Can We Love a Nazi?

Listen to this.

Excerpted from the book Astrology Is Real

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Some people tell me we should love everyone—even Nazis and White supremacists and misogynists who would deny women power over their own bodies.

What does that mean? How would we “love” someone who perpetrates cruelty and destruction? Of what does the love consist? How is it expressed?

Do we imagine the killers and devastators as they were when they were helpless babies? Is that love? Do we feel sorry for the torments they endured while growing up, which turned them into sick thugs? Is that love?

Do we wonder if someday they may realize their grievous errors and seek atonement? Do we imagine them on their deathbeds, stung with epiphanies about their atrocities? Does our love consist of not wishing for them to get terminal cancer or be struck by a truck?

If those are ways we might “love” Nazis, I am willing to consider such actions. But here’s the crucial caveat: None of those expressions of “love” must dilute my determination to fight them, resist them, jail them, and overturn their horrors.

I won’t gaze tenderly into their eyes. I won’t try to engage them in reasonable conversation. I won’t be polite to bystanders who endorse their actions. I won’t excuse their violence by citing the traumas they experienced early in their lives. I won’t dilute my efforts to convince anyone who listens that they need to be stopped.

Here’s my understanding of the strongest, truest version of love: I express it by neutralizing the evildoers who threaten our common good. I fight against them, find ways to counteract them, and work diligently to strip away their power.

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