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The Catch-All Word in American Policy Discussions Is Now “Hate”
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The Catch-All Word in American Policy Discussions Is Now “Hate”

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In recent years the American media’s “buzzword” in political discourse is “hatred.” This word, presented in its various forms, serves as an effective show-stopper in some people’s minds, easily drawn out and used, not to win a debate, but to prevent one.

At first it seemed that this term was used almost exclusively by the Left against conservatives, most notably Christians who adhered to traditional values-based Christianity rather than the “new” expressions that espouse everything from legalized narcotics to homosexuality and everything in between.

Such people were termed not only as “haters”, but also as “racists”, “bigots” and other terms that were designed again, not to win the debate, but to prevent it.

It worked remarkably well. A Christian, faced with being called a “hateful person” usually found himself or herself in the position to try to defend themselves against the label of “hateful” and the consequent discussion of the issue was lost.

An article written in September 2014 by Michael Kruger for the Gospel Coalition made note of the trend as it was surfacing at that time:

In the midst of the high-octane cultural wars of the last several years—particularly the debate over homosexual marriage—evangelical Christians have been slapped with all sorts of pejorative labels. Words such as bigoted, arrogant, exclusive, dogmatic, and homophobic are just a few.

But two labels particularly stand out. First, Christians are regularly regarded as intolerant. Christians are not only regarded as intolerant religiouslybecause they affirm the words of Jesus that “no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)—but they are regarded as intolerant ethically, because they refuse to approve any and all behaviors as morally good.

Christians are also regularly (and ironically) regarded as haters. Apparently, our modern world regards the act of telling people they’re wrong as a form of hatred. It is never explained how the charge does not apply equally in the other direction, since those who make this charge are telling Christians they are wrong.

In this way, the persecution of Christians in America sharply increased, from a fringe-element phenomenon in 2008 to the media mainstream by 2015.  President Obama is often fingered as a catalyst for this change, and this is an assessment that does make sense, though the mainstream media are eager to cover this up.

As an example, in a search conducted through Google along the topic “Obama calls Christians hateful”, one response came from the PolitiFact website, with this response in an article dated July 12, 2018:

Throughout Barack Obama’s presidency, critics questioned his Christian beliefs. The suspicion among some conservative Facebook groups has continued a year and a half after his exit from the White House.

One group, called Yes I’m Right, shared a link to an article titled "Shocking Video Emerges of Obama Mocking God and the Bible." Hundreds of users reacted and shared the link, which led to a Conservative Post write-up and video.

Facebook flagged this story as part of its efforts to combat false news and misinformation on Facebook’s News Feed.

We looked at the video. It has been around since 2006 and is clipped from a larger 40-minute speech about separating religious beliefs from policymaking.

Strategic editing

The Conservative Post article is just a few sentences long, accusing Obama of an "open universalist attitude toward faith" and say that his faith is "100% phony."

According to his biographies, Obama became a practicing Christian in early adulthood when he began working with religious community groups in Chicago. According to reports during his time in office, he prayed daily and would regularly consult with pastors for spiritual guidance.

In the attached 3-and-a-half minute video, Obama does not denigrate Christianity. He is shown arguing for political compromise across religions. "We are no longer a Christian nation, or at least not just," he says, "We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, and a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of non-believers."

…In Obama’s 40-minute address, he urges Democrats to embrace religion, rather than shy away from it or decry it. Even if religious arguments are not sufficient for making policy, the moral lessons that religions teach can be essential for guiding decisions and reaching out to others.

So when viewed as a whole, the point of the speech is not to mock Christianity.

This last assessment is what the PolitiFact people want to leave their readers believing.

However, it is simply not true.

The crew at PolitiFact is either uninformed or complicit, and honestly, probably both. President Obama did indeed attack Christianity, and his attack was through pointing out the fractured nature of Christian theology in America, and using that to pit the known beliefs of Christianity against itself.

One can see this in action for themselves by watching this video.

The conclusion that could be drawn from Obama’s speech ostensibly is that Christianity is rendered irrelevant, because in the candidate’s own words, “whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would it be James Dobson’s or Al Sharpton’s?”

Obama picked one side he is personally known to completely oppose, that being the relatively traditional viewpoints of James Dobson, who up till recently led a very on-point evangelical organization called Focus on the Family, that promotes traditional views of marriage and family life. To this he held up the idea of the Christianity of Al Sharpton, who he knew is not respected in the country as a Christian, but is seen as an activist with “Reverend” attached to his name.

In other words, he held up what he opposed against what was stupid. The result – laughter from the audience, as the viewer can hear, and an increased sense that all Christianity is nonsense.

He then runs through a litany of other comparisons and in a very skillful manner, uses various Scriptural references and instructions to destroy the whole reason to follow such a framework in the first place, and then caps it all off with “before we get carried away, let’s read our Bibles now…”

Whether or not the destruction of Christian relevance was Obama’s goal (though I firmly believe it was, and remains so), the result was clear. For decades conservative Christians had only been attacked for their faith in very occasional matters. But by 2015 it was a regular occurrence to hear about objections to “hateful Christians” as the matter of gay marriage began to take root in the United States, eventually being imposed on the country as a “constitutional right” by the liberal Supreme Court in June of that year.

Another factor that may seem unrelated is the increasing legality of recreational use of marijuana (cannabis) in eight states plus, ironically, Washington, D.C. itself.

While marijuana has not been made legal across the US as a whole, it nonetheless has a de facto availability, since anyone from any state can go to a legal-pot state and buy and use the drug as they wish.  This has already created such a generalized context that cannabis is good that a newspiece printed in January 2018 praising Attorney General Jeff Sessions for rescinding the Obama-era soft-handed approach to drug use offenders got completely slammed by readers who commented as not going with the times and that Sessions’ policy decision was antiquated and wrong.

In fact, even larger scale searches on the Internet for reaction to his memo found but one positive reaction, this from a mother who lost her child to drug-use.

One.

The further fact that the big Internet giant companies Apple, Google, YouTube and Facebook, along with Twitter, have all really aligned themselves with leftist ideologies – globalism, legal drug use, homosexual marriages, and a further plethora of plainly anti-Christian sentiments that actually govern how search engines filter results and in so doing try and control how we think.

This is a thoroughness that has not been seen before in the United States. In fact, even in pre Soviet times the level of penetration into society was not as uniform as it is now. The American Internet user is not usually aware that his or her information is being tampered with. He only sees what he sees, and the massive trust American users (as well as others around the world) place in Google create the lack of interest in further investigation of topics, and if someone does try to investigate a controversial topic more deeply, they will simply have a very difficult time finding what they are looking for.

We discussed this last month in a piece about how big companies can use the First Amendment to guarantee their right to do this, since the Constitution only applies to Congress and the government, but not to private industry.

A noteworthy statement in the PolitiFact piece is the mention of their alliance with Facebook.

As recently as two days ago, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple had this to say:

"At Apple, we believe that technology needs to have a clear point of view on this challenge," Cook said, referring to how to handle the influx of hate on tech platforms. "There is no time to get tied up in knots. That's why we only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division and violence: You have no place on our platforms."

This is one of the clearest signals yet that Apple is set to interfere in the exchange of ideas and communications, this according to its own set of standards as to what constitutes “good” or “bad” content.

When we had Christianity as the basis for our culture, this made sense. Music with explicit lyrics, movies with lurid content or excessive violence could be sanctioned with the idea that this content had material that might be damaging or traumatic for the Christian consumer.

But now, Christians are “haters” of homosexuals, therefore they are bad people. If a Christian makes a post promoting traditional family values, with no denigrating reference to people doing other things, they still get run down.

The bakers in Colorado and Oregon suffered great damage to their businesses due to bigotry against their Christian viewpoints, which for them was not bigotry at all but humble obedience – to participate and endorse a sinful behavior is a sin itself, they believed, and they could not in good conscience do something like bake a cake for a same-sex couple receiving a “marriage.” The Oregon family lost their case, and the only reason the Colorado baker Jack Phillips won his Supreme Court case was because the handling of his case in the Colorado court system demonstrated blatantly clear bias. A more clever, legally astute team would have easily won this case for the gay people that were “harmed” by Mr. Phillips refusal to make a wedding cake for them.

In the meantime, while Mr. Phillips was going through the courts, he was being run down as a bigot and a hater, which are two qualities categorically condemned in Christianity.

But to the New Religion of secular elitism, Christianity is the worst apostasy ever. Its adherents are considered unwelcome at more and more levels of society.

But the reader may ask, “but there is so much we still see that is said that is positive about Christianity in the USA. How can these assertions be true?”

The answer to this has a few pieces:

  1. The persecution is not uniform yet. It cannot be, or it would be rejected itself.
  2. Christianity is upheld as long as it does not challenge the secularist ideals. This is why Pope Francis scores press points from time to time with his statements like “who am I to judge” or his otherwise stated soft attitude about homosexuality in the Roman Church. While Francis is a good deal more conservative than the media wishes he was, he does demonstrate disturbing ambiguity on these issues, though I will posit that these come from the flaws inherent in Roman Catholic theology itself, with the Pope trying to reconcile this in a different manner than has been attempted in the past.
  3. The effort is not to forcibly eradicate Christianity as was attempted in various Soviet states. The attempt is far more subtle – to use the divisions within Christianity as tools to make the faith appear irrelevant, due to its fractured and divided nature. “Divide and conquer” comes into play then, but this irrelevance plus a little pressure like calling Christians “haters” helps the already irrelevant faith to destroy itself from within.

The success of this methodology, as exemplified by Obama’s attack speech, lies in the fact that in the US there is not a single unified Christian faith. Perhaps more than anywhere else in the world, the United States is the home for many tens of thousands of distinct Protestant “denominations” which all each claim to be correct, but which often vastly and diametrically differ in terms of what Christianity is.  

Since this is the context of Christianity in our country now, it is almost impossible for anyone to actually say that the problem is what it is – that Christianity itself has been torn up from the inside out and it is almost impossible to say the truth – that there is only one true Christianity. Plurality and political correctness have taken the freedom to say so away from us.

As a result, all anyone has to go by is their own thoughts and feelings, and all of us think different ways. We cannot all be right.

But without any overall guiding set of principles, we try to be. But we redefine morality, upholding depravity and crying “hatred” when traditional points of view are defended.  The addition of mind-altering drugs to the general population of the country makes this situation even worse, and the final result to this point is a large number of physically grown men and women who act like pure infants in terms of how they deal with things.

And hence we have grown up men and grown up women screaming “hater” at one another, exhibiting all the maturity of two-year old spoiled brats, and intellectually incapable of discussing their differences in a civilized and productive way.

Author: Seraphim Hanisch