Thursday, September 18, 2003

Love & Hate

Interesting post here on whether the dictum, "love the sinner, hate the sin" is really workable. I of course, think it is, and that in fact it is basic to relationships of nearly every level. If someone is doing something that is harmful to themself, why wouldn't you try to get them to stop their self-destructive behavior?

Tristero commented on this post, in the following manner:
    Kynn addressed this earlier. A conservative christian boilerplated this:

    "By the way, I am not oppressive towards women, nor do I hate homosexuals, and nor do I condemn anyone to Hell. "

    With all due respect, cause I usually agree with Kynn, I was not entirely satisfied with his respone:

    "Except you believe that no one who does not "trust in Jesus Christ as Savior" is denied heaven. It sounds to me like you're splitting hairs here. "

    He is not splitting hairs in his own mind. Remember, in this guy's so-called "religion" (actually, merely a beard for his politics) it is God that hates homosexual acts, and it is God that condemns such sinners to Hell. As the follower of this (inevitably construed as male) God, the Christianist has no choice but to admit the "truth" which is that while he, personally, hates no one, God has plans for these naughty, naughty people when he gets His divine Mitts on their Souls.

    Am I intolerant of this view? Let's put it this way: To project onto God the petty hatreds of human beings is terribly blasphemous. Only the the most narrow-minded and bigoted interpretation of the biblical texts leads to such foolishness.

    The Christianist is entitled to believe any nonsense he wants, of course. And in that sense, I tolerate it, as I tolerate, say, pornography, as the price a free society pays for free speech and worship.

    But to pass laws inspired by such filth? To refuse to recognize someone's civil rights based upon a Christianist delusion they're condemned to Hell? That's another story. And make no mistake, that is what Christianists really want us to tolerate: a radical makeover of society in their dreary little image.

    My tolerance stops right there.

    It is time for Christianists to recognize that they cannot ascribe to God the irrational hatred they feel without insulting the beliefs of real Christians and other genuinely religious people when they do so.

    By the way: do I hate Christianists? No, of course not. I just hate their beliefs.

    (Irony, duh)
Unfortunately, this comment does little to convince me of Tristero's ability to constructively engage in conversation with those with whom he disagrees.

First of all, he refers to Christians by the strange word "Christianists." Why, I have no idea... isn't it best to refer to people using the label they chose?

Second, he is of the same opinion as too many people: that those who view homosexual acts as self-destructive actually hate homosexuals. This simply isn't the case... Christians also view lying as wrong, but you don't hear about Christians hating liars, do you?

Third, he compares the orthodox Christian view of the morality of homosexual acts to pornography... not the best way to engage in a calm & fruitful discussion on an issue.

Finally, he appears to be completely unfamiliar with the rational arguments which all sorts of people (political philosopher Robert George comes to mind) offer against homosexual acts. While I can't completely blame him for this -- there is probably too much mere assertion by the fundamentalist crowd -- I think he must take some responsibility to investigate the matter and determine if there are perhaps more serious arguments offered by those who oppose homosexual acts.

Again, I hope I'm wrong in my estimation of Tristero's style of discussion (or lack thereof). I'm not trying to be cute or coy... I'm serious.

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