obvious brains-versus-bubbas schtick, which he did. Or he could have asked Huckabee why, if he is so in love with the bubbas, he prefers policies that enrich the Harvard brains at the expense of the bubbas. That’s what I would have asked him. That would have been a debate. Brains-versus-bubba, the way Stewart handled it is just name calling and unnecessarily inflammatory.

He’s not the only one.

Yesterday, I saw a post on Facebook with a common attack on religion—that it fosters intolerance and persecution. Well, sure it does. So does atheism. The Catholic church ran the inquisition, the Nazis ran the holocaust, the Soviets ran purges, Mao ran the cultural revolution, Muslims run jihads. Religious or atheist, we can’t seem to avoid the depths of depravity.

Some folks like to say, “hate the sin but love the sinner.” But when I make a false and disparaging comment about you based on the group you belong to, I’m not doing either of those things—well, I suppose I’m hating the sin, but you are not a sinner. Why would I label you that way? Because you are a member of a group?

Unfortunately, for any seemingly benign piece of advice, there are people who are eager to do the hating part and quite willing to forget the loving part.

Even when your group espouses love (as Christians do) and equality (as liberals do) and responsibility (as conservatives do). (And I apologize if you are Christian, liberal, or conservative and you don’t espouse these values.)

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