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SCOP stands against hate

| Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Stand Against Hate Week has concluded, but Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP) thinks it worthwhile to continue to think about what it means to hate — and surely we’re not alone in that. Certainly not meaning to label those who disagree with us as haters (last time we checked, the number of Domers in ISIS was zero), SCOP thinks it fitting at a university to continue to reflect on what it is to hate.

We might think of hate, and love, as nothing other than emotions. Love is what Marius feels when he is with Cosette in Les Misérables. Hate is what Voldemort feels against, well, just about everyone in Harry Potter.

This has to be incomplete, though. Exactly what about the feeling that Marius has for Cosette is different from the feeling “Gladiator”’s emperor Commodus has for his sister? Does Leonidas from “300” feel different or less fury than Voldemort? The feelings of Marius and Leonidas seem laudable while those of Commodus and Voldemort do not. Unless we say that love is not always good, we would seem to need more than feelings to define love and hate, its opposite.

Maybe it’s noteworthy that Marius and Voldemort don’t simply sit around experiencing emotions. They act, which is to say, they will things to happen. Maybe, then, loving and hating are actions. Perhaps loving is willing good things and hating is willing the deprivation of good things. On this account, to hate a person is to make it one’s deliberate purpose that the person be deprived of some good. If I hate a person, I will that he or she be worse off. And as both Socrates and Jesus teach, this is always wrong.

If to hate is to will the deprivation of good things, then standing against hate turns us to thinking about good things. What things are good in themselves for human persons? Physical health is a good thing. Certainly, it’s good just to know something. Then again, it’s also good to perform skillfully, whether on a test, at football or in dance. Living with integrity and authenticity is surely good, and it’s good to live in community with friends. Another available good is living out a comprehensive sexual union. Finally, it is good to live in harmony with the greater-than-human source of order and meaning in the universe.

By this logic, then, to choose as one’s purpose that someone be deprived of any of the goods above is to hate that person, and that person could be anyone, even oneself. Suicide, as willing the deprivation of one’s own life, is self-hate. Lying, as willing the deprivation of one’s own authenticity, is a different kind of self-hate. Adultery or any other act that deprives oneself of participation in comprehensive sexual union (exclusive, permanent, procreative) is self-hate. (Need I add that simply dying, failing to communicate effectively and living celibately are not self-hate, since they’re not choices against any goods?)

Perhaps it’s worth dwelling on a more particular possible example of hate. Let’s take that mouthful of a term, “comprehensive sexual union.” The good here is the union of male and female in a total sharing of life. It is total or comprehensive in that it unites mind, emotion and body, and thus unfolds into family life. Sexual complementarity makes bodily union possible. We might say, then, that we have sexual complementarity to thank for this one of many human goods that might contribute to a fulfilling life.

Sadly, as much as any other, this good may be made the object of deprivation — of hate. One could will the deprivation of comprehensive sexual union (what has long been known as marriage) by choosing to thwart or otherwise undermine true marital union as such. We could count the ways.

It’s more important, though, to repeat that a person does not hate by not marrying. Let none of our fellow unmarried Domers (including priests!) take us to mean otherwise. On this view, what is hateful is to choose an action deliberately aimed at depriving oneself or another of living out the comprehensive sexual union of male and female.

Every single human being has dignity that we harm by hating. Opposed to hating of every kind for every reason, SCOP stands particularly against hating of the sort that wills the deprivation of the good of marriage, which is comprehensive sexual union. In doing so, SCOP joins Fr. Jenkins in calling to “love one another and together build a less imperfect community of love” (“Same-sex couples to receive benefits,” Oct. 16).

Tiernan Kane


Students for Child Oriented Policy

Tim Bradley


Students for Child Oriented Policy

Nov. 12

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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  • Michelle

    Can I request a clarification? What is “an action deliberately aimed at depriving oneself or another of living out the comprehensive sexual union of male and female”? What is the difference between this action and choosing not to marry?

  • Guest

    There is not a single coherent sentence in this article.

    • Nathan

      I wouldn’t go that far, but it definitely doesn’t flow very well.

  • Jack

    What you argue for attempts to deprive people of love, the ultimate form of good. Love is selflessly giving one’s self away for the well being of another and that has no gender requirements. Whether a man feels that way about a man or a woman for a woman, to say that love is inferior is wrong and deprives them of equality as well. (an attempt to put it in your logic)

    • Nathan

      To be fair, he really didn’t argue for anything here. That was one of the things that made this article so confusing.

      Also, he defined love within the article as the wishing of good things upon another person and made no real mention of equality so your point really doesn’t address the argument using his logic (though I personally am a little skeptical of his definition).

  • ALMC

    I don’t understand how two people who are not ND Undergraduate students are officers of a club supposedly for undergraduate students (Kane is a graduate student and Bradley graduated last year).

    • truth

      no his older brother graduated last year, Tim is class of 2016

  • Lil B


  • A gay RA

    If I am practicing self-hate by having such a loving relationship with my beautiful significant other, then man, this self-hate is the best thing that ever happened to me. I have never been happier 🙂

    Also, note I was a former RA. I don’t know how to change my name. Womp.

    • Nathan

      Click on your profile picture. This should take you to the Disqus profile page. There should be a small gray/blue button near your profile picture to edit your profile. After that, you should be able to edit your name.


  • Bri O’Brien

    This literally makes no sense…

  • Nathan

    Your argument rests off of a bunch assumptions that you really don’t back up in the slightest (what things are objectively good, the definitions of love and hate, etc).

    Beyond that I have a few questions

    1.) By your definition of love, don’t I love my potted plant in the same way that I love my parents?

    2.) Your definition of love and hate seems to imply that they are so transient as to be affected by your daily mood (I am angry with my sibling so I wish upon them some form of low grade ill. Do I hate them now?)

    3.) Beyond your somewhat arbitrary selection of “good things” you really explain what they are. Is a new toy a “good thing”?

    4.) If a parent punishes a child for misbehaving, is that behavior hateful because they might take away something good?

    5.) Is it hateful to restrict knowledge from someone that might be damaging to them or others?

    6.) I’m so confused about the priest point. You say that they aren’t at risk in this sense, but then you define the actions in question as: “to choose an action deliberately aimed at depriving oneself or another of living out the comprehensive sexual union of male and female”. Priests in the vocation are VERY aware of the implications it will have, so the choice is definitely deliberate. Unless you’re implying that it must be the depriving that’s deliberate, in which case I can’t really think of any action short of castration/sterilization that fits the bill.

    Beyond that, you really need to get an English major or something to read over your posts. The general flow of this one was pretty bad and really negatively impacted the audience’s ability to understand your points.

    Also, and most importantly, everyone knows what you mean by “an action deliberately aimed at depriving oneself or another of living out the comprehensive sexual union of male and female”. Either have the courage to call out gay marriage or don’t bring it up. This wasn’t subtle and it insults the intelligence of the audience to use such a half-hearted mask.

  • scottrose

    What a load of gay-bashing horse pucky. Remember that the worst enemies of gay rights are self-loathing closet cases.

  • scottrose

    They won’t. An anti-gay bigot is by definition malicious. What’s more, gay people need to understand that when Catholic anti-gay bigots allege that they “love” them, that ain’t love.

  • NDaniels

    It is an act of Love, not bigotry, to desire that all our sons and daughters are treated with Dignity and respect in private as well as in public. It is not unjust, to discriminate between acts, including sexual acts, that respect the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the human person, who is, in essence, a beloved son or daughter, and acts that do not.

  • João Pedro Santos

    “SCOP stands against hate”
    That’s the same as saying “KKK stands against racism”.