Why So Much Hate?

Norman Hovland

The September 8, 1997 issue of the Awake! magazine asks this question. There is no doubt that the world would be a much nicer place if people stopped hating each other. When the average individual are reading such articles as this one in the Awake! they could easily get the impression that Jehovah's Witnesses are against hate and intolerance. To create such an impression is of course also the purpose of the article. Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth than that. Of course every Jehovah's Witness know very well that they actually "hate" all people that are not Jehovah's Witnesses in general, and "apostates" in particular. To counter such thoughts of the Jehovah's Witnesses readers the article hasten to explain that hatred can be "positive":

"Positive and Negative Kinds of Hatred
"Hate" and "hatred" are defined as "intense hostility and aversion." Of course, it is beneficial to have "intense hostility and aversion" toward things that are harmful or that could be detrimental to personal relationships. If everyone had this kind of hatred, the world would truly be a better place in which to live. Sad to say, however, imperfect humans tend to hate the wrong things for the wrong reasons." (Awake! September 8, 1997, pages 3, 4)

It is very important for the Watchtower leaders to remind the individual Jehovah's Witness about this as they have constructed a new concept called "Biblical hate", this kind of "noble hate" is defined as to "love someone less".

Such new constructions require even more creativity and thus we have another definition which is termed "Destructive hatred", which is defined this way by the Awake!:

"Destructive hatred is based on prejudice, ignorance, or misinformation and is usually triggered by "fear, anger, or sense of injury," according to one definition. Not having a proper basis, this hatred results in bad and repeatedly gives rise to the question, 'Why?'" (Awake! September 8, 1997, page 4)

The article also mentions different causes for such hatred:

"All of us know people whose characteristics or habits may irritate us at times and with whom we find it hard to interact. But irritation is one thing; the desire to do people bodily harm is something else. We, therefore, may find it difficult to comprehend how a person can nurse feelings of hatred for entire groups of people, oftentimes people he does not even know. They may disagree with his political views, belong to a different religion, or be of another ethnic group, but is that a reason to hate them?" (Awake! September 8, 1997, page 4)

It is unfortunately a fact that people hate each other from totally irrational reasons.

In particular we see many examples where differences in religious views have lead to horrible tragedies and enormous suffering. The Awake! magazine continues with an article titled: "A World Taught to Hate". This article mentions elements like political elections, ruthless politicians, clergy who wants to be popular and make money, rearing of children, videogames and racism, as causes for such hatred.

What about Jehovah's Witnesses?

What is the attitude of Jehovah's Witnesses towards this problem? Are they different from "worldly people" in this matter? Let us find out:

The above mentioned Awake! state among other things:

"That the world is full of blind, unexplainable hatred has likely not escaped your notice. In fact, for one reason or another, you may have been a victim of hatred yourself. You too have probably asked, 'Why?' -- possibly more than just once." (Awake! September 8, 1997, page 4)

Anyone who has experienced the red hot hatred from "loyal" Jehovah's Witnesses when confronting them with documentation about the Watchtower Society overwhelming dishonesty knows how it feels. People who know the Watchtower organization must therefore really find this next statement in the Awake! quite amusing:

"There is nothing wrong with trying to refute the teachings and practices of a religious group that a person may feel is incorrect." (Awake! September 8, 1997, page 6)

Why do we find this amusing? If we should take the above statement from Awake! serious it would mean that any person, of course including any Jehovah's Witness, who may "feel" that something is "incorrect" with the Watchtower Society should feel free to "refute" their "teachings and practices". Is this in harmony with actual facts and reality? Well, take a look at this little gem from the Watchtower. This is how it sounds from Brooklyn if someone actually tries "to refute the teachings and practices" of the Watchtower Society:

"So important is it never to raise the voice in bitter criticism of the Lord's organization or its appointed representatives. Jehovah is the omniscient Judge before whom accounting must be made for these and other unprofitable sayings. -- Matthew 12:36, 37; Leviticus 19:16; Jude 8. Those who despise Jehovah's teaching include individuals who criticize and complain about Jehovah's clean organization and its rules for maintaining peace and good order. There is only a fine line of demarcation between such and those who are outright rebels." (The Watchtower, May 15, 1984, page 17)

Apparently everything is just WRONG when someone is refuting the "teachings and practices" of the Watchtower Society, as usual this is of course only acceptable when the Watchtower subjects everyone else to criticism. Hypocrisy, seem to be the rule in Brooklyn. But it gets worse. What happens if someone who not only "feel" that there is something "incorrect" with the Watchtower Society, but can thoroughly document it with great detail? This is what happens: the individual Jehovah's Witness is actually OBLIGATED to HATE, her/him:

"The obligation to hate lawlessness also applies to all activity by apostates. Our attitude toward apostates should be that of David, who declared: "Do I not hate those who are intensely hating you, O Jehovah, and do I not feel a loathing for those revolting against you? With a complete hatred I do hate them. They have become to me real enemies." (Psalm 139:21, 22) Modern-day apostates have made common cause with "the man of lawlessness," the clergy of Christendom. (2 Thessalonians 2:3) As loyal Witnesses of Jehovah, we therefore have absolutely nothing in common with them. Being imperfect, our hearts could easily have a tendency toward being critical of our brothers. As individuals, those of "the faithful and discreet slave" are imperfect humans. (Matthew 24:45-47) But this class is faithful and discreet. Apostates capitalize on errors or seeming mistakes made by brothers who take the lead. Our safety lies in avoiding apostate propaganda as though it were poison, which in fact it is. -- Romans 16:17, 18." (The Watchtower, July 15, 1992, pages 12, 13)

The above quoted Awake!, said it would be "nothing wrong" with "refuting the teachings and practices of a religious group that a person may feel is incorrect." As is demonstrated beyond any doubt this does not in any shape or form apply to the Watchtower Society themselves.

The destructive hate, the September 8, 1997 Awake! article talks about is demonstrated in it's purest form in the next quote:

"Then there is the meaning of the word "hate" with which we are especially concerned here. It has the thought of having such an intense feeling of dislike for or strong aversion to someone or something that we avoid having anything to do with such a person or thing. In Psalm 139 this is spoken of as "a complete hatred." There David said: "Do I not hate those who are intensely hating you, O Jehovah, and do I not feel a loathing for those revolting against you? With a complete hatred I do hate them. They have become to me real enemies." -- Psalm 139:21, 22. (The Watchtower July 15, 1992, page 9)

This is the stark reality of the real attitude among Jehovah's Witnesses towards people who "refute" the "teachings and practices" of the Watchtower Society. When Brooklyn wants to take on the appearance of being tolerant and reasonable in such "window dressing" and propaganda articles as the one in Awake! this is how it sounds:

"True religion must follow a pattern of love, which includes showing love even to enemies." (Awake! September 8, 1997, page 7)

Dear oh dear, someone must have completely forgotten to mention this interesting detail to the guy(s) who wrote the above quoted Watchtower article.

But the next quote is even more interesting:

"Violence directed against individuals -- whether they are good or bad -- is not the way of love. Thus, people who resort to violence belie their claim to be acting in imitation of a loving God. Author Amos Oz recently noted: "It is typical of religious fanatics ... that the 'orders' they get from God are always, essentially, one order: Thou shalt kill. The god of all fanatics sounds more like the devil." The Bible says something quite similar: "The children of God and the children of the Devil are evident by this fact: Everyone who does not carry on righteousness does not originate with God, neither does he who does not love his brother. Everyone who hates his brother is a manslayer, and you know that no manslayer has everlasting life remaining in him. If anyone makes the statement: 'I love God,' and yet is hating his brother, he is a liar. For he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot be loving God, whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him, that the one who loves God should be loving his brother also." -- 1 John 3:10, 15; 4:20, 21." (Awake! September 8, 1997, page 4)

Considering the flaming hatred Jehovah's Witnesses display towards their critics, their fanaticism, their faith in a "god" that will exterminate 6 billion people "real soon" now, is this what you would expect from good and decent people? Is the Jehovah's Witness world not in reality filled with hatred far more destructive than anything we encounter in the "world"? As the author Amos Oz pointed out, the god of the fanatics was more like the Devil. If the Watchtower "god" is going to butcher 6 billion people, what evil deed can the Devil possibly come up with to top that?