A Christian wrote: I donʼt have the time to respond to everything, but right off the top, I suggest that “loving your enemy” is a teaching attributed directly to Jesus.
The teaching predates Jesus.
“Do not return evil to your adversary; Requite with kindness the one who does evil to you, Maintain justice for your enemy, Be friendly to your enemy.”
- Akkadian Councils of Wisdom (from the ancient Babylonian civilization that existed two millennia before Jesus was born)
“Shame on him who strikes, greater shame on him who strikes back. Let us live happily, not hating those who hate us. Let us therefore overcome anger by kindness, evil by good, falsehood by truth. Do not hurt others in ways that would be hurtful to yourself.”
- Buddhist wisdom (written centuries before Jesus was born)
More Buddhist Wisdom
In this world
Hate never yet dispelled hate.
Only love dispels hate.
This is the law,
Ancient and inexhaustible.
- The Dhammapada
Return love for hatred. Otherwise, when a great hatred is reconciled, some of it will surely remain. How can this end in goodness? Therefore the sage holds to the left hand of an agreement but does not expect what the other holder ought to do. Regard your neighborʼs gain as your own and your neighborʼs loss as your own loss. Whoever is self-centered cannot have the love of others.
- Taoist wisdom (written centuries before Jesus was born)
People were Christian before Christ ever existed. People were humanistic before Humanism was ever organized. People were loving before LSD was ever discovered. I dug defecating before I ever knew it was a Zen thing to do.
- Timothy Leary, as quoted by Paul Krassner, “The Cynic Route from Crazy SANE to Loving Haight,” The Realist, 1967
For additional “love your enemy” verses from the worldʼs religions visit:
World Scripture : A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts, Dr. Andrew Wilson, Editor (International Religious Foundation, 1991)
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