With A Perfect Hatred (part 1)

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My rage was physical.
When the final votes were counted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the United State Supreme Court, I could feel the blood coursing through my body acid hot. I have heard the expression about boiling blood, but I had never felt this sensation before. However, at this moment, by blood not only boiled, but it ran through my body with a stinging sensation. What is the bio-chemistry of fury? My tears wanted to fall. I refused them exit.
What would be the reason for my tears? Would they be tears of rage or tears of grief, and what would I be grieving? Would they be tears of grief for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford who, like Anita Hill more than 20 years before, was not believed? Would they be tears for all of the survivors of sexual assault who had finally found the courage to speak their truth? Would my tears be tears for a nation that seems to want to lie to itself so it can continue to pretend that it is moral?
I could not think except for a tiny bit of scripture: “I hate them with a perfect hatred.” (Psalm 139:22)
Reared in the African-American Baptist tradition, we were taught to learn the Bible for memory. Learn the Bible by heart, and Holy Spirit will bring the Word of God back to you when you need it. All that Sunday School, all that Vacation Bible School. The pledge of allegiance that meant something to me: “I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God’s Holy Word. I will make it a lamp unto my feel and a light unto my path. I will hide its words in my heart that I may not sin against God.”
At this moment, Holy Spirit brought nothing to my remembrance except. “I hate them with a perfect hatred.” The blood continued to run hot in my veins. Perfect hatred contradicts what I stand for -the power of radical love and nonviolence. Still all my mind would say to me was: “I hate them with a perfect hatred.”
“This cannot be healthy,” I thought to myself. Another bit of scripture came to me. “Be still and know that I am God. ” (Psalm 46:10) Stillness. Calm.
My own rage surprised me. I knew the playbook. When Dr. Ford’s story became public, I knew what would happen. Deny, deny, deny. Attack, attack, attack. I was not surprised when Jeff Flake and Susan Collins supported Kavanaugh. They usually do what Mitch McConnell wants.
“I hate them with a perfect hatred.”
I could not think, I could not even pray. All I could do was to say the name of Jesus. I was taught to pray in the name of Jesus, that Jesus had promised that the Father would grant a request made in the name of Jesus. At this moment, I had no request. The name of Jesus was its own prayer, an invocation, a plea for transcendence, a means of reminding myself of the Divine Love of God made incarnate in human flesh. Still my only coherent thought was: “I hate them with a perfect hatred.”
Next day, on Sunday, I asked my church family to pray for me. This is the importance of a faith community and of prayer partners. Others can formulate a prayer for us when we have nothing left. “We need a liturgy for such occasions”, I thought. Perhaps there is one for moments when our hatred is perfect, complete, ultimate. We need a litany for survivors who are not heard and for a nation that is run by liars and thieves who crowds cheer and voters vote into office.
Holy Spirit brought the rest of that Psalm to my mind: “I hate them with a perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts; And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Perfect hatred requires self-reflection. Why do I hate these people with a perfect hatred? The answer was immediate. I hate the lies. I hate the lies, and the willingness to believe the lies. I hate the place where we are in the United States where people can lie, we know they are lying, and it does not matter.
Every one of the Republicans said that they believed Dr. Ford. Kavanaugh himself said he believed that something happened to her sometime, somewhere, by someone, but it was not him. This is absurd. They believed that some young man was on top of her with his hand over her mouth, that she was so terrified that she was going to die that she forgot who it was, that her memory was a misidentification. Please.
Brett Kavanaugh lied during his testimony. His lies are too numerous for me to recite here. (See: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2018/10/a-reader-offers-a-summary-of-kavanaughs-lies.html) He presented himself as a young man who studied hard and who was committed to athletics and church. Yes, he liked beer, but he never drank to excess. He admitted to having a weak stomach. (Ketchup on spaghetti)
His classmates called him out on this lie.
The lie that is most egregious in my mind is the one he told regarding when he knew about the allegations of his Yale classmate, Deborah Ramirez. Kavanaugh testified that he did not know of the Ramirez allegations until AFTER the New Yorker published its story. However, there are text messages from his Yale classmates where they discuss his contacts with them to ask them to refute the charges BEFORE the New Yorker published. (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/mutual-friend-ramirez-kavanaugh-anxious-come-forward-evidence-n915566)
People with this information could not get a call back from the FBI.
“I hate them with a perfect hatred.”
Senator Susan Collins said in her speech announcing her intent to vote in favor of Kavanaugh that she was persuaded by his testimony. She said: “Judge Kavanaugh forcefully denied the allegations under penalty of perjury. Mark Judge denied under penalty of felony that he had witnessed an assault. P.J. Smith, another person allegedly at the party, denied that he was there under penalty of felony.”
Collins sounds like a wife whose husband is cheating on her, but she chooses to believe his forceful denials because it is more convenient. After all, he is a good provider.
She did not consider that Kavanaugh’s calendar puts him at Timmy’s house with the people Dr. Ford said was present. The television program “Inside Edition” went to a neighbor’s house where Timmy’s house is located. The floorplan is as Dr. Ford remembers. This is a preponderance of evidence. Who has a motive to lie? Ford or Kavanaugh? Who lied repeatedly before the committee under oath? Kavanaugh. Collins, the GOP senators and Senator Manchin (D-WV) failed to consider a letter signed by more than two thousand law school professors from across the country and from across the political spectrum that said Kavanaugh did not belong on the Court.
“I hate them with a perfect hatred.” However, I still must ask myself is my rage a righteous indignation? What does the Word of God say about lying?
“Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight.” Proverbs 12:22
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16
“Thou [God] shalt destroy them that speak lies: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.” Psalm 5:6
“Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.” Psalm 34:13
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” Revelation 22: 14-15
“Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.”
Proverbs 12:19
“Whoever speaks truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit. ‘ Proverbs 12:17
“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44
“I hate them with a perfect hatred.”
I deplore violence. I still believe in the power of radical love.
So, now what?
Valerie Elverton Dixon is founder of JustPeaceTheory.com and author of “Just Peace Theory Book One: Spiritual Morality, Radical Love, and the Public Conversation.”