Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Justice Demands Hatred: thinking about evil and justice beyond Mr. Rogers

As I was watching the coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing this morning, NBC showed a quote from Mr. Rogers. I have seen this quote going around on Facebook also. To paraphrase Mr. Rogers, he talks about seeing scary things on the news and looking for the good people who help. This is probably appropriate for small kids who live in the Neighborhood of Make Believe. But thoughtful adults, especially those who hold to the teachings of Scripture about evil and justice, need to think beyond what Mr. Rogers has to offer children.

Ecclesiastes 3:8 talks about there being "a time to love, and a time to hate." I remember growing up and my parents warning me about how I used the word hate because it was such a strong word. They were probably telling me that I should not hate things like school or broccoli. But when I look at the senseless evil in the world, there are some good reasons to hate.

I hate that people use explosives to injure people and kill children (Boston Marathon).

I hate that elementary school children are innocently gunned down (Sandy Hook).

I hate that millions of Jews were killed simply because of their race (Holocaust).

I hate that over 50 million innocent human lives have been lost in the US since 1973 (Abortion).

These are just a few. I also hate that kids die from starvation every day; that people are wrongly imprisoned; that others are addicted to drugs and pornography...and the list could go on. But the shedding of innocent blood requires a unique justice. The first murder in human history reminds us of that,

"The voice of your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground" (Gen 4:10).

Seeing the pictures of innocent blood splattered across the Boston sidewalks is just plain sickening. It reminds us that justice demands our hatred of these evil acts.