On Hatred and Forgiveness

Conservative blogger Iain Dale has fallen into what must count as one of the oldest traps in the book – turning into what he hates most. Upon the death of American ‘televangelist’ Jerry Falwell, Dale has written the following post. As it is very short, I shall quote it in full.

Why I Hope Jerry Falwell Rots in Hell
Yesterday I was invited by someone on Facebook to join the group “RIP Jerry Falwell”. Here’s why I gently declined. Among Falwell’s more memorable quotes are these…

“AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment
for the society that tolerates homosexuals”
“If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.”
“[Homosexuals are] brute beasts…part of a vile and satanic system [that] will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven.”

A really Christian gent, eh?

Dale is right to take Falwell to task, for though the witness of the Bible is that homosexual behaviour is an offence to God, it is a nonsense to blame homosexuals especially for particular illnesses or accuse them above all others of being beasts. If we carried this logic through to its conclusion, we would soon find ourselves explaining every physical problem by its relationship to a particular sin. As for the beastliness of homosexuals, one might well say that all sin causes us to become less human and to become failures in that regard. Therefore, it is simple spite to pick on one particular kind of sin and highlight its depravity.

Enough of Falwell, what of Dale? Well, he points out the late reverend’s failing as a true ‘Christian gent’ but where are his own good morals? The title of the post corrupts them. It is not possible to wish a worse fate for someone than that they are condemned to hell. Such is the gravity of the declaration that in 2,000 years the Church has never once proclaimed any soul to be in that place. A good man does not wish ill of his enemy but prays for him and his redemption. If Iain Dale had wished to secure his place on the moral high ground, this is the path he should have taken. Instead, he attacks Falwell in Falwell’s own language, thus perpetuating the hatred that the late minister started.

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