Sympathy for the Devil: The Difference Between Tolerance and Biblical Love

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 8.42.55 AMSome years ago, The New Yorker ran a cartoon that perfectly lampooned the loopy ideology of “inclusion” that has come to characterize so much of the Christian world. It showed a neat and tidy church, filled with an attentive congregation. The pastor was at the podium, introducing a guest speaker. “In accordance with our policy of equal time,” he said, “I would like now to give our friend the opportunity to present an alternative point of view.”

Sitting next to him, about to rise to speak, was the devil, dressed perfectly and tapping the pages of his prepared text on his knee.

I was put in mind of that cartoon when I read a sermon delivered recently by Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in America. Addressing a congregation in CuraƧao, Venezuela, Bishop Jefferts Schori praised the beauty of (what else?) diversity, but lamented the fact that so many people are still frightened by what is other or different: “Human beings have a long history of discounting and devaluing difference, finding it offensive or even evil.” Now I suppose that if one were to make the right distinctions — differentiating between that which is simply unusual and that which is intrinsically bad — one might be able coherently to make this point.

Read more: realclearreligion.org

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