Calvin must drink a lot of water. He shows up everywhere peeing on something. Jeff Gordon, Chevy, Ford, Cowboys, Redskins, Bin Laden. That dude can pee on anything. I saw an ad that showed Calvin and his stream falling on a “place your text here” sign. One that caught my eye recently had Calvin peeing on the word “haters.” Everyone agrees with that, right? Peeing on haters is right. It is righteous. If anyone deserves the Calvin treatment, it is haters.
But honestly, isn’t peeing on someone a hateful thing to do? If we are going to be consistent, shouldn’t there be a stream of urine falling on Calvin’s head too? Make anything in this world into the “hated object” – the thing we are allowed to hate – and the way you treat it will be hateful. You will become a hater. Fine, you say, some things are worthy of hatred; Its ok to be a hater of “those things.” Everybody knows that (fill in the blank) is despicable, but its not true. And it isn’t just innocuous things like NASCAR drivers, NFL teams, or the makes of cars. The Bin Ladens of this world are not universally hated. In fact many of the things we hate are beloved by others. It turns out that hating the haters isn’t so easy. It makes us into haters and it divides us in ways we can’t account for or reconcile. It makes for a world full of Calvins peeing on Calvins who then feel justified in peeing on some other Calvin. Everyone feels like they are getting urinated on by someone and so they return the favor. Sound like a good world to live in?
The story of the world according to Christianity is that we live in a good world gone bad. Everything in creation was created good and retains the essence of that goodness AND everything is fallen and is marred by that fall. In this story of the world, the source of the fall; the thing that scars us, is not from within the world, but comes from without. This thing is worthy of hatred, and what it does to everything is worthy of hatred, but no object in the world is worthy of hatred on its own. The power of the gospel is that it frees us from being victimized by The Hater and from becoming haters who perpetuate the cycle of hatred he introduced to the world. Actually the gospel is that Jesus, the only one of us to live a life of pure love (zero hatred), has all the hatred of all the ages poured out on him, and instead of standing up and pouring it back out on the heads of the haters, he quenches the fire. He puts it out. No hateful thing ever done goes unnoticed. No hater ever gets away with their hateful ways. Jesus took all of it, and because of him and in him, Love has the final say. Love reigns. If hatred reigns in your heart it may be time to get a new heart; a heart so beloved it never feels the desire to pour out hatred on anyone or anything; a heart so complete it can’t be taken from you by a little boy peeing on it.