Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Love, Hate, and Leaving an Impression

I remember when the slogan "victim of society" was taken more seriously than it is today.

At the time I thought that excusing destructive behavior and blaming the victim was a bad idea. I still do.

But I also remember the trailing edge of the 'good old days' that made slogans like "victim of society" look comparatively sensible. I really don't want to go back to the 'good old days.'

(from H.E. Fowler, via Wikipedia, used w/o permission)
"Crowley, Jeremiah J. (1913) 'The Pope: Chief of White Slavers High Priest of Intrigue,' p. 430"

Rants, Hate, and Making an Impression

In my youth, I was impressed by folks who seemed to be fervent supporters of a 'First Church of Holy Hate.'

Ranting radio preachers and screeds against commies, rock music, and 'the Whore of Babylon,' impressed me: not favorably, but they did leave a lasting impression. Eventually I:
  • Decided that
    • Religion wasn't a psychiatric condition
    • Faith and reason were compatible
  • Learned about the Catholic Church
  • Became a Catholic

Sin, Personal Responsibility, and Getting a Grip

Thinking that sin and personal responsibility exist doesn't make me a heartless conservative. Believing that mercy is a good idea doesn't mean that I'm a bleeding heart liberal.

I'm a practicing Catholic, which may not mean what you've heard it does. (November 18, 2012, November 3, 2008)

I have to accept personal responsibility for my actions. (Luke 18:10-14) I also have to acknowledge forgiveness is possible: particularly when compared with the alternative. (Matthew 6:14-15)

Accepting personal responsibility involves feeling guilty when I've sinned. That's a good thing, provided that I've got the good sense to use the guilt as a sort of diagnostic tool. Wallowing in guilt isn't an option. More topics. (Catechism, 1455)

'Hate the Sin' and John 8:1-11

I don't know why, but quite a few folks apparently:
  • Heard
    • 'Hate the sin, love the sinner'
  • Remembered
    • 'Hate the sin, damn the sinner'
For example, a few days ago I shared a thread with a fellow-Catholic who passionately wanted a particular bishop to either:
  1. Change his mind
  2. Or be
    1. Killed
    2. Taken to Hell
Option "A" didn't bother me a bit. Repentance, from what I read, looked like a very good idea.

Option "B1" was understandable: and even theoretically acceptable, if I adopted an extremely hardball frame of mind.

My attitudes toward options "A" and "B1" don't make me a bloodthirsty lunatic, or a soft-headed pacifist: and that's another topic or two. (April 27, 2012)

Option "B2," expressing a desire for God to kill someone and arrange a 'soul-to-go' pickup by Satan, was what bothered me: a lot; and still does.

It's one thing to be upset about someone's behavior. Fervently wanting that person to burn in Hell is a very bad idea. (Matthew 6:15)
"...although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1861)
Then there's my Lord's conditional approval of an execution. (John 8:1-11) The Catholic Church has quite a bit to say about mercy: Catechism, 1465 and 1846, for starters.

"Love One Another..."

The last two 'Bible and catechism' posts were 'out of order.' In one case, I even released it Monday: instead of the 'regularly scheduled' Wednesday.:
I'm back on track today, picking up my hike through the Catechism. This section is talking about my Lord, Jesus. Last time I wrote about Jesus and how we should live:
"The Word became flesh to be our model of holiness. ... Jesus is the model for the Beatitudes and the norm of the new law: 'Love one another as I have loved you.'76..."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 459)
That bit about love is from the Gospel of John:
"This is my commandment: love one another as I love you."
(John 15:12)
I went over Catechism, 459, before:
As I said in that post, it's not enough to 'really believe.' We're expected do actually do something about what we think is true: and not the way Robert Burns' Holy Willie did.

Pretty Good Advice

While writing this post, I found a pretty good resource. I think it has pretty good advice about applying "hate the sin and love the sinner:"
I think "Civil Dialog" makes sense, particularly since we're still expected to "make disciples." (Matthew 28:16-20)

On the other hand, I'm quite certain that having hissy fits, with or without a holier-than-thou attitude, is almost guaranteed to lose friends and alienate people. And that's yet another topic.

My take on getting a grip about:

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.