I write for a pretty large audience about a very divisive topic, so I get quite a bit of negative feedback in the form of comments, e-mails, tweets, and Facebook messages. I don’t read all of it, or even most of it. Some of what I do see is constructive and interesting, but enough of it is not that I usually just skim over it. Sometimes people call me names or question my intelligence, motives, or talent as a writer.
I don’t consider the negative attention to be “hate.” It’s disagreement, some of it strong, but it isn’t “hate.”
In the past several years this word has begun to be overused, to our detriment. “Hate” is something deep and serious. It is instantly recognizable and intends to wound. But recently people have begun to fling this word around every time someone disagrees with them. “Hate” is now intended to mean anything seen as “intolerant” or “judgmental,” since nowadays the only sin most people believe in is believing in sin. So basically, if you disagree with it, you can call it “hate,” and your opponent, fearing that they might be seen as hateful, will probably stop arguing.
Political correctness was born in the 1970s, bloomed in the ’90s and is par for the course today. It has turned communication in government, academia, and — increasingly — regular old daily life into an Orwellian nightmare of counterintuitive regulations. No one argues that it isn’t hateful to use racial epithets, but according to the new rules of political correctness, I can be glared at in certain company if I say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.”
For the most part I ignore these rules. I tend to ignore rules unless someone can give me a good reason to follow them. No one has been able to convince me that there’s anything wrong with saying “Merry Christmas.” The argument “It might offend someone” doesn’t work for me. I make it a point not to get offended because being offended is for little girls. Saying “I’m offended” is a weakling’s way of avoiding an argument. You won’t hear the words leave my mouth.
It’s the same thing as saying “hate speech.” If you want to call something hate speech, make sure it is actually hateful. Yelling the N word at black people could be called hate speech. Calling gay people names to hurt their feelings may be hate speech. Saying abortion is murder and people who commit it should be treated as criminals? That’s not hate speech. That’s an opinion. Calling someone a moron because I think they’re, well, moronic? That’s not hate speech. That’s an opinion.
It is incredibly important that we argue honestly and with courage. Make no mistake: calling you intolerant, judgmental, or hateful is intended to shut you up. The PC police have been so effective that many people are now afraid they will be discounted, marginalized or shut down if they don’t play by these new tyrannical speech rules.
Don’t be afraid to call a thing what it is. Language is powerful and important, and the freedom to express ourselves is essential to our liberty. Over time some brilliant writers — Orwell comes to mind first — have dramatized for us what happens when language is usurped by tyrants. Once they have our words, they have our thoughts, and when they have our thoughts, well, they pretty much have everything.
There is a lot of lip service paid today to the ideas of love and compassion. No one denies love and compassion are wonderful things, but do not forget: severity, too, has its place. Harshness toward the thing you are fighting is an act of love for that thing for which you fight. To use World War II as an example, we were harsh to the Axis forces because we loved the Allies. We loved the free West, so we opposed those who would destroy it. Anyone demanding we be loving and compassionate to Hitler and his armed forces was effectively silenced by all the sane people who knew we had to wage war to save millions of lives.
Many of us believe in a moral code that tells us to love our enemies. That doesn’t mean we stop fighting them. It means we fight them not out of loathing or fear, but because we love goodness.
The enemy we fight is the abortion industry. There are probably good people working in the abortion industry who don’t know that what they’re doing is wrong. We can love them all, good and bad, but we still have to stop them.
Everyone’s favorite word these past few years is “tolerance.” It is seen as the ultimate good, to tolerate that of which you disapprove. The ultimate evil, then, is intolerance. Nowadays the only evil left is believing anything is evil. Tolerance, like many things, can be good in certain circumstances, but we must be wary of it. Going back to World War II again, to use a dramatic example, there were people who disliked but still tolerated the Jews, right up until they started murdering the Jews, and then many of the same people tolerated the Nazis. It can be a dangerous habit to develop.
Refuse to tolerate the intolerable. People will tell you that you are intolerant because you oppose abortion. They will tell you that you are engaging in hate speech when you argue against it. Embrace your intolerance of abortion. Don’t deny that you hate the act of murdering an innocent person.