SOAP BOX: Whatever happened to 'Jesus loves you'?
JESUS hates . . .
Are you kidding me?
For the past couple of years I've been seeing these pictures, generally taken in America, popping up on news sites and social media declaring Jesus hates something - gay marriage, abortions, that kind of thing.
For the most part I dismiss this as the sort of weirdness you only see in the US, but more recently it's felt like this mindset has been creeping over here, particularly when I see things like calls for an "honest conversation" about the incompatibility of Christianity and Islam or Tony Abbott talking about asylum seekers, declaring "Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it's not necessarily everyone's place to come to Australia".
I'm not Christian, or anything much as far as religions go, but I was raised in the faith and spent a reasonable amount of time examining it as a teen and young adult. As a philosophy and guide to making the world a better place, I think the New Testament and Jesus' teachings have a lot to offer.
Now, as I say, I'm no expert but at no point do I recall being taught Jesus "hates" anything. I mean, start using a church for personal profit and he obviously gets ticked off, but the message on Jesus' emotional state was he loves everyone.
This was consistent across multiple schools and churches in three states: Jesus loves everyone, good or bad; Ghengis Khan, Stalin, Hitler, everyone. No exceptions. His teachings are about being kind, selfless and generous. They're about accepting and including others.
How you get from that to "Jesus hates gays" or Jesus wants people in wealthy nations to exclude people from poor nations is a mystery.