George Washington Carver said: “Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater.” To me, hate has always been somewhat of a foreign thing. Rather than hate, I simply become frustrated, then tired. But the truth is that everyone possesses hatred within them; even those who don’t often show it. Hatred lies dormant within us for as long as it needs to; waiting for the right moment to inflame our senses. Just as Carver said, the root of hatred is often a fear; fear of something one does not understand. And just as rain falls on the good and the bad; hatred is cast upon both equally.
Pastor Rick Warren recently lost his 27 year-old son to suicide. The loss of a child, specifically in such a horrific way, is something I cannot yet comprehend. I hope to never have to understand such pain as Rick Warren, and his family are experiencing. That being said, I do intellectually grasp what is going on. In addition to losing his son, the fact that Warren is one of the most well-known figures in the world of faith places a boiling spotlight on this tragic scenario.
According to USA Today, in addition to the thousands of prayers and consolations being offered via the web,
“A shocking number are taking this moment of media attention to lash out at Warren on the [web]. The attacks are aimed at him personally and at his Christian message…Some unbelievers want to assure Rick and Kay Warren, his wife and Matthew’s bereaved mother, that there’s no heaven where they’ll meet their son again.”
In the comments section of the USA Today article, a story is being told that disgusts me. One commenter actually took the time to write this: “Either there is no God, or God doesn’t listen to Rick Warren, despite all the money Rick has made off of selling false hope to desperate people…abandon primitive superstitions and accept the universe for what it is — a place that is utterly indifferent to us.”
There is speculation—of course—that many of the hate comments are coming from people who are angry with Warren for his support of various religious and political beliefs that run contrary to their own; such as his support for prop 8. That seems like legitimate speculation. As I’ve said many times: those who claim to be the most tolerant are often those who are the most intolerant.
Regardless of whether you disagree with Warren, and his beliefs, there is a special kind of evil in taking the time to tell him–in the wake of his sons unexpected death–that he is superstitious, primitive, and that he will never see his son again. It takes a very deranged human being to revel in making such comments. And I know those who are making these ugly remarks are, indeed, reveling.
These are people who have such hatred inside them for Rick Warren–and faith in general–that they have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike him when he is at his weakest. They are possessed by such a loathing for him that it didn’t matter that the opportunity seized was such a tragic one.
Hatred is the fruit of fear. These people making such abhorrent comments are filled with fear. Whether they fear death; the possibility if infinite nothingness; or the power of faith to transform lives; Rick Warren has become the person at whom they can temporarily expel their fear in the form of angry words. Very few of these people would ever say to Warren’s face the things they have written; but the internet offers anonymity that allows them to hide behind a keyboard.
I may not agree with Rick Warren on many aspects of his faith; you may not agree with him at all; but this is not a time for disagreement. This is a time for comfort, and faith; love, and kindness. The people pouring hatred on Warren are killing their own spirit by consuming hot coals; they are poisoning themselves, and loving every minute of it. What they don’t know is that this hot poison will destroy them.
The Devil loves to pretend to be what he is not. Those who preach tolerance, but practice hatred possess Satan’s heart.