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Do we have a right to hate? 

By Selwyn Duke
web posted February 26, 2007

Former NBA star Tim Hardaway made waves on the airwaves recently by remarking that he hated homosexuals.  It became the story du jour the next day, prompting the obligatory posturing and feigned outrage.  Pundit Bill O'Reilly said (I'm paraphrasing), "We can't have this in America," although at least he was sincere.  

Now, I know we should hate the sin but not the sinner, so far be it from me to advocate hatred for anyone (his actions and beliefs are a different matter).  But given the West's increasing embrace of hate crime/hate speech laws, we need to ask ourselves a question.  Do we have a right to hate?

The Shill Media won't discuss it, but the aforementioned laws are metastasizing in the supposedly free countries of the West.  I've often written about the case of Mark Harding, a Canadian pastor punished for criticizing Islam.  But such examples abound; Bob Unruh writes at WorldNetDaily.com,

Two Christians in Australia have been indicted for criticizing Islam, and another for criticizing Zionism. A filmmaker has been threatened with arrest for using the word ‘homosexual' rather than ‘gay.' Now a German priest faces jail time for publicly criticizing abortionists, and in Holland, ‘fornicators' and ‘adulterers' are protected classes and cannot be criticized. 

And just in case you think it can't happen here in the US, I'll point out that on October 10, 2004, eleven Christians were arrested in Philadelphia, Pa., for criticizing homosexuality.  They were arrested under a Pennsylvania hate crime law, which, ominously, is almost identical to one (H.R. 254) going through Congress at this very moment.

Now, I must point out that it's unlikely the individuals in the above cases were motivated by hate, unless it's hate of certain behaviors or beliefs.  Yet, the law has prosecuted them under hate laws, Orwellian legislation predicated on the notion that the government belongs in the hate business.  So I ask again, do we have a right to hate?

In terms of moral rights, the answer is no.  For that matter, however, we have no moral right to embrace or indulge any evil idea or tendency.  This includes not just wrath but the rest of the Seven Deadly Sins as well: Lust, pride, greed, envy, sloth and gluttony.  But the issue here isn't one of moral rights, but legal ones.

If I were as shallow as some of my critics, I'd now rail against "legislating morality," but I know better.  A law by definition is the imposition of morality, as it prescribes or proscribes something based on the idea that it is, respectively, a moral imperative or morally wrong or a corollary of that which is so.  If this isn't the case, why create the law?  It would make no sense to outlaw that which isn't bad or mandate that which isn't good.  Thus, those who dislike such intrusion need to be heedful: To have government legislate morality as little as possible means to have it legislate as little as possible, which is why it needs to be as small as possible.

The government definitely has no legitimate role prohibiting hate, real or imagined.  And here I think of radical Moslem groups like the Taliban, which are condemned for enforcing laws based on a different deadly sin.  When Moslems punish those who indulge lust (note: Lust is "disordered sexual desire"), they sometimes stone adulterers or homosexuals.  Their medieval penalties are most disproportionate and I'm the last one who'd want to live under the iron burka.  Having said that, in certain respects they are morally superior to our Thought Police.

Insofar as the above goes, what the Moslems proscribe actually is wrong, whereas the Thought Police often punish those who criticize what is wrong.  Put differently, the Moslems do actually target lustful acts but, while the Thought Police claim to want to eliminate hate, their true focus is eliminating expression that refutes their agenda.  Thus, the latter are far more contemptible in their deceit and sanctimony.

Their dishonesty is evidenced in double standards that would inflame the electorate if the Shill Media actually brought them to light.  While Pastor Harding was hauled into court for criticizing Islam, the true hatred expressed by Moslems outside who chanted "Infidels, you will burn in Hell" was met with the sanction of government silence. 

This is par for the course.  When did you last see someone punished for criticizing Christianity, whites or those with normal sexual desires?  Why do you think so-called hate crimes perpetrated by a member of these groups becomes front page news while one perpetrated against them is swept under the rug?  Hate laws are used as a hammer to silence politically incorrect dissent and persecute those not enjoying victim-group status.  Hate laws have nothing to do with opposition to hate and everything to do with hating opposition.

Thus, another question should be, do we have a right to hate whom we wish?  Governments are more and more the arbiter of who and what can be hated and, in fact, play God as they would have us accept that hate is whatever they deem it to be.  This is why I recoil at any intimation that people have no legal right to hate.  The Tim Hardaways of the world have every right to hate whom they wish, and, too, you have a right to scorn and ostracize them for it.  But he who implies we have no right to voice our beliefs is the most contemptible of haters: A hater of liberty.

A big part of our problem is that people tend to be as blind to hang-ups collectively as they are individually.  Just as Moslem Wahhabis may believe infidels are the bane of humanity and that any means to subjugate them is justified, we have hate on the brain.  Wrath is merely one of the Seven Deadly Sins, not the be-all and end-all.  We have become errant radicals, much like the Shakers, who taught that all copulation was a sin, even that within marriage.  The only difference is that we focus our tunnel-vision elsewhere.
   
Personally, even where real hate is concerned, I'd much rather have it expressed and know where people stand than see it bottled up, simmering beneath the surface, perhaps only becoming evident when it explodes in a fit of violence.  It's ironic, the irreligious left would call the Shakers sexually repressed.  Yet, the same set wants to create repressed haters.
      
Getting back to moral rights, one the government does not enjoy is the moral right to remove the legal right to make moral pronouncements.  Governments have long done this, such as that of Korea and China, which imprison dissidents.  And we would do well to remember that if we walk the same path, silencing those who disagree with the prevailing ideology, we will have no moral capital with which to condemn them.  They will simply be the man in the mirror.

We have every right to hate.  In fact, I'm starting to hate the government with a passion.  And that's a hatred we should indulge without temperance. ESR

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