Letter: Condemnations aren’t true

By The Daily Illini

In response to Meghan Sullivan’s letter on Thursday: It might come as a surprise to Sullivan that I agree with almost everything she said. Yes, love and concern for mankind does not come in the form of condemnation for homosexuals or of disregard for and a lack of acceptance of other religions. Yes, it involves standing up for everyone’s right to live freely and happily, regardless of sexual orientation, and respecting and accepting all religious beliefs while not condemning to hell those who do not believe in Christianity. Yes, it means loving and respecting all people and working for social justice and progressive ideals. Two things, however, are wrong with her last statement: “Until Christianity as a whole condemns all forms of intolerance, oppression, and violence, you can count me out.”

First, unfortunately, Christianity at this moment is utterly incapable of speaking as a whole. The Reformation, the “shipwreck of Christianity,” saw to that. Second, the institution that is most able to speak as a whole, the Catholic Church, has condemned all forms of intolerance, oppression and violence. The world’s leading moral authority consistently proclaims the dignity and worth of every human being, no matter anything else. Foremost on the Church’s mind is the question of human rights; rights for freedom, but a freedom that does not mean “personal willfulness” as it has come to mean in this century; rather, a freedom to act rightly. None of your condemnations hold true about Christianity, and your accusations about President Bush are condemnations of a man, not of a religion. Have someone explain to you – if you wish – the underlying themes of the whole “Christianity thing.” You might walk away having learned something.

Peter Bess

senior in LAS