The other day, I overheard my son and his friend teasing each other with this phrase. When I asked them what it meant, they said it was a sarcastic reference to the party line they hear in school that if you disagree with anyone, especially with regard to your religious or political views, you are automatically charged with hating them.
Now, no one wants to be hated (or be accused of being a hater). And so, to avoid this charge, it is tempting to just accept whatever prevailing party line holds sway at the time. But I cannot help but wonder that if disagreeing with someone automatically means that I hate them, the word “hate” sure has been trivialized. I wonder if defining the word “hate” so glibly risks trivializing real hatred.