I hate Hilary Rosen. And I have no problem admitting that.
Actually, scratch that. I don't hate Hilary Rosen. But I do hate what she stands for.
In the last few decades, as America has become flaccid with political correctness that we've been reeducated to think that the worst thing in the world is hate. But hate can be a useful and appropriate response to stupidity and evil. And hating someone or something does not mean acting on it.
In fact I think it may be time for left and right to just admit they hate each other. That way we can stop acting shocked when the other side expresses hateful sentiments.
Conservatives have made good careers of exposing the lack of hate in certain quarters of the country -- or rather, the misuse of hate. Leftists put up websites comparing George Bush to Hitler and call his administration "the most dangerous in the history of America." Far-right activists also indulged in this kind of thing with Clinton, but were often rebuked by their own brethren.
Too often they are overwhelmed by hatred of President Obama, who is a difficult man to hate. Obama seems more like a victim, a nice guy who was casting about for an identity and had the misfortune to get conned by race hustlers and socialists.
Unlike conservatives, liberals can't abide the idea that some acts are in and of themselves intrinsically evil, in every situation, and must be met with pure hate. The murder of Matthew Shepard produced well-deserved keening and hate-fueled rage at the pure unambiguous evil of it. Yet when a Catholic social worker was murdered for questioning the homosexuality of a man, there was a grim, evasive silence in the media.
This isn't simply a game about bias or lack of emphasis. It's cowardice.
Bill O'Reilly makes a living off exposing the lack of good clean hate in America. On one memorable show, O'Reilly cornered a lawyer about her defense of a child molester and killer who had been caught red-handed. The lawyer explained that even the worst criminal is innocent until proven guilty, and that everyone deserves a defense in America. O'Reilly was shocked that she would defend such a person, but even more shocking was the lawyer's utter lack of hatred. Her tone was measured as she gingerly kept steering the conversation away from her client's crimes.
I dare say that even Christ was capable of hate -- a hatred born of righteous anger, to be sure, and directed at sin and not people, but hate nonetheless. The most obvious example is the moneychangers, but the Lord also seemed less than sanguine when he confronted Satan in the desert -- or when he promised "eternal hellfire" for sinners.
Popular culture, particularly movies, are our last unfiltered expressions of the role that hate plays not only in evil, but in fighting evil. One of the great works of literature inspired by Christ is The Lord of the Rings, and I remember reading a review that was put off by the breathtaking scene in the film adaptation when the armies of the West come face-to-face with the armies of the evil wizard Saruman. The good soldier Aragorn calls to his men, "Show them no mercy, for you shall receive none."
Aragorn's army is beaten back into a corner of the castle, and his king feels all is lost. "What can men do against such reckless hate?" he wonders.
Aragorn doesn't hesitate: "Ride out with me. Ride out and meet them."
Of course Hilary Rosen is not an orc. But she is also the kind of leftist ideologue who is genuinely dangerous. If she and the people she supports had absolute power, I am convinced that America would become a totalitarian state, with high taxes, reeducation camps (i.e. public schools) and the Catholic Church paying for abortions.
I'm sorry, but that is an agenda that is worth hating.
Probably the best primer on virtuous hate is in a long-forgotten little pamphlet from 1972. It is called "A Priest for All Seasons Masculine and Celibate," and written by Conrad W. Baars, a Catholic psychiatrist who was a consultant to the Vatican. Much of the problem in the priesthood, Baars noted, is the lack of masculinity -- a masculinity intertwined with a healthy hatred of evil. His ideas, he acknowledged, will sound "strange in times in which so many wish for love and fulfillment, and equate charity with not hurting other people's feelings. Strange in times that too many priests, in seeking to promote peace and justice, seem meek in the defense of absolute truths."
He goes on: "The idea of modern man-and a priest at that-being a fighter may seem ridiculous when those to whom the welfare of society has been entrusted imagine, as Josef Pieper says, the power of evil not so gravely dangerous that one could not ‘negotiate' or 'come to terms with it.' It seems that personal charity, brotherly love, and fortitude need to play only a subordinate role in a welfare society whose liberalistic world view -- characterized by a resolute worldliness, an earthy optimism, and a middle-class metaphysics, anxiously bent on security -- is blind to the existence of evil in the world of men, as well as in the world of spirits."
Baars then moves from this to a bracing defense of hate and anger: "The feeling of hate for the nongood is necessary to move man to oppose it effectively even when it no longer constitutes a personal threat."