Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Is there a place in the Christian community for racists?

There's an approach to responding to questions of Christian tolerance towards LGB people that, on the surface, works great to gauge how serious a given proponent is. I'm talking here about the proponent who says that yes, same-sex sexual acts are a sin, yes gay marriages are wrong, but we have to be a bit gradualist and meet sinful people halfway and we shouldn't criticize them even if they're in a same-sex relationship, or unmarried men and women living together in sexual relationships, etc.

Straightforwardly, it's this: any tolerance extended towards such people must be equivalent to the tolerance extended towards a racist. And I don't mean 'doesn't think they're racist but says things a crazier progressive would interpret through a racism-creating lens', but full-blown 'thinks one race is superior to all the others, or one race is inferior to the others' racism. Awkward racism.

If a person thinks there is no place in the church, or no place in the community, for the racist - but they think that there must be a place for the currently active adulterer or person engaging in same-sex sexual acts, then they're easily written off as inconsistent and insincere. This can be extended to other sins, from out and out misogyny to economic greed to otherwise.

It may sound like I'm laying out a reductio here, a 'this is why we can't be tolerate of these and those people' attempt, but the fact is that's not true. I actually would be entirely on-board with this sort of thing, and I think being consistent about it across the board - being tolerant not just of the currently popular sins, but also the unpopular ones - is the best way to encourage a proper attitude towards all sinners, myself included.

5 comments:

BenYachov said...

I don't see how there is an equivalence here?

Rascism is an ideology that treats people differently and unjustly based on Race. As an ideology it's intrinsically evil.

Homosexuality is a sex orientation that is objectively disordered. That apes and acts as a substitute to an ordered heterosexual orientation. Gay sex acts are intrinsically disorder in that they are in themselves objectively evil.

People don't really have a Racist orientation. It is a false ideology like Reductionist Materialism.

Many gay people are repulsed by sex with the opposite sex the way many straight people are repulsed by sex with their own gender.

It is quite easy for a racist to become more liberal.
It is not so easy for the gay person to become straight(not impossible in some cases but near impossible in others).

>but we have to be a bit gradualist and meet sinful people halfway and we shouldn't criticize them even if they're in a same-sex relationship, or unmarried men and women living together in sexual relationships, etc.

Well I think we just need to employ a little tact.

Crude said...

Rascism is an ideology that treats people differently and unjustly based on Race. As an ideology it's intrinsically evil.

Homosexuality is a sex orientation that is objectively disordered.


Because I'm not comparing the orientation. I'm comparing the acts.

People don't really have a Racist orientation.

There's as much evidence for racism having a genetic basis as there is for same-sex desire.

It is quite easy for a racist to become more liberal.

It wouldn't be 'liberal' they'd be becoming - nor is there any indication that it's quite easy.

It seems quite comparable for a racist to holster their racism, and a person with same-sex desires to holster to not engage in those sex acts.

The Deuce said...

Crude:

I agree with you regarding the relative places of racism and homosexual acts, but I still think the way "gradualism" is being used by the people promoting is just completely wrong-headed and based on subtle deception and equivocation.

A commenter I saw on Facebook put it well:
"Nor do I condemn you. Go and gradually taper off your sinning."--things Jesus never said

When you truly repent and turn to Christ, you resolve to stop sinning NOW. You don't promise to resolve to do it at some unspecified point in the future. You don't say "Grant me chastity Lord, but not yet." If that's your attitude, then you haven't actually repented.

Now, of course you won't *actually* stop sinning right away, or ever while you're on this earth for that matter. You will slip up, Scripture teaches you will slip up, and the Church has always accepted that you will slip up. Christian teaching has ALWAYS understood that after you are saved, the Holy Spirit continues the process of sanctification, so that you tend to sin less and less, and come to be aware of more sins you didn't realize you were guilty of and resolve commit those less as well.

As such, no change in canon law is required to let adulterers take communion, because adulterers have ALWAYS been allowed to take communion. If you cheat on your wife, but then you realize your sin and confess it to the Church and repent of it, you are allowed to take communion.

Likewise, if a divorced-and-remarried couple repent of their sin and come to the Church, but then they slip up and have sex with each other again afterwards, they are still allowed to take communion, provided they confess their sin and repent. Again, there is NO CHANGE in canon law required for this, because that's what it has always said. Christian teaching has always accepted it as a foregone conclusion that forgiven sinners WILL slip up!

What does require a canon law change is this "I'll gladly give you communion today for repentance on Tuesday" notion of "repentance" (except replace "on Tuesday" with "someday") that Kasper and Friends want to implement.

He's conflating the fact that sinners continue to stumble after they have resolved to stop and have begun taking communion with the idea that they should be able to take communion now and promise to resolve to stop sinning at some vague point in the future.

The Deuce said...

As a matter of logic, this is a very subtle piece of sophistry. As a matter of practical import, however, the effect isn't subtle at all. For all intents and purposes, the Catholic Church's stance on divorce would be no different from any Protestant denomination, with an added bit of equivocatory self-deception thrown in for good measure. For pretty much all such couples, the "promise" to repent "someday" would be understood as given with a wink and a nod, the priest's hands would be tied, and the takehome lesson (and the practical reality) would be that repentance wasn't really necessary at all and the Pope and bishops don't really consider it a sin regardless of what it says "on paper" (old paper that no-one reads anyhow).

"The spirit of Vatican II" did quite a bit of damage, without actually contradicting doctrine or changing actual policies directly, just by virtue of bishops signaling by their feely liberal psychobabble that they didn't really believe the doctrine and didn't expect others too either. So how much more damage would be done if it's accompanied by an actual change in canon law that undercuts the doctrine on divorce in all but name?

And then you've got the line-blurring vagueisms about "valuing their orientation," the obfuscation of talk about sin in favor of "clearly denouncing" vaguely-defined political pseudo-sins like giving "excessive room" to "market logic," and so forth, and I think you've got the makings of a huge mess on your hands.

The Deuce said...

Also, obliquely related to the topic of racism, can we just have another moment to reflect on what a total crapcicle this Kasper guy is?: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2014/10/dont-listen-to-the-africans-says-catholic-cardinal

So don't listen to the Africans, Asians, and Middle Easterners. They're just biased! When contemplating overthrowing 2,000 years of canon law and making a hash of the words of Christ specifically to pander to the declining norms and practices of modern decadent Westerners, you really should look only at the "pastoral needs" of Westerners, who are the really objective ones not driven by personal bias and narrow self-interest in this matter.