Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Of Hospitality

A few days ago, I argued that our country's "culture of life" is a comfortable fraud that allows us to pursue the important business of oppression, violence and murder with a clear conscience, and pointed out that anyone who truly believes that "all life is sacred" — for whatever reason — will be treated like a mad dog.

Here's a case in point:

A pastor in this quiet, picturesque New England town thought he was doing the Christian thing when he took in a convicted child killer who had served his time but had nowhere to go.

But some neighbors of the Rev. David Pinckney vehemently disagree, one even threatening to burn his house down after officials could find no one else willing to take 60-year-old Raymond Guay.
The Rev. Pinckney obviously misunderstands the Bible, which clearly states that the strict demands of Christian hospitality apply primarily to the owners operators of wombs.

In fact, what Rev. Pinckney is doing is the Christian thing. I can't argue this point better, or with more conviction, than RMJ, so I'll turn the floor over to him:
Hospitality is what is shown to others; and if God is hospitality, then God directs me, not into myself, but out to others. But others, and which others? My friends? My neighbors? The members of my social class, my economic class, my ethnic clan or nationality or race or creed or culture? Am I directed to those who do not share my ideas about hospitality, who do not understand what I mean when I offer my hand for a handshake, or look them directly in the eyes? Am I directed to pedophiles and child molesters and rapists and murderers? And also, to attempt to leave no one out, to their victims, the families of the victims, the people who would punish them, banish them, put them beyond the social law of a hospitable society? Am I directed to do this by the God I worship, the God of Abraham and Jesus?

There's a real culture of "personal responsibility" for you, in all its outrageousness and impossibility. Behold it and tremble.

In other religious news, Pope Benedict XVI is traveling through Africa, and has announced that condom use "increases the problem" of AIDS. Which, in addition to being an outrageous lie, is also very likely to kill people. Or continue killing them, I should say.

Hooray, says I, for the sanctity of life.

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