Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


DISAGREEMENT OVER MORAL ISSUES MAKES LOVE SINNER AND HATE SIN UNWORKABLE

"Love the sinner and hate the sin" are usually read as two different categories.  "Love the sinner" is one command and hate the sin is the other.  Christians usually say the two should be the same thing so that to love the sinner is to hate the sin and to hate the sin is to love the sinner.  In fact we feel and sense there is a conflict and our feelings and brains tell us there is indeed two commands and one of them is going to have to be put before the other.

 

Many Christians do not see "Love the sinner" and "Hate the sin" as compatible.  They settle for saying that paradoxes are a reality and by some mystery God can truly love the sinner and hate that person at the same time and so can those who are given grace from God to be like God.  They live with the contradiction but they cannot deny they hate sinners.

 

You will see what the believers really think of love sinner hate sin when you admonish them for a real or imagined sin. They will feel condemned as people and as totally bad.

 

Love the sinner and hate the sin if you translate it as saying among other things, “love the racist but hate his racism” amounts to arguing that he is not a racist but just does things that seem racist or he is somehow not himself when he acts racist.  That is not loving towards the victims and only placeboes the bad person.

The Church says you cannot get far with love the sinner and hate the sin unless you are attuned to God and receiving help from him. At least that this is an admission that the huge majority of people in the Church who are not that religious can be suspected of hating the sinner with the sin. And also they will cherry-pick what sins upset them. We all know about popes who would not let gay rights campaigners in the door while they cuddle up to blood-drinking autocrats. Pius XII wined and dined psychopaths such as Pavelic and had no time at all for Protestant religious leaders. People who cherry pick what sins they will hate are really hiding their hatred for others under a virtuous guise. If you hate sin you will hate all sin. There is something more personal going on if you hate the sin of homosexuality while not worrying much about the corrupt dealings of your banker husband.

Christians are not to stand idly by as people lead each other to sin. They are to say and do what they can to encourage people to repent. We are ordered to hate sin. If you like sin, or don't mind it, you become a sinner yourself. So you are to detest sin and to war against it. Sin for Christians is telling God, "You are all perfect and I wish I could destroy you." Atheists at least do not intend that amount of vehement evil when they do wrong.

If the Catholic Church should hate sin, then other religions should hate sin too. The trouble is that the religions don’t agree on what is sinful. For Protestants for example, it is a sin to fail to use contraception when the wife could die if she gets pregnant whereas contraception is a sin for the Catholic faith no matter how good the motivation is behind it.

To call a person a sinner is to browbeat and humiliate them and nothing more. It is worse and more judgmental than calling them irrational or negative or stupid. Why not concentrate on the fact that sinners attempt to do good (even if it is the incorrect kind of good)? The bank robber may rob for he wants his kids to have a good education. Condemning sin is supposed to be about love but it cannot be. Love the sin and hate the sin is unworkable for it is based on an incoherent "morality". Praise the sinner for attempting to do good by the sin and see the sin as an error not as a sin. In reality there are no sinners. Praise the person and accept the person and thus empower them to make amends and do better.

The moral disagreement in religion and between religions is going to cause a lot of trouble. Some Christians believe that the greatest happiness or the greatest good of the greatest number should be worked for. They might agree with stealing organs in hospitals when the need is great enough. Others will oppose that vehemently.

Some say that when HIV first appeared that the gay victims should have been quarantined or executed to prevent an epidemic. Even people who would normally disapprove would approve if it could be shown that this would have been the best plan of action. But it may come down to evidence. The trouble with evidence is that people will disagree on what counts as evidence and so there will be different conclusions. Some will see the quarantining as hate. Others will see it as a necessary evil. Some will say they see it as a necessary evil for that helps them to mask the hatred.

If you are to hate sin, that will make you unhappy. Any kind of hate eats at you and makes you angry and twisted. Christians personify sin as somebody they want to hurt. The principle of love the sinner and hate the sin wrecks the fact that we should try to make others and ourselves as happy as possible. It accuses those who see through it of being so evil in that they deny that loving the sinner requires hating the sin. So the biggest and worst sinner in the long run and in the heart is the person who admits that the principle is sickly-sweet hypocritical bullshit. That kind of "sinner" is certainly not loved while their sin is hated. As Christians try to love murderers they do not try to love those who see through their rubbish principle.

It is possible to imagine a person loving you and also hating you. That is what love the sinner and hate the sin at best will result in. Hate the sin is incitement to hatred against the person and breaks the law. And it is even more dangerous when taught by a religion that exaggerates how wrong doing wrong is and exaggerates the number of actions that are wrong.

It is possible to treat people deliberately badly out of love. Such love is more harmful and dangerous than outright hate. It confuses the victim so much that he might not know how to address the problem. If we praise such love we can hardly condemn hate!

Civil law cannot be expected to agree with the notion of loving the evildoer and hating the evil they do. When the rule is no good in such a matter of importance then its no good at all.

The Christian claims that love is an absolute. It says that it is better to be murdered by a lunatic than to live and to fail to love somebody. That is why it says that sin is the greatest evil of all and even worse than death. So if somebody attacks you to kill you, you should be examining yourself all along to make sure you love this person attacking you and that you are not letting yourself or sin. If you start doing that you can be sure they will succeed! The hatred we feel for the attacker and the anger is necessary for us to get the strength and concentration to fight them off. It is an evil faith that teaches such things to children. It only makes the child feel guilty about exposing the priest who is abusing her or his body to give one example.

Catholicism is using its boast that it can love the sinner and hate the sin as an excuse for looking good while encouraging hate towards persons. It is Church teaching - ask it! - that our actions define us, and we can be held accountable for them. We are accountable for our actions - our actions cannot be accountable for themselves. Thus the sinner is the sin. The Church agrees with the Batman line, “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.” Thus the Church is lying that it loves sinners and separates sin from sinners to hate the sin.

Conclusion

Love the sinner and hate the sin only tears you apart and makes your relationships with "sinners" passive aggressive at best. It is not the great means of creating cohesion in society that it is said to be. It only creates moral confusion in a world that already suffers that confusion too much with often tragic consequences.