“Hate Is Not a Family Value!” — Christian Faith Under (Im)Moral Attack, Part Ten


Challenge Number Ten: “Hate Is Not a Family Value!

(Last in a series of ten,  from my new book Critical Conversations!)

Have you seen this slogan — on a bumper sticker, or a billboard, or someone’s t-shirt maybe?

The answer to this one is considerably less involved than others in this series, even though the rest of them  haven’t been all that complicated either. But this one needs only one word to answer it:


Or, to extend the philosophical, social and cultural analysis to its fullest extent:

“That’s right.  So, hey, umm… What’s your next question?”

That’s it. Hate is not a family value.

Now, if you need more help on the implied charge that someone (you know who) is hating someone (you know who else), you can find it here. But the reality is that there’s nothing even slightly controversial about this all-too-common bumper sticker saying.

And yet it seems to have some effect.

It makes pro-LGBT people smile, nod, or maybe even smirk. It makes moral conservatives cringe. Why? How does it do that, when on close exposure, there’s absolutely nothing to it?

This is the last of ten posts in this series. All of the anti-Christian charges I’ve covered here have turned out upon examination to be quite empty. Sure, there are some cases where we’ve been guilty of the errors we’ve been charged with, when we’ve wandered off the path of Christlike love. Still for the most part, every one of those seemingly powerful charges has turned out to be more noise than reality.

Yet we cringe anyway. We even cringe at “Hate is not a family value!”

There’s a reason for that.

That reason is covered in Critical Conversations. Check out the book and you’ll see. Along with that, I plan to wrap up this series soon with a summary in which I’ll lay out a condensed version of that reason as I see it, and we’ll be able to discuss it among ourselves.

Why after all should it bother us that “Hate is not a family value?” The mystery has an explanation, yet to come.

There’s more in the book!

In Critical Conversations I develop and extend the answer to this and other challenges, and I share practical relational guidance on how to share the answers in conversation. For parents, pastors, and other Christian leaders wondering what to say to children in their vulnerable years up through high school or even college, the book clears away the awkwardness and confusion. It clears a path toward conversations that can strengthen not only your teens’ faith but also your relationship with them.

It’s available at Amazon.comBarnes & Noble, and other booksellers. Order your copy today!

1 Response

  1. Philip Devine says:

    No doubt about it: conservative Bible Christians are under attack — subjected to stereotypes that, for any other group (except Texans) would be taken to constitute bigotry. Besides standing firm, there is one thing you can do about it, Emphasize the positive. A street minister in Berkeley who addressed a group of Quakers with,” You are all going to HELL, you don’t believe in PEACE, your hearts are full of HATE,” (none which he knew) did immense damage. Pope Francis has managed to address a Joint Session of Congress, and received a Charlemagne Award, and Mother Teresa was given a Nobel Peace Prize. I do not know whom they convinced, but at least they received a hearing.

    Atheists do not have a monopoly on reason, and atheists with intellectual standards such as Thomas Nagel and Terry Eagleton cannot stand the New Atheists. So Christians should reason, and reason well.