So I realized that my original post was way too long, so I broke it up into two parts.
The last point I will bring up (there are so many more, enough to do a thesis on it) is that the ones that we hate, our "enemies" who have done atrocious and despicable acts against other human beings, are HUMAN and even HUMANE, in their own sort of way. You see we want our villains to be crazy pschyopaths so we can box them into a category and make ourselves feel better, knowing there is no way we can be like that. But the truth is that most villains are actually of a sound mind. They have completely plausible explanations for doing what they do that make just as much sense as the explanations we have for opposing them. In fact, if we listened to their reasons, we might even be swayed to their side.
They are also humane and have feelings, they are not cold-blooded killers with no conscience or morals. Some of the soldiers at Auschwitz, even though they killed countless numbers of Jews, saved some out of some sense of morals, otherwise Jews would be completely exterminated now. Those soldiers are not so different from the soldiers of the Indian war, or from the policemen who murdered and beat up blacks because of their color. I quote for Merton: "Given the right situation and another Hitler, places like Auschwitz can be set up, put into action, kept running smoothly, with thousands of people systematically starved, beaten, gassed and whole crematories going full blast. . . They will be glad because they instinctively welcome and submit to an ideology which enables them to be violent and destructive without guilt."
I say all this to say that I think the main point of Merton's book is to hate the atrocities, hate injustice, hate greed, hate the monsters of this world, but hate them in yourself, not in one another. That is why I am coming to grips with the fact that I am a monster. That, while I don't think I could systematically kill thousands of people (but who knows?), I can sit by and do nothing which would make me no better than their executioners. That until I confront the monsters in my soul, it will be impossible for me to begin to bring peace to this world. That without Christ, my life could have been just like the ones whom I have come to call "my enemy."
Thanks for reading.