I also started thinking about "hate" as a verb, directed at something or someone specific. I don't know the owner of the vehicle and I can't say for certain but I'm pretty sure the long version of their two word message would be something like, "stop hating each other". I don't think we're supposed to remain neutral on evil though: the actions of Isis, abuse, corruption, perversion, lying, stealing, murder, (the list could go on) ... sin, I think we should hate sin. People, we're not supposed to hate people, we're called to love them.
Somewhere between the words on a page and the actions and nuances of everyday life, interpretation and confusion can settle in. What is hate exactly? What does it look like? Can I hold a strong opinion, a firm conviction, that someone else's opinion or behavior isn't just different but wrong? I don't think anyone would believe that a firm spine equals hate but set two strong-minded folks on opposite sides of an issue and you'll see respect, love, and decency all tested. Feelings may be violated, one or both may feel as though the other hates them.
"You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him." ~ Leviticus 19:17 (NAS)
Sometimes just one verse speaks volumes. Hate is never to be a part of the equation. Period. And yet we see room to "reprove" (correct, rebuke) as it pertains to sin, anything that displeases the Lord. The people of Israel were to love each other and speak into each other's lives. God alone sits in judgment of our heart and actions however the notion that we are called to live as muted, passive spectators tolerating any and every choice made by one another is nonsense.
Need some New Covenant confirmation? The balance of love and correction carry through here as well.
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
~ Matthew 5:43-48 (NAS)
"And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another."
~ Romans 15:14
Maybe license plates can produce more conversation than I thought! One last ingredient: personal relationships. Hate has a tough time developing roots in respectful, face to face conversations or in the context of shared lives. It blossoms behind the anonymity of a computer screen (see comment sections in political news articles) and behind fences and in propaganda. Of course our primary relationship is with Jesus, He is the one who continues to refine and transform us. He has loved us sacrificially, forgiven us exponentially and wants us to be with him eternally. Want to remove hate from your life? Walk closely with Christ!