The gay lobby loves to use the accusation of “hate” when they are opposed by those who believe homosexuality to be morally wrong. And while some (many?) Christians may have a condescending and despising view of gays (which is sin), the overuse and misuse of the word “hate” will continue to alienate thinking people from the gay cause. Here’s my view of what hate is and is not.
1. Disagreement with someone’s IDEAS is not hate
One of the problems with a child’s view of self is that they can not distinguish between themselves and their ideas. Their identity is too wrapped up in their ideas, so when someone disagrees with them, they experience it as dislike for their person. If I disagree with you, it does not mean I hate you. If you experience it that way, you have some growing to do. Even those who love us sometimes disagree with us.
2. Disapproval of BEHAVIORS is not hate
Actions feel even closer to my person that my ideas – so if you disapprove of my actions, it may feel like you hate me. However, actions, like ideas, may be separately viewed and esteemed (or not) from somone’s person. For example, even if you disapprove of, say, your own child’s action, it does not mean you hate them. In fact, you may love them. A child may experience disapproval as dislike, but that perception may not be reality.
Likewise, if I think a behavior is wrong or a maladaptive response to personal circumstances, this is not hate, even if someone experiences it that way. For example, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) may be partially caused in response to negative circumstances. Asking for treatment for ADD, or viewing it as an abnormality, is not hate, nor is it rejection of the person with ADD.
Again, if I disapprove of homosexuality and think it as a similar maladaptation, or even morally wrong, does that mean I hate gays? Only to someone who can not distinguish between self and their actions or maladaptive behaviors.
3. Opposing legislation validating a specific lifestyle or perspective is not hate
As one example, many people who opposed affirmative action on principle were called racists. This is patently ignorant – they may or may not have been racist, but principled disagreement is not racism or hate.
Again, if I feel that teaching kids that “promiscuity or homosexuality is ok” is bad for them and society, opposing it is not hate. This is especially true if you do not believe that homosexuality is an inborn trait which deserves special civil rights allotments. If seen as a behavioral maldaptation, then I am not hating, but merely opposing falsehood. You may accuse me of error, but not hatred. The adage may apply “never attribute to malice what can be accounted for by ignorance.”
4. Calling for legislative criminalization of behaviors is not hate
Do I hate thieves or adulterers if I make laws against such behaviors? Not if they are damaging to society. Some people who are against gay marriage may be haters, but that doesn’t mean that opposing gay marriage is a hateful act.
As I have argued in Legislating in the Moral Gray Zone, since homosexuality is not directly dangerous (though promiscuity is), it should not be criminalized. However, since it is also considered immoral by many, and appears to be against nature and the civil order of society (arguably), it is in the gray zone, so we should not condone it through legislation either.
5. Using derogatory names, or calling for physical violence against persons IS hate
People like the church who sponsor godhatesfags.com are certainly haters, as are those who call for violence against gays. This type of activity should certainly be frowned upon, and calling for violence is illegal, not just hateful. BTW, this is why we should close down ALL churches, mosques, or any organization which promote violence in our society – but even name calling is protected speech. Otherwise, calling someone a pervert or a bigot may one day be illegal.