“Hate the sin” is just hate!!

Sometimes a seemingly good idea doesn’t stand up well under greater scrutiny.

Sometimes people are not quite as admirable as they seem.

This quote originates from Gandhi, who himself had some serious flaws*, so we are only dealing with this idea from him, which is often misconstrued.

“Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner”

This is often mistakenly attributed as advice  from Gandhi, when the original context said that this idea spreads “the poison of hatred.” Loving the sinner and hating the sin is just hate.

I include the proper context here, from his  Autobiography:

“Hate the sin and not the sinner is a precept which, though easy enough to understand, is rarely practiced, and that is why the poison of hatred spreads in the world. Man and his deed are two distinct things. It is quite proper to resist and attack a system, but to resist and attack its author is tantamount to resisting and attacking oneself. For we are all tarred with the same brush and are children of one and the same Creator, and as such the divine powers within us are infinite. To slight a single human being is to slight those divine powers, and thus to harm not only that being, but with him, the whole world.”


* Stories about Gandhi’s life reveal disturbing practices and viewpoints. In his earlier life in South Africa, he seemed to agree with at least some of the racist ideas there, and his views on India’s caste systems were seemingly tainted. In his later life, his “experiments” with celibacy led to some abhorrent practices. Some of Gandhi’s ideas about non-violent resistance had positive influences on others, so we value those ideas. And as Gandhi was a child of God, flawed as he was, we still Love him while acknowledging his flaws. Perhaps this can be a case for actually practicing love for the sinner! Or, perhaps, judging actions, not people