The spiritual core of political hate
Acton Institute Powerblog

The spiritual core of political hate

“A new study confirms that creeping tribalism has Americans bitterly divided, acrimonious, and dismissive of others based on political differences,” says Rev. Ben Johnson in this week’s Acton Commentary. “Behind this animosity lies a spiritual principle that Rev. Timothy Keller touched on during his address at this year’s Acton Institute annual dinner.”

The problem, Keller said, is that people chose a “modern identity” by defining themselves completely with one, selected characteristic or feeling. Often, it is a profession, especially high-status careers like medicine, law, or entertainment. But this artificial self-image generates multiple inner ailments.

First, “if something becomes your identity, you don’t have any limits. You’re addicted to it,” Keller told the sell-out crowd at Grand Rapids’ JW Marriott last Thursday. “You go beyond where you should. You work beyond the limits that are going to hurt your body, that’s going to hurt your family.”

Secondly, “you have to have validation from outside” – constantly.

The full text of the essay can be found here.

Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).