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Excersus XL: The Sermon of the Vocate


When talking with Christians about religion, I hear a lot about Forgiveness. I have misunderstood the religion fundamentally because, after all, did not Jesus say, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Jesus, and Christianity, is about forgiveness and tolerance, not condemnation. But let's look at that quote a bit more closely - it isn't saying that condemnation is a bad thing - it's just saying that it's not our job to do it. Thus the word SIN cast smack dab in the center. Just as priests can't let a baby be born or a couple merge their lives together without edging themselves into it, so here are all powers of individual moral evaluation taken out of the hands of humans and placed firmly in those of God and church. All humans are sinners, prejudged as evil by the being who, well, apparently made us incapable of being anything but sinners. This is not a positive thing - it is merely being told to hate yourself first, and lower your opinion of mankind in accord with your own miserable self evaluation.

And that's Christian forgiveness at its best - a hopeless renunciation of expectation bred from a loathing of self and humanity by extension. At its worst it's just arrogance - "Yes, you are awful, but I'll deign to suffer your presence in the hope that you'll eventually be more like me." It's the aunt saying tearfully that she forgives you for being gay, or the pastor of your youth sadly shaking your hand and assuring you that God forgives your slackness as of late. This forgiveness is the face condemnation wears to a party - it is more of a statement of the forgiver's belief in his own beneficence and your fundamental not-okay-ness than a real motion of understanding. In short, it is entirely without moral worth.

- Count Dolby von Luckner