Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Sacrament of Anti-Love

The worst thing one human being can do to another is to torture him.

Torture is worse than murder, for it is more degrading.  Torture is worse than robbery, for it steals a victim's dignity and free will.  Torture is worse than any mere physical assault, for the point of torture is the destruction of the soul, not just the body.

But we have Catholics who are defending it, or who are trying to defend it while claiming their hands are clean.  "I'm not advocating the use of torture, for crying out loud, I'm only enthusiastic for the horror and panic produced by the slow drowning of one man by another that we euphemistically call waterboarding.  And the question is still open as to whether or not that's torture, don't you know."

These cowards attempt to change the issue from, How can a Christian advocate for the single worst thing one human being can do to another? to How can you dare point out my hypocrisy to me? You're uncharitable!


I have just come away from being treated with abysmal, sneering contempt on Facebook by a self-styled Catholic apologist that I will not embarrass by identifying publicly - all because I stood up to his perverted and cowardly passive-aggressive defense of the worst thing one human being can do to another (I call it passive-aggressive because it took the form I paraphrased above.  I call it a defense because he got very angry when I pointed out the theological and practical considerations that demonstrated the intrinsic evil of torture, including waterboarding: this anger giving the lie to his professed "neutrality".)  My friend Joe Grabowski suggested that he's probably mad that I oppose not just Torture but Lying, too.

Joe goes on to point out ...

The supposed justification for either [Torture or Lying] rests on the same anthropological error: namely making a human person a means to an end.

That's it exactly.

This is why I argue these points.  If you can lie to another to get what you want, that person becomes a means to an end to you.  If you can torture another to get what you want, that person - even that person's very soul - becomes a means to an end to you.  This is true regardless of the goodness of the thing you want.

It is the appropriation and possession of another, making a person a thing: the mere use of another.  And use is the opposite of love.

We've all been used and we know what it feels like.  We've all used others and we know how dirty that makes us.  We know that to turn another person into a thing is the spirit of the age, the spirit of Satan.  We do it when we abandon, when we seduce, when we fib, when we manipulate, when we bully, when we cheat, when we terrorize.  We do it and we have it done to us.

It is of the world.  It is of the flesh.  It is not of the Father.

To rid us of this poison, this poison of dehumanizing use or anti-love, is why Jesus Christ died for us.

Meanwhile, you can't expect decent treatment from a man who gives wiggle room for a form of Torture.  You can't expect honest treatment from a man who defends Lying-when-it-suits-me.  You can't expect legitimate Christian theology from a man who has a vested interest in the Spirit of the World and the sins that continue to drip from it.

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