This study found that for some reason moral language and expressing emotion against actions on moral grounds in tweets caused others to hate to a significant degree.

Here is the study.

This quote from Psychology Today says it all,

What the researchers found was that there is a very clear correlation between the moral and moral-emotional language used in the original tweets and the hatefulness of their responses.

Obviously this is twitter.  In other contexts, the way the words trigger hate may be lessened but will remain significant.  We know the power of moral panics.

Religion may say that you have to love the sinner and hate the sin but that is unhelpful.

If you love the sinner and hate the sin in such a way that you consider the sinner as good as a person as the saint, you are repudiating justice. You make yourself bad and a hypocrite. You do violence to the sinner you allegedly love by portraying your nonsense as good.

If love the sinner and hate the sin is based on the notion that the sinner is not all bad then the Church is saying nothing special. Society generally also says that bad people are not all bad. This principle does nothing to stop hate. Its fervent preachers still hate people. In fact Catholics for example may think that Protestants are worse at obeying the principle than they are and are to be feared. Intending to hurt God by sin is seen by religion as worse than merely intending to hurt another person so clearly the Church only boosts the numbers of those who hate and gives them more reason to hate.

If you hate sins and sinners it is not a sin at all if it is the only way to be fair to those who deserve love. After all, it is an insult to the philanthropic doctor to love Jack the Ripper as much as him.

To hate evil is to give in to evil and become evil and negative. This contradicts the Christian teaching that hating sin is a good thing. Hating evil can make us hard and cruel just like hating a sinner can. And indeed it would be more effective for you tell yourself the hate is good. And if the hate is not directed at a person then there are no social constraints put on it. You won't feel guilty about it and it will grow legs. And the reason the hate of sin is so powerfully corrupting is that you are telling yourself that it is not the person but the sin you are hating when in fact it is as much about the person if not more as it is about the sin.  The concept of evil is bad but sin is worse it implies that not only is evil harmful but it shows contempt for divine law. The evil man and the one who believes in sin can do equal harm to others but in their hearts the latter is more evil.

Those who admit that hating sin is bad are not suggesting we should not care about sin or love it. They say that would be worse than hating sin. So it wants us to hate sin as the lesser evil.

If you really hate sin, you will hate it because you love the sinner so no matter how much you hate sin and how harsh and stern you get you are only doing it because of love and so you cannot be called hard and cruel at least as far as your intentions go. The teaching would imply that since you are in a better position to judge yourself than another person that self-hatred and self-torture should be the Christian's lot!  The love the sinner and hate the sin teaching turns you into a cruel person who is in denial.  Even if you could succeed in loving the sinner you change yourself and one day you will hurt that sinner or somebody else because you have trained yourself in hypocritical cruelty.
If I hurt a person badly, it would be downright evil and insulting towards that person for people to view me as a non-sinner while my sin is seen as nothing to do with me so that I can be loved and the sinner hated. The teaching of loving the sinner and hating the sin cannot work or do any good. It is only there for cosmetic reasons and nobody genuinely believes in it anyway.

To love the sinner is to put the sinner in danger. Love and hate - vindictiveness - are two sides of the same coin. If you love a person, you turn on the power to hate them should they hurt you. To class them as sinners makes this more likely to happen. You certainly consent to cause them pain if they do not appreciate your love the way you want! The line between love and hate is thin for hate is distorted love.

Also, if you love them then if their sins hurt them, you hate the sins for it. You must hate on some level anything that can hurt them. You cannot want your loved one to live unless you hate the possibility that they can die. Good needs evil. To love good you need to embrace the evil of hating evil. We are able to attribute blame easily to inanimate things such as the car or whatever. We personify evil in order to hate it. In a sense it is more vindictive than hating a person for we have to go out of our way to have personal ill-feeling towards the sin. That is good training for hating people. And hate is necessarily opposition to rationality and inner peace so inviting it into your heart is to say, "Take me wherever you lead. O bull, we are in a china shop and I untie you."

Love the sinner and hate the sin is useless because those who teach it do not say what they mean by it or what it should mean. Thus it is not really intended to help. It is really to cover the manure heap with pink paint. The preachers cannot say you love the sinner in spite of the sin for that implies reluctant and therefore conditional love. Receiving such "love" would only make a sinner more defiant. And to say you love the sinner because of the sin makes no sense and implies we should love the worst people the most. To love the sinner because of the sin implies that the sin is to be hated but not punished which is totally contradictory. The sin instead of being hated becomes a reason to love! So there are two possible interpretations and only two. Neither of them is sensible. Atheists would struggle with loving the person who embraces evil and hating the evil they do. Religionists have a bigger struggle and have to manipulate people to think that evil is more evil than what it is. There is no real love in so far as something is manipulation. God and religion make the problem worse not better and they sow the seeds for hate and even if it takes decades for the seeds to grow they will grow.

The believers even say we must not judge the sinner but the sin. That makes as much sense as saying judge the sinner not the sin. Judging is partly about helping the wayward person and showing him or her that their deeds are unacceptable and intolerable and so if you try to deter the sin not the sinner then clearly you do not care about the sinner. You hate the sinner with the sin in that case. In psychology, evil people do grave harm when they tell themselves that they are doing away with a threat not a person when they murder somebody perceived as bad. Religion is to blame for this form of disassociation or cognitive dissonance. It passes on the skills that can lead to complete horror.

One side of judging is about condemn the sin so that the sinner might change and repent and make a fresh start. Another side of it is that if he or she doesn't repent then he or she deserves to be and should be left to suffer the consequences and not be encouraged to change.
Religion knows and admits that we are all flawed and many of us do conflate sin and sinner and virtually cannot help it. When such people are urged to hate the sins of others and their own, they are clearly being incited to hate the sinners.
We conclude that feeling comforted by the doctrine loving the sinner and hating the sin is short-sighted. The doctrine is not the defender of love that it masquerades as. Social pressure keeps religion and religious people from being as bad as they could be or as bad as they want to be. It is certainly not their love.  They do allow hating the sinner but in a way that disguises it and which hides their responsibility for creating hate.  If we live in a world where people end up mostly having hate for some types of sinners they cannot help then love the sinner and hate the sin is just an ivory tower doctrine and a bucket of religious whitewash.
Handbook of Christian Apologetics, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Monarch Publications, East Sussex, 1995
The Future of Atheism, Alister McGrath and Daniel Dennett, SPCK, London , 2008
Ethics: The Fundamentals, Julia Driver, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, 2007
The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, Edited by Michael Martin, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2007


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