It’s Okay to Hate Him

Will Rogers was famously quoted as saying, “I never met a man I didn’t like.”

Mr Rogers died well before Donald Trump was even born, so I believe he fully meant his credo at the time. Had he lived a little longer, I wonder if he’d make the same blanket declaration. I’m not so sure.

I can still remember my mother’s stern reprimand whenever as a child, I’d comment that I hated this person or that person:

“Hey!” she’d admonish me sharply. “We don’t hate anyone!”

I knew then and still know what she was trying to teach me: that hating what a person does, doesn’t mean hating who they are; that we can and should try and separate people from their actions. She was reminding me that there is humanity buried deeply, even within those who do the most terrible things, and that I should strive to see it.

My mom and Jesus always seemed to be in agreement on this.

There is in my Christian tradition, a persistent call to love; to love others as I believe God loves me, to love my neighbor as myself—to even love my enemies. For most of my life this has been my greatest aspiration; to see the good in all people, to acknowledge their inherent worth, to believe that every human being is made in the image of God and that I should revere that truth in them.

Right now I may be letting Will Rogers, Jesus, and my mother all down—but I’m pretty sure I hate Donald Trump.
I’m also pretty sure that I’m okay with it.

For me, this hatred is actually a matter of the deepest, truest love. It is a Jesus-emulating faith affirmation. You see, among his directives to love, Jesus also commanded us to love the least; to fiercely protect the marginalized and forgotten and vulnerable, to defend those most assailed by men abusing their power and preying upon them. Jesus unequivocally, explicitly, and fully detested when people were victimized by the religious and the wealthy—and he saved his harshest words and most visible outrage for these offenders.

I’ve been a Christian for most of my life, and a pastor for two decades. My study, experience, and understanding of the Jesus of the Gospels, tells me that he would be fully sickened by Donald Trump and by those who partner with him—and that they would be directly in the crosshairs of his most furious righteous anger.

If his feet were on the planet, this Republican Evangelical cancer currently laying waste to the poor and the sick and the outsiders while claiming his name—would be the very table he would be overturning. And as someone aspiring to imitate him, I am glad to stand in his stead and flip them.

I am okay with my practical hatred of Donald Trump, because I can’t separate who he is from what he does—when what he does is the only tangible experience I have of him; when what he does directly impacts my children, the safety of my family, the lives of hundreds of millions of people, the air we breathe and the ground we stand on.

What Donald Trump does and what this Republican party does comprise the only experience people of color have with them, that Muslims have with them, that the LGBTQ community has with them, that women have with them, that citizens of this country have with them.

In other words, individually this President and each man and woman currently collaborating with him may indeed have a humanity that may or may not be visible up close—but endured together and in the capacity they are impacting the world (which is the only relationship we have with them), they are something of the gravest violence, something fully inhuman, something worthy of disdain.

I can and should hate this.
All decent, loving, compassionate people should.
Every person claiming to care about what Jesus cared about should.
Good people should unapologetically hate atrocities against humanity.
Christians should be fighting it instead of cultivating it.

A good friend scolded me yesterday that she wanted to see me, “focus on what I’m for, not what I’m against.”

I knew what she meant.

I tried to tell her that I am already doing that.

It’s because of who I’m for—that I’m so against this.

I love and am for people who are sick and facing life threatening illness—and I hate and stand against those stand between them and wellness.
I love and am for Transgender teenagers and gay couples and lesbian clergy—and I hate and stand against those putting them through hell simply for trying to live authentically.
I love and am for people who flee unthinkable violence and fear to reach this country—and hate and stand against those who offer them no compassion and only contempt.
I love and am for women who’ve lived their entire lives in a culture of misogyny and sexism—and hate and stand against men who perpetuate individual and systemic violence against them.
I love and am for young black men who still fear law enforcement and their government—and hate and stand against those who vilify and condemn them for taking a knee or pleading to be treated with simple equality.

I love and am for Muslims who aren’t able to worship outwardly and freely without derision and harassment—and I hate and stand against those who mischaracterize them and incite such mistreatment.
I love and am for the hurting, the marginalized, the isolated, and the bullied—and I hate and stand against the wounders, the marginalizers, the isolaters, and the bullies.

And because of the deep love that I have for this country, for its Constitution, and for its beautifully radiant diversity—yes, I hate this President. 

I hate what he and those alongside him are doing to good, loving, decent human beings who call this place home, and I’m going to keep hating such things because that is simply the other side of caring for the least of these.

Silence in the face of oppression isn’t love it’s compliance, it’s participation.
Opposing it is how I show who and what I am for.
Hatred of injustice is a redemptive way of loving people most threatened by it.

I hope Will Rogers, my mother, and Jesus will all be okay with that.

I think I am.





172 thoughts on “It’s Okay to Hate Him

  1. I read through the majority of the responses and I came to my own conclusions about this. Everyone has good opinions and if we took parts from all of them maybe we’d have one good one and then it wouldn’t be considered hate but sadness that this man will never know or understand love and empathy for fellow mankind. I really, really do HATE the things he’s pulling. Him and his administration cronies will be dealing with Our Lord in due time. God has a plan for us. 🙏🙏🙏

  2. It is indeed difficult to even like a President that supports a senate candidate, Roy Moore, when his own supporters and his own lawyer work to try to normalize the situation of a 30 something man of power dating mid and early teenage girls, of which he is accused of. It makes me ill thinking of that since I knew a friend that lost her virginity at 15 to a 40 something year old man, who left her within 6 months to have sex with a 14 year old girl.

  3. The world is too blindly following political parties and their rhetoric. No President Trump is not the best Christian, if he is one. No, he is not the most compassionate – if you listen to the resisters and the news media. But all you see reported are the negative things he says and does. Or what your political party wants you to hear and believe.

    I am embarrassed by those who claim to be Christian and still feel like they can hate someone. Just because President Trump does not say and do everything you want for YOUR agenda, does not make him an evil man. As is typical of many liberals, they point out all his faults while making justifications for people in their own party who have done the same or worse. Keep in mind, Trump’s were words, never proven actions as yet, when it comes to sexual conquests. Yes, I get that he divorced and all the other sins of his past. Find me candidates in office who don’t have some indiscretions. They are going to be few.

    Please tell me how you can justify hating a man who is doing something others have failed to do – upholding our nation’s laws. He is upholding immigration laws that others have swept under the carpet. Does that make him evil? According to some, yes. If we don’t like it, why not try to change those laws instead of usurping them like previous administrations?

    If you can look past the deceit of those who tell you it is “hate” on his part for instituting travel bans and other restrictions for refugees, you might see President Trump is attempting to again do something previous administrations have failed at – and that is securing our nation from enemies foreign and domestic. That is his main job. Previous administrations have failed miserably in this area.

    Has President Trump overturned gay marriages? Abolished abortion? Brought back slavery? Taken away any of your constitutional rights? No. He has tried to help others realize that their rights end where someone else’s begin.

    If I truly believed the man was racist, I would stand with you in fighting against him. I am intelligent enough to look past the lies and manipulations of today’s so-called media and political party rhetoric and realize there is a different picture than what the resisters are seeing. If I truly thought he was sexist and creating more problems for women, I might agree with you more. But the fact that he wants to put limits on abortion is not evil. The fact that he wants to keep our tax dollars from funding an industry we should be protesting is not evil.

    We did not elect a saint, an angel, perfect Christian or pastor. We elected a president. We may not always like what he says or does, but God is still in control.

    Whining and crying about his past instead of praying for God to lead him NOW is not the best course of action we should take as Christians. Blaming him for everything going wrong in society today is not the best course either. Especially since a lot of it is based on lies and half-truths. Many of those incidents of “hate crimes” allegedly caused by Trump supporters have been proven hoaxes. There is no “Trump effect.” It is a society that has given into evil. Personal decisions. Bad ones. Blaming “conservative evangelicals” might make you feel better but many of the things being promoted by the “progressive left” are hardly biblical. Including your misguided hate for a president you have not even tried to understand beyond your own agenda or politically correct blindness.

    I am sorry but for far too long we have let political correctness and politicians lead us instead of almighty God. This is why we have so many struggling to make ends meet, why the welfare rolls doubled. We cannot possibly afford to continue down this path and hope to remain economically stable in the interest of giving away “free” stuff. We should not be following the Democrats or the Republicans. We should be letting God lead us. One has to question why our political leaders are content to allow people to remain in poverty instead of lift them out of it.

    The United States has become a cesspool of immorality because we want to be “inclusive” and politically correct. How about being biblically correct? We can still love others while pointing them to the truth in God’s Word instead of aiding and abetting in their sin by telling them “it is okay, God still loves you” and letting them continue a lifestyle of sin. No, it is not our job to judge them nor is it our job to allow them to think sin is okay.

    So before you hate President Trump, or his “followers” – how about removing the log from your own eye?

    Personally I would like to see a path to citizenship for those here illegally. But at some point we have to stop the constant flow of people into our country because we cannot possibly afford to maintain stability if we allow the United States to become one huge refugee camp. How about helping them improve conditions in their own nations? Diplomacy and even military presence if necessary to affect positive change in some of these terrorist run nations?

    • Oh.

      David C. Lannon, the US is a moral cesspool because we want to be inclusive and PC? Every paragraph of your post is filled with contempt for people who disagree with you, and expose a really strong authoritarian desire for a military dictatorship. Your post ends strong, with a call to put America’s young men and women–armed to kill–in dozens of sovereign nations on the Earth.

      But I’m really sure you don’t see that. Your writing reads very much like the Taliban wrote it.

      • We must have read two different posts… either that, or you’re brainwashed. David C. Lannon’s post didn’t call for anything you mentioned, but I can see how your narrative falls in line with what he was describing. Blind hatred.

    • “We should be letting God lead us”. Really?? WHOSE God? The God that Christians worship? That the Jews worship? How about Muslims? Should we follow their religion? I bet not. You may worship your “God” as you see fit, but the Constitution clearly states there is a separation of Church and State. “God” does not ‘lead’ this country — PEOPLE do. We elect people to represent us, not priests or pastors or saints. We don’t ask that they be saint-like, but we do demand honour, honesty and integrity. Trump has none of these qualities. He lies, and lies about lying. He has a record of cheating employees and workers, of objectifying women, (even sexualising his own daughter Ivanka), of making racist and sexist comments, and of insulting anybody who has the temerity to disagree with him. He badmouths our allies and praises dictators like Putin. He is not worthy of being President.

    • People like you are why I consider religion a blight on humanity. I may not be a believer, but I have read the Bible, and your attitudes and comments are the complete antithesis of what Jesus taught. Jon Pavlovitz actually does what your “good book” teaches, while you simply hide behind a cross to spew your vile worldview. Enjoy your mythology-based hate group.

    • He wants to cut our Social Security and Medicare that we’ve paid into, in order to pay for the billions of dollars in lost tax revenue from the wealthiest Americans. Enough said….get him the f**k out of here!

    • You are full of yourself and your pretend understanding of what is happening around you. You are not being honest. trump is a racist and a bully. There is nothing good to be said of him. He has done no good deeds. He has nothing good to offer anyone not even his family. His God is money. His morals are non-existent. So just shut up with your spin.

    • You don’t even see the irony in what you think is an eloquent reply, do you? We, the USA, are now a nation run by a white nationalist terrorist. What further proof do you want?
      Listen to the man’s words.
      Look at the man’s actions.
      Read his Tweets.
      Then go back to the mirror and remove the log from your sanctimonious eye so you can better read Matthew 25.35-40 and a whole bunch of thise red letter words.

  4. I can understand the anger against our President. Not only he is everything that Jesus was against, he is a danger to our Democratic Republic. When you have extreme faction, fear mongering, short term gain at the expense of the state, enforcing the letter of the law against the spirit of the law, and the rhetoric of violence kills Democratic Republics. The perfect example is the Roman Republic, which died from all of these problems. We are losing our Republic right before our eyes. We have lost our voice of reason.

    Thank you Mr. Pavlovitz for eloquently articulating what I was thinking of our President.

  5. John, I think that you and your supporters are all full of SHIT! And I know for certain that I am completely okay with what I feel.

  6. I hate him too. He’s the first person I’ve ever truly hated. And for all of your stated reasons.

    “Republican Evangelical cancer”.

    Maybe Donald Trump is the chemotherapy the American Christian Church needs. It’s heart-breaking.

    • “He’s the first person I’ve ever truly hated.”

      And yet, you’ve never met him.

      Think about that for a while. There’s something wrong there.

      • Americans hated Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Vladimir Lenin, and Josef Stalin, and never met a one of them. They saw what these men did, and knew that good people do not do what they did. How many on your side of the aisle hated, and still hate, Obama and the Clintons? Have any of them ever met them?

  7. All of you who have such strong, negative reactions to John’s use of “hate” really need to take a good long hard look at yourselves in the mirror.

    “Hate,” while an ugly word and an even uglier thing to feel with hideous consequences for the hater, is an honest, gut-wrenching emotion.

    And that is ***all*** that it is. An emotion. Emotions by definition are temporary feelings which are frequently replaced by other things of a more lasting nature.

    The truth set us free. The light pierces and then shatters the darkness. The truth will not set us free and the light will not shatter the darkness as long as we live in our fortresses of denial.

    Read the Psalms. There is hate expressed in them. Read the historical books of the Hebrew Scriptures. There is hate expressed in them. Read the words of Jesus in the Gospels. There is hate expressed in them. Read the words of the writers of the Christian Scriptures. There is hate expressed in them.

    What we need to do is examine what causes the outbursts of hate in these holy texts and then look within ourselves for what resonates.

    When I read the historical books of the Hebrew Scriptures and Psalms, I see that fear seems to be the thing that predicates hate the most often. Fear of what is different, fear of the unknown, fear of changing. Most of all fear of confronting the ugliness within one’s self.

    What causes words of hate in prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures? They tell us that God hates. God hates sin, selfishness, greed, lack of social justice.

    What causes words of hate to come out of the mouth of Jesus? Hatred of thsoe who prey on the poor.

    Here’s what I have to say to you. If you look at Trump and his family, his cronies, the entire GOP, and you don’t feel hate for their actions, the harm they would bring to children, the disabled, the elderly, the handicapped, the ill, the impoverished, people with cancer, people of color, LGBTQ, transgendered people, the way that Trump et al wish to paint the entire USA rich, straight, white, and male, and you don’t feel hate for that, then you are cut off from your emoitions.

  8. I agree with you John. I understand how destructive hate can be to our heart and soul but there are a few people that push that to the limit. I try to let go of hate but I have concluded a person (?) can be come so vile and evil they should be hated and feared. I also wonder if when a person (or creature) becomes so vile with no conscience perhaps they have lost their soul, or just gave it to Satan. In a way, hating Trump is just turning away from hate – refusing to normalize it. Maybe Will Rogers was just trying to remind us to look for the good in man. I don’t think Trump is a man.
    THANK YOU JOHN for your caring words and your commitment.

  9. This is very sad in that President Trump boldly stands for more Biblical principles than any President to date. This pastor obviously does not “love” the unborn, or did he forget the fact that Pres. Trump appointed a pro-life Supreme Court justice? To quote this pastor, “Jesus also commanded us to love the least; to fiercely protect the marginalized and forgotten and vulnerable…Good people should unapologetically hate atrocities against humanity. Christians should be fighting it instead of cultivating it.” He never once encouraged prayers for President Trump, but rather promoted hatred. This is not Christianity.

    • Wow. You only care about preventing abortion, but not providing health care, education, clean water, clean air, and a clean earth for the children already here. Jesus never, ever said anything about abortion or about homosexuality. Nothing. Tell me where, and I’ll go find it. As John has noted in his writing, if trump represents Christianity then I want absolutely nothing to do with it. Christians sold out for abortion — which has gone on since the beginning of time.

  10. Thank you for these words!!! For the naysayers, I think you have missed the point. In an articulate and compelling way, John did separate “people” (and held out hope that a spark of humanity still exists) from their “actions”, i.e. their “institutional persona” that is all we the public are seeing. In one year, the actions of this administration have, and continue to endanger my life and health as a senior, the future for my children and grandchildren, the health and future of the world’s environment and the stability of the world political systems. Everyday brings some new outrageous statement, act, or decision. I hate this too and I hate the attitudes of people who have empowered and fostered our current climate, and I hate that more people cannot discern what is happening to our country. Until the past few months, I too would have said that hate was a strong word and not to be used in this context. BUT, Evil cannot be fought with political correctness. If Hitler and his crimes had not been “hated”, the outcome of WWII could have been drastically different. This is not a time to hesitate and nit- pick whether we should be looking for some shred of humanity in those who are showing no humanity to their constituents . Our current political climate seems to be dangerously close to a fascist regime and I fear unless we wake up and speak out, we will one day realize our rights are gone and we have a dictatorship, not a democracy. People who profess to follow the man called Jesus must decide whether to follow the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or whether to follow the teachings of the evangelical, right wing Pharisees of the 21st Century. I totally agree that if Jesus lived in 2017, he would have been turning a lot of tables over in righteous rage, and I also have no doubt that many of the current world powerbrokers would be calling for his execution, just as before. The “Christian Church” of the 2000’s cannot have it both ways and survive as a viable institution . And neither will our country. John, I think Will Rogers, your mom, and Jesus would all support you!

  11. John Pavlovitz you continue to breed discord fanning the ember of emotion into a ragging flame. To the point you commit spiritual murder in your heart. Simultaneously hardening the hearts of those you claim to care about. John come clean, tell us what John Pavlovitz requires Jehovah God to repent for. Do tell how Jesus needs to repent for not being aligned with you. John lets start there and work our way out. While you make your list of atrocities Jesus has committed, consider what the word of life says:

    1 John 3:14-15 If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.

    • I’m OK with it too and we are not alone … nor in the minority. How can a sensible person NOT hate someone so full of his own hate and distain for anyone he doesnt think meets his bar of excellence? He’s a pompous man-child who is prone to tantrums, petty name calling and an utter and complete lack of knowledge on American laws and our Constitution.

      I could say, “I don’t hate him but I hate what he says and does” but I’d be lying. I hate him AND what he says and does because he knows better but is so full of his own self worth that he doesn’t CARE what he says or does. Being president didn’t creat this trait, he was always that way. I couldn’t stomach him long before he moved into the Oval Office. He is contemptible! I have no respect for ANYONE in his family (other than Baron, who’s too young to blame). They are the largest pack of child adults on this planet and it is an insult to all our country has worked to build and create to have allowed them to permeate our White House.

      Bring on 2020 and we’ll make America SANE AGAIN! #Resist

    • If you consider Trump a “brother” you’re in sad shape. To be a Christian requires being Christ-like (the actual definition of Christian). What in the world is Christian about him? He’s no Christian – professed, but that doesn’t make it so.

      Personally, I’m happy my eyes were opened and now I’m an thesist because it allows me to see people as they are and not by some guideline that was created centuries ago by humans to make people walk their line. I hate bad people because … they are bad. I hate Trump, I hate Hitler, I hate pedophiles, rapists, murderers, animal abusers, human abusers… If you can love THEM, you’re not bigger than me or Christian – you’re a fool.

      Take the clouds from your eyes and see him for the monster he really is.

    • Ronald, where even once has John been in discord with Christ in this discussion? Where has he accused Jesus of atrocities? He is exactly the opposite of being in disagreement with Jesus.

      You call him a murderer for hating someone who has and continues to hurt so many?

      You really need to work out whose side you’re on. If it’s Trump, or Jesus.

  12. Thank you for this article! I’m in the same boat. I do hate Trump. There are other people I’m struggling with as well. Trump is pure evil. I keep trying to find it in myself to forgive, but it’s just too hard when it comes to Trump and the hurt he is causing people.
    I have forgiven some pretty horrible people who have done bad things to me in my life. But this is different. It’s not just someone doing something to me. This is a person who is going out of his way to hurt the vulnerable, and that is just too far. I’ve even tried to tell myself he has a mental disorder stemming from his childhood, but it doesn’t help at all. I hope God is ok with it. I mean, are we supposed to love Satan? I just don’t have it in me.

  13. Nah bro…I feel your pain, but you may be forgetting something. Our battle is not against ‘flesh and blood’ but the powers and principalities in this world. Trump is a sad pawn of these powers. He is to be pitied, and to be prayed for. We should be directing our anger in prayer against these powers (yeah they’re real…I’m talking about Satan and his demonic hosts for those who are unclear) who influence people to turn against God and his love.

  14. One of my favorite images during the election was of the annual Halloween dummy/scarecrow a neighbor of ours does – wish I could post photos here, I used it for the cover on my facebook page for a month. White shirt, black suit, pumpkin head with big shock of yellow strands of something on top and a sign that said “Make America Hate Again”. And he is. I still wake up some mornings hoping it was all a bad dream.
    I am with you all the way on this John.
    Oh and “Joe Catholic” I was brought up catholic through no choice of mine. I follow no organized religion now. A religion that excommunicates a person for divorcing and remarrying but then lets them back in IF they pay a fine is nothing I want to be involved with.
    Nature is my church. Love is my religion.
    (but there is room for hate when warranted)

  15. An old Cherokee proverb;
    Grandfather says there are two dogs inside everyone. One is mean and snarly and vicious and angry. The other is sweet and obedient and thoughtful.
    “But Grandfather, which dog is winning?”
    Grandfather replies; “the one I feed more.”
    Try to feed the loving dog, but know the angry hateful dog is also just under the surface, seeking sustenance to grow.

  16. Thank you for articulating how I have felt from the very first rumblings from Trump about his run for the presidency. I have been admonished and lectured by many Trump supporters because I openly state my hatred for him. On their pedestal, they wag their fingers at me: “You must not hate!” And all the while, the actions taken by this administration and its sycophants are hurtful, mean spirited, and, yes, hateful. I am not consumed by hate. I am a generally happy, optimistic and balanced person. The way I see it, hate is a perfectly legitimate emotional response to really ugly intentions and actions. It can be a useful emotion, too, prompting us toward positive action. Let’s not deny the powerful feelings. Recognize them, understand them, and find a way to channel them toward making our world a better place.

  17. Pavlovitz hits a nerve among many with this very tough and “touchy” topic. Personally, I hate everything that has happened, everyone who has been hurt, since Trump & Company took over the USA. I cannot look at the man, listen to his voice, watch how he abuses and mistreats others, or takes advantage of people and his position. Do I “hate” Donald Trump personally? Honestly, I can’t answer that. I know how he makes me feel–which makes me very angry indeed. Emotions aren’t logical; they reside more in our hormones than in our hearts, in our minds, or with the better angels on our shoulders. I think Jesus would empathize with most of us who don’t want to hate … anyone. But we’re only human, with distinct traces of the Divine DNA. I humbly submit (and suggest) that Jesus would understand. And forgive us. But whether he — or God — ultimately forgives Trump is another matter entirely. Fortunately, that’s not my judgment call to make.

  18. Good Christian. Never let your religion get in the way of your politics. We can call this the Columbus Rule, or maybe the Slave Owner Rule.

  19. I understand, I try not to hate but when it comes to this president… I am reminded of a song my mother used to sing. However, I have taken the liberty to switch one word with another. The Song ” You made me love you” Except when President Trump is concerned… the word is HATE is substituted for Love. The next line You made me do it, I didn’t want to do it… You made me HATE YOU (instad of Love)!

    I can not think of a single thing that I like, that this president said or done that can change my mind. I’m 81, and I have lived with many Republican Presidents. Somehow, I have not liked most, but I respected the Office and the fact they were elected. I have absolutely no respect for this man… or those who support him. I really wished I could find reason to change my mind. However, that is impossible based on what he has done or said since day 1 of his term.

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