August 29th, 2012Love and War and Gonadsby Kevin O'Brien | http://www.thewordinc.org

My last two posts (both here and at my own blog), The Rape of Reason and Love and War , are connected.

In the first, I point out the appalling hate-speech of an otherwise intelligent atheist reader of this blog, who asserts that God "raped a Jewish virgin", and who betrays his anti-Semitism by complaining that God would even mess with those backwards Jews, rather than revealing Himself to the much-more-sophisticated Chinese (who today show their superiority to any in the West by their enforced abortion, their abandonment of girl babies, their totalitarianism, and their imprisonment of political dissidents).

In the second, I try to help a struggling reader of Scripture see that only one thing can square the Wrath of God in the Old Testament with the Mercy of God that takes human form in the New - and that is the unity of Love - not the emasculated love of our suburban parishes, but the consuming fire of the God Who is love, evident all about us, and expressed throughout the Bible from start to finish, a disturbing love, a love that will not let us rest in our sins and in our superficial human parodies of Divine Love.

The two posts come together in this quote by Robert Carballo, which Joseph Pearce passed along here on the Ink Desk, the context of which you can read on The Christian Shakespeare site, where Carballo makes his case in full. 

Carballo points to a modernist critic of Shakespeare, who takes time in an article on The Merchant of Venice to spew some hate and spread some propaganda and lies about the Catholic Church.  Would this critic have dared similarly to criticize Islam? Carballo asks.

No, he reserves his bullying for the Christians, for he knows that what now obtains is, in his words, "the transformation of Christianity from its militant, combative, baptize-or-be-damned phase ... to its much gentler, attenuated, and more pacific institution of today." In other words, a Christianity which is easy to defame and bully through lies, half-truths, historical distortions and purely subjective interpretations---and a Christianity that largely lacks courageous leaders but has plenty of cowardly followers who have been domesticated by a quasi-heretical, pacifist, and distorted preaching of the theological virtue of charity.



Indeed.

We have been domesticated (I would say emasculated) by "a quasi-heretical, pacifist, and distorted preaching of the theological virtue of charity."

In other words, of love.

If our love were more like the love of God - neither pacifist (opposed to fighting under any circumstances) nor accommodating of sin (God will either destroy sinners, or more typically let them destroy themselves, as I point out here), but truly charitable, atheists would have neither the courage to hate our God, hate His people (the Jews) and claim that God raped one, nor perhaps would they have the desire to do so.

It may be that their contempt of us stems from our own lack of love - a love with gonads, a love that speaks the truth and fights for what it loves.

The Muslims, at least, have that advantage over us.  Which is why my atheist reader would not dare to blaspheme against Mohamed or Allah - but will think it's cute to knock the Virgin Mary and the God he claims raped her. 

Sadly, we both lack real courage - Christians and their critics. 

Because we both lack real love.


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  • August 29 2012 | by Harry

    The Islamic form of "love" is one that says- "Don't say anything bad about our religion or we'll murder you." That's the reason why people don't criticize Islam- they're afraid of actual bodily harm, not sternly worded letters or a brilliant retort.
    Quite how or why we should seek to emulate this "love with gonads" is beyond me. Should we re-institute the Inquisition? Organize crusades into atheistic areas? Burn a few heretics in the open to send a message?
    GKC was an excellent example of how to respond to critics- wit, charity, humor and courage. The key element is charity, as in forcefully pointing out your opponents mistakes/lies whilst showing that you care about them. The Islamist would rather kill his opponent and rid himself of the trouble of actually engaging with him.
    There is nothing to admire about the way the Islamic faith has preserved itself from criticism. It comes entirely from the threat of murderous violence. There are a number of valid emotional reactions to this state of affairs- envy is not one of them. Christ forgave his tormentors even as they crucified him- Muhammad declared war on his enemies.
    Speak the truth with force and courage, but for goodness' sake don't look at Muhammad's example and think "we could do with a bit of that."
  • August 31 2012 | by Kevin O'Brien

    You misunderstand me. What I admire is a believer of any faith who believes enough to knock you down if you blaspheme his god. An atheist thinks it's cute to claim in my combox that God raped a Jewish virgin, assuming that, like many Christians I don't love God or Our Lady enough to knock him down for saying that. Yes, we should evangelize with a Chestertonian joy, but Chesterton himself carried a sword stick.
  • August 31 2012 | by Recent Convert

    With all due respect Harry, do you know anything about the Inquisition, the Crusades, or "burning" heretics?
    Because it seems to me that you have a false conception of what they really were, or you would not have used them in such a negative context. It seems like you have inherited the laughably distorted, bigoted "enlightenment" view of them, which is, needless to say, false. You do yourself, and our Church (not to mention the people of those events) an injustice by spouting the lies their enemies have preached against them. By all means, read up on the subjects! Thomas Walsh, Jonathan Riley-Smith, Christopher Dawson, Regine Pernoud, etc, etc. Read some histroy books by those who are not modernists with an anti-Church agenda!

    "Love with Gonads", eh? A crude and silly way to put it, but I agree, we need to practice this kind of love.
    BTW "Love with Gonads" was the kind of love that spurred the crusaders onwards!