Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Martin Luther King on the Futility of Hating the Haters

by Nomad

A quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. reminds us that matching hate with hate, violence with violence, is not the solution. 

I saw this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. and thought it deserved a little more attention. In my opinion, what he said is the essence of Christian doctrine as preached by Jesus. (Nevertheless, we hear a lot of hate speech from people claim to be Christian.)
In Chapter six from the Book of Luke, it says:
But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you....
In Matthew we also see:
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 
To resist matching hate for hate must be the hardest advice to follow. I am not sure whether most of us are up to that task. I suppose the underlying idea is that love is an irresistible force. I hope that's true. But the idea goes beyond that. It is also a warning that hate is a contagion that can infect even the purest angels among us. 

When we see an injustice, our first reaction is anger and outrage. Our first response is to hate the offenders, and to commit a reactionary outrage. It's so easy to fall into the trap. It seems to be hard-wired into our brains and to resist hate is perhaps a means of conquering not merely our enemies but ourselves . 
Of course, we have a good example of what that cycle of hatred looks like in practice. Just look to the Middle East- indeed, the very spot where these words were written- and we can see where this tit for tat philosophy leads us.