Consumed by Hate
On Monday, a young Edmonton, Alberta police officer was shot and killed in the process of serving a warrant upon a man for hate crimes. Other police officers were injured after the man fired some 53 rounds at them with a high-powered rifle. Subsequently, or so it appears, the perpetrator, Norman Raddatz, set his own house on fire and then killed himself.
An all-too common story, these days. The one who bullies and victimises others ends up as his own victim. The hater very often is blind to the corrosive, self-devouring, and self-destructive effects of his or her hatred. To be “consumed by hate,” or to be “eaten away” by hatred, these are no mere turns of phrase. It seems quite literally true. And yet the hater seems utterly oblivious to that corrosive and self-destructive power of hatred upon his own person — that it diminishes by degrees, making petty, mean, small and finally, nothing at all. The hater believes his hatred distinguishes him, but it actually extinguishes.
Love builds and enlarges whatever is in its field. Hate destroys and diminishes all within its field. Hate is corrosive. Hatred is self-annihilation. That’s all there is to it. The hater, possessed by an all-consuming hatred, is really not in command of himself or herself. He or she is in the grips of a nihilistic power that ultimately fulfills its own inherent logic in the murder-suicide scenario. It is as true for nations as for individuals — “the wages of sin is death”.