Voices from Russia

Sunday, 29 May 2016

29 May 2016. Can We Tolerate Bigots in the Church?

00 Andy Marlette. Kentucky Fried Bigot. 2015


Cloaking your bigotry in religion doesn’t make it any less bigoted. Calling you out on your bigotry isn’t persecution… its accountability.

David Silverman

I saw this on FB:

What is bigotry? A stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion differs from one’s own. Bigotry is also preaching hate and calling it love. There are other names for this action, but the action is a bigoted aim at a given group for which you have a complete intolerance. This doesn’t mean that one can’t critique and criticise, but bigotry can go so far as to want to actually destroy the people that you’re bigoted toward.

It’d seem that the solution to this would be to “throw the rascals out”… but… as Max Lerner wrote some 60 years ago:

If my enemy tries to shut me out, I prevail not by shutting him out, but by including him.

This is exactly the spirit of the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares:

The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, “Sir, did not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then has it tares?” He said unto them, “An enemy has done this”. The servants said unto him, “Will thou then that we go and gather them up?” But he said, “Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn’”.

Gospel according to St Matthew 13.24-30

To try to dig out the konvertsy isn’t only a vain task… it’s harmful to the Church. Firstly, many of these toddlers may indeed grow some sense and abandon their childish devotion to sectarian notions and to crackbrained rightwing political meanderings. Secondly, it’d scandalise many simple people, as the konvertsy often maintain a seemingly moral and pious exterior (their interior is desolate and lifeless, but the simple don’t see that). Thirdly, we must understand what many saints have said, “A new world must be born in the soul of a Westerner before they can accept the Church and what it teaches”… we must give these sorts the time to mature and grow (although we may also have to silence these brats if they think that they can lecture grounded Christians on the Faith).

You do no good to try to remove the likes of Dreher, Whiteford, Reardon, or Webster, for it’d cause more havoc than it’d cure. God WILL judge in the end… that’s what the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares promises to us. I believe in the Church of the Big Tent… not the Church of the Little Flock. I believe in the Church that wields the Canons as creative means to salvific ends (a concept brought forth by Vassa Larina before her corruption by the papist Jesuit “Archimandrite” Taft), not a Church that wields the Canons as a club to beat the Faithful with. You must choose one or the other… your choice will tell the world whether you’re a real Christian or not. I believe in the Church that teaches oikonomia and practises forbearance. I don’t believe in a Church that keeps all but the “pure” out and glories in its “obedience” to every jot and tittle of what it believes to be the Divine Law.

I wish God to forgive me… if I wish that, I must show that. Now, that’s a meaty reflection, kids…



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