Jesus said that the person who did not hate his father and mother, wife, son, daughter and even his own life could not be his disciple (Luke 14:26).

Christians say he did not mean it literally.  But the fact remains is that you do not use such language symbolically for it is inappropriate.  It is not needed and you must take responsibility if people misunderstand and then despise their parents.  The Christians do not mind Jesus using the language of hate but what if he had said, "Fuck your parents"?  The word hate is worse than the word fuck. 

Jesus demanded that people put him first. Some - not all! - Christians say that the word hate is not literal. It just means that nobody should be treated as important except Jesus. They say that we can obey it and still do good to our family and friends and even ourselves. But if the only reason I help others is to please Jesus then if I am a good family man or whatever I am only making a performance. I could walk out on them and not give a toss. If they die I cannot mourn for them.  If I mourn them for Jesus has lost them then I am questioning his almighty providence. So I can’t do that. In John 11, Jesus weeps for Lazarus showing either that he was a hypocrite or could not help it and was still a hypocrite for claiming to be the epitome of perfection.

Others say that Jesus meant by hate that you must love your father and mother and your friends and family less than him and this love for them is so inferior and weaker to love for him that in comparison it looks like hatred. The explanation is mere speculation and Jesus had no need to use the word hate for what only looks like hate but isn’t. If Reverend Moon said that they would be taking him literally but not when Jesus says it everybody is expected to pretend he didn’t mean it but only exaggerating. The gospels never say that Jesus exaggerated and any of the instances in which he allegedly did it can withstand other interpretations that deny exaggeration. If Jesus exaggerated and nobody can tell when he was doing it or not then his teaching is of little use to us.
If you were there the day Jesus supposedly said you must hate your family and your life to be his disciple you would take him literally. Jesus would not have used the word hate had he not meant it. He knew many listeners would take him literally. And he knew that his teaching was spread by word of mouth and that leads to distortion. So he had to be utterly clear for the sake of the literalists and to do what he could to prevent gossip becoming a problem.

Jesus, A Revolutionary Biography, John Dominic Crossan, HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1994 page 67 says that Jesus was speaking of division among generation lines. He said that father would be against son, son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, and parents in law against sons or daughters in law and vice versa. Why that kind of division and why not wife against husband or brother against sister? Crossan rejects the notion that Jesus means simply that some in a family will accept him and others will not. He says Jesus is referring not to differences of faith in the family but power in the family. In families in those days the parents decided who the children and their children's spouses should hate and love. He thinks Jesus is saying he will pull down this power structure and make all equal. But Jesus never says anything about attacking . He means that family leaders will exercise their power to hurt those who believe in him. He means that family members will hurt their leaders by revolting. He says he has not come to make peace but to cause division. In that context, he wants the power structure maintained as vicious as it is. Since he says elsewhere that he will cause hate in the family he means it literally.

In Matthew 10:34-38, Jesus asserts that he has not come to bring peace but division even between parents and children. He said he was not bringing peace but a sword. Why didn’t he say war instead of sword? Because the sword is an emblem of death and maiming so he wants people to die and lose limbs for him.
Christians say he was the prince of peace and he wanted everybody to be on excellent terms but that when division was necessary to do his will it should be created. For example, if your parents want you to be a pagan and you become a Christian you should disobey them even if it costs you their love. So Christians say he means the result of obeying him could be losing family members. They deny that he meant he intended this to happen. But the words used elthon gar dichasai mean purpose. He did mean he intended this. So Jesus corrected anyone who thought he had come to spread peace saying that he only (that emphasises that he meant it was his intention) came to turn people against one another (Matthew 10:34).

The word miseo which means hate always means hate in the real sense of the word. That is how the Bible uses the word (Judges 14:16, Amos 5:15) Those who say that when Jesus told you to hate your parents for his sake that he meant love them less than him are lying. My instinct is that Jesus is condemning any love for another that is about valuing them. If you take care of them solely because it pleases God and your motive is to please him not to help them then you value God not them. Not all think Jesus meant that but was commanding outright hate. But all agree that Jesus held that God alone matters.
Jesus speaking of a slave said that the slave that has two masters will hate one miseo and love the other (Luke 16:13). He is saying that miseo is not love at all. It is the absence of love if it is not outright spite. Jesus is making it clear that you cannot love God and a man. If you love your neighbour what you mean is that you treat your neighbour well purely as an act of devotion to God.
And even if the word meant love less love less could still mean hate for hate cannot happen unless there is love. You cannot hate a person without having a little love for them.  Try the hypothetical test.  Say a parent may suffer a terrible depression if the offspring turns to Jesus.  To turn to Jesus is to really harm that parent.  Love less means hate here.  The hypothetical is good for telling us what is inside us.

Jesus had boasted that whoever disowns him in public will be disowned by him in the judgment. Christians are forbidden to practice their religion in secret to avoid trouble. Suppose your mother hates Christians and you become one. Can you be discreet and just send her anonymous notes to try and convert her to Christ. No. You have to wreck your family by publicly witnessing for Christ for Jesus wants others to see what he has done in your life so that they might be converted and escape inevitable damnation to Hell. Jesus would say that you are not the one breaking it up but they are.
If you convert then Jesus broke up your family. He said you must hate your family for him. As we have seen, the Christians "explain" that hate here means love less. Don't know how they can be so sure. What if he meant hate? Jesus said that anybody who loves father and mother too much to leave him and do his work is not worthy of him (Matthew 10:34-38). He bullied and insulted those who had more love for their families than him - that is insulting the vast majority of people in Christendom.

Hate is distorted love. You can't hate a person or thing you don't give a toss about. Hate is not the opposite of love. Hate is wanting to pay a person back for somehow having failed to give you the love you want from them for you value them. You fear being hurt by the one you value so you twist the value you have put on them into hate.

If love and hate are two sides of the one coin then to open yourself up to love is risking opening yourself up to hate. What if we have to hate somebody in order to be able to love somebody else?  Many people claim to be like that.  Jesus said no man can have two masters for one will be loved and the other hated. He said hated though there were words for “loved less.” Most people are not paragons of virtue nor do they want to be. Love is easier if you find somebody to hate. We all do it.  To command love is to command hate and the god and religion that do it must take some responsibility for the hate.

Humanists realise that everybody disobeys their religion and faith which is how people can be in a bad religion and be civil in spite of it.  Nobody has the right to tell people to leave their family for religion when the family will suffer.  Christianity may seem softer than Jesus but it is still too extreme for it claims that very right.

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