Frederick Buechner on hate and love

love hateApologies to those who may be getting tired of the Buechner citations (you can blame Jim for planting this seed), but I’m finding his writing alluring. Here he is on hate and love:

‘Hate is as all-absorbing as love, as irrational, and in its own way as satisfying. As lovers thrive on the presence of the beloved, haters revel in encounters with the one they hate. They confirm him in all his darkest suspicions. They add fuel to all his most burning animosities. The anticipation of them makes the hating heart pound. The memory of them can be as sweet as young love. The major difference between hating and loving is perhaps that whereas to love somebody is to be fulfilled and enriched by the experience, to hate somebody is to be diminished and drained by it. Lovers, by losing themselves in their loving, find themselves, become themselves. Haters simply lose themselves. Theirs is the ultimately consuming passion’. – Frederick Buechner, Whistling in the Dark: An ABC Theologized (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988), 57.


  1. Jason,

    As usual, spot on. Excellent quote. I’m going to link to it from one of my blogs. I love Buechner. I’ve read only two of his books, but they were both amazing.



  2. I know this to be true, I’ve found myself on the love side and it has only enriched me (not to say I am anyone special). Buechner is raw and right on so often, great slice here.


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