Tuesday, March 15, 2005

In the Poorest of Taste

Jonathan Last puts up this post on Galley Slaves which is worth the read. The New Republic Article is a subscriber-only thing, but it is reproduced in pertinent part in the Ross Douthat article. Gregg Easterbrook's reasoning is particularly snide and cruel. His implication that Christians, in their moments of greatest emotional pain, as they grieve the parting of a loved one, are somehow denying their faith, is grotesque.

Death and separation from those we love was never part of God's plan. It makes sense to grieve those who ignored God's lordship and free gift of salvation, because such folk have only their own record of deeds, both good and bad, upon which to stand, not Christ's forgiveness and a clean slate.

But Mr. Easterbrook would do well to note that Christians do not claim to be perfect idealists as he seems to be, but rather they struggle with issues as would anyone. We don't claim to be perfectly selfless all the time either. And while Ronald Reagan went into glory, he left the rest of us here. Our grief was not for him, but for us, to lose such a kind man. And with the passing of John Paul II/Karol Wojtyla, we will do the same, both Catholic and otherwise. His life will be celebrated as one lived devoted to Christ and opposed to evil, both physical and spiritual, and his death as the beginning of the sinless life God intended. But nonetheless, his loss will hurt, as we will no longer have him. And the Vatican won't need to "stage" that. It is part of our fallen condition with which we cannot part in this life. Because Christians are as fallen and lowly as anyone else. We just accept God's free forgiveness.

But Gregg Easterbrook's column reflects a certain meanness about him and a disrespect for people of faith. And I can only hope that he finds comfort in his own words of ignorance at his own time of difficulty in the future.

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