Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.
- Martin Luther King Jr
Say to those that hate and curse you, You are our brothers!
- Theophilus of Antioch
But why does truth engender hatred? Why does your servant meet with hostility when he preaches the truth, although men love happiness, which is simply the enjoyment of truth? It can only be that man’s love of truth is such that when he loves something which is not the truth, he pretends to himself that what he loves it the truth, and because he hates to be proved wrong, he will not allow himself to be convinced that he is deceiving himself. So he hates the real truth for the sake of what he takes to his heart in its place. Men love the truth when it bathes them in its light: they hate it when it proves them wrong (emphasis added).
- Saint Augustine, Confessions
“Many atheists have said, ‘If there were more churches like yours, we would probably reconsider.’”
“Rev. Tom Tate of Rose City Park United Methodist Church in Portland, Oregon, chose to make the bold statement about the state of Christian character and the need for believers to be nice and loving to those around them. The church sign, which reads, “God Prefers Kind Atheists Over Hateful Christians,” has been spreading wildly via social media, prompting hundreds of calls to the church from across the nation and the globe.
While the message may be a tough pill to swallow for some Christians who believe that non-belief is a tragic societal occurrence — even more tragic than Christians behaving badly — Kay Pettygrove, an administrator at the church, says that positivity has been the predominate sentiment….“I got an email from a young Mormon man saying, ‘Thank you so much. It made me rethink how I treat people,’” she explains. “Many atheists have said, ‘If there were more churches like yours, we would probably reconsider.’”
Rev. Tate, whose church has 385 members, claims that the sign shows “radical hospitality” to those who feel alienated from faith systems.