Mostly fear is behind hate say the wise ones. It also may appear as control. “The angels of darkness must always disguise themselves as angels of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). Fear itself is often convincingly disguised as a virtue, such as reason, prudence, morality, religion, obedience, or justice. As Father Richard Rohr inquires, “What better way to veil vengeance than to call justice?”
In Father Richard Rohr’s book Hope Against Darkness, he writes, “That which you fear, deny and avoid will be projected somewhere else with 100% certainty! In other words there is an intrinsic connection between fear, hatred and violence. Furthermore, you will do it with impunity and even grandiosity. It is a sacralization of violence, and it is the most common form of violence. That way we can be hateful and not feel the least guilty about it, but in fact feel morally superior!”
He continues saying, “The process of sacred violence is so effective that it is now in the ‘hard wiring’ of human personality. As Aquinas said, no one intentionally does evil, they have to explain it to themselves as good!”
“Sacred violence is the most common kind of violence. How strange that we could ever arrive at this place after Jesus said that he came for the ‘forgiveness of sin’ and the perfect love that casts out all fear! It is no surprise that he has to spend a great part of his ministry in an attempt to reform religion itself. Religion is ironically the safest place to hide from God! In its healthy forms, it is also place to find God. As a Latin scholars said, ’the corruption of the best is always the worst’.”
Father Rohr continues with,
“The classic pattern is seen from the beginning with Adam’s treatment of Eve and Cain’s killing of Abel. It is the original lie, and continues nonstop until now. It is largely called history, largely a record of who kills, imprisons, tortures, oppresses, controls, enslaves, rapes, occupies or exploits whom. Then the utterly predictable response is revenge or retribution. We need a new plot beyond ‘get the bad guys.’
It is only the mystics and seers in all of the great religions who give us a genuinely new story: redemptive suffering instead of redemptive violence.”
This is the way of Jesus, Buddha, Socrates, Gandhi, and Harriet Tubman.
We have tried time and time again the way of hatred, violence, division, revenge, and it has never worked to provide lasting peace, security, and safety. Is there another way? Are you willing to explore it? We all can say we want peace, but the wise words of Thich Nhat Hahn reminds us, “Peace is the way.” Which means living peace, choosing to turn the other cheek, demonstrating love in the face of dismissal and disregard. We do this on the small stage of our lives with the people who are immediately around us and a tsunami is created that covers all the earth.