Friday, February 17, 2012

Hate as an Eye-Opener

I have received around a hundred hatemails, many of them about my opposition to our current wars. In an odd sort of way, I am rather grateful for them. They have opened my eyes to things I did not know about people.

For one thing, mos of the letters are garbled, sometimes incomprehensible. Most contained misspelled words. They're rants, not arguments. The conclusion I draw is these hatemails are an expression of the writers' minds. Apparently their thoughts are garbled, otherwise they wouldn't write like they do.

But the ranting isn't the main point. The fact they consider me an evil person is. I've been called every name that exists. I've been told to leave the country. I've been called a leftist, and a rightist. Sometimes the hysteria make me chuckle: " person...leftist traiter [yes, "traiter"]....right-wing facist [yep, "facist"]!!!"

One concept that I grabbed onto a long time ago, and have never let go -- and never will -- is that people are born with the tendency to see things as either Good or Bad. The phrase psychologists use is "idealized" or "devalued."

Those traits are opposite sides of the same coin. If the writers of hatemail see me as bad, they must see themselves as good. As they devalue me, they idealize themselves. Probably more accurately, they idealize what they believe in, and devalue not only me, but my beliefs.

I am reminded of one of those sayings I stored away until I could figure it out, because it made no sense. Now, it does. Here it is:

"But I tell you, that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment; and whoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council; and whoever shall say, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of the fire of Gehenna."

That's one translation. There are many others, but they're all essentially the same.

It's a hard saying, and at first reading makes no sense. It almost reads as if it's okay to call people any names you want, as long as it's not "fool" or "raca" (which means, in one translation, as "good-for-nothing moron," and in another, "shallow, empty-headed, brainless, stupid").

What all my hatemails have in common is that I'm being called, in essence, a fool or a good-for-nothing moron ("idiot" is a popular one they use). Looks like human nature doesn't change, even after several thousand years.

But why would someone be in danger of an awful judgment just for calling people names? Perhaps it's because of the reason behind the name-calling? What counts is the motive behind the act?

To call someone a name jokingly means nothing. To say it as a true insult is a different thing. Not so much because of the effect it has on those whom it's aimed at, but because of what it says about the insulter. What it says about their motives.

A true insult is meant to not only devalue that person it's aimed at, but to idealize the person who deals it to make them feel self-righteous. When people write me that I'm "anti-American," it means they think they are the true Americans. They're good; I'm bad. They're patriots; I'm a "traiter."

If people are devalued enough, it's becomes easier to murder them. That's the main purpose of propaganda, to devalue and dehumanize the enemy, so they can be more easily killed. That's why governments have always claimed the enemy spits babies on bayonets or feeds people into wood chippers feet first.

That's the "devaluation" side of the coin. What about the "idealization" side? People usually don't idealize themselves all that much, but they certainly idealize their country, or the military, or the President (speaking of the last, it seems to me the person who says, "my President" isn't all that different from people who said, "Mein Fuhrer".) And since such people are part of their country, by exalting and idealizing the country, they exalt and idealize themselves. Hence, they're patriots, I'm a traitor.

There's not much difference between the two words, "idealize" and "idolize." For all practical purposes, maybe there isn't any. An idol, of course, is something that all religions warn against, be it a stone one...or a country.

When people idolize and idealize their country, they believe it can do no wrong. No matter what wrong it does, they will either ignore it or rationalize it. In other words, they avoid the truth and lie to themselves.

Perhaps that's why the name Satan means "the liar." To believe in an idol is to lie to yourself. When a person truly, viciously and with hate attacks and devalues someone, they believe in some idol, one they believe they are defending.

These days, because of the war, the idols defended are country and government. That's why I get the hatemails. The writers believe they are defending our good, pure country and government from Evil Me. I'm being devalued into someone evil, and they are exalting themselves, the country and the government into an idol...ones they generally see as being supported by God.

One of the things I find interesting in the comment of Jesus is there is a graduation in it, from least to worst: anger to rage to hate. The more people hate, they more they see themselves as right, and the more they see those hated as wrong. Again, what is left is just a short step to murdering those who are hated.

The hatemails are a devaluation, character assassination done in the same spirit as murder. It's just not as intense of a spirit. It's still the same one, though. In a sense, the writers are trying to feed me to Moloch. I'm a bad person they want to sacrifice. It's why they tell me to leave the country. They're murdering me in their minds.

What is the end result of worshiping idols? History is our guide, and what it tells us is not good. Worshiping false gods always leads to bad things, so, worshiping the idols of country and government will lead to catastrophes. It looks as if we're heading to one right now, in the name of spreading "democracy" and "freedom" throughout the world. By using murder and destruction.

Apparently, those who worship idols always believe in murder. Maybe that's what all idols, everywhere, throughout history have always required: murder.

No comments: