Judging Benedict. Andrew Sullivan hates the sinner, not the sin
Pope Benedict XVI is resigning effective today, Thursday, 28 February 2013 at 8 PM, the first Pope in the last 600 years to abdicate. Some people ask, why the rush? In the rush to judgment, ANN's 3-year old sentence reflects, I think, the intellectual mood of the times (author not named, 21 March 2010, nbcnews.com):
Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday urged Catholics to refrain from judging sinners a day after he rebuked Irish bishops for their handling of a half-century of sexual abuse of minors by clergy.
In just 32 words, ANN seems to contradict herself. If you are a proper Roman Catholic, you don't judge sinners. Rebuking the Irish bishops is not judging them but judging their acts, in this case, sin of commission or omission, as the case may be; otherwise, the Pope would have dismissed them outright. Hate the sin, not the sinner.
In the New Testament, in John 8:1-11 (NRSV), there is the story of an adulterous woman whom the men brought to Jesus as they wanted to stone her to death, and Jesus said, "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." (I prefer the earlier, non-politically correct version, the one I memorized, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.") No one did, and everyone went away. "Neither do I condemn you," Jesus said. Relating to the gospel, Pope Benedict said one Sunday at St Peter's Square, "While acknowledging her sin, he does not condemn her, but urges her to sin no more" (ANN as cited). "Trusting in His great mercy toward us, we humbly beg His forgiveness for our own failings, and we ask for the strength to grow in His holiness."
Instead of hating the sin, an American blogger hates the sinner, and only one sinner. Andrew Sullivan is fixated on pinning the label "Gay" at the back of Joseph Ratzinger, soon-to-be-no-longer-Pope, and is happy about it. As a Roman Catholic, I'm not happy about it, because Andrew is supposed to be a Roman Catholic; in fact, Adam Taylor calls him "perhaps the best-known Catholic blogger in America, today" (28 February 2013, finance.yahoo.com); and his tattletale proves what Nick Rizzo says, that Andrew is a "gay (and Catholic) blogger" (19 August 2010, mediaite.com). Being gay may or may not be a sin, but hating the sinner certainly is.
Andrew Sullivan is the best-known Catholic blogger in America because of his tattletale? It just proves that non-flattery can get you somewhere. In fact, Andrew started calling the Pope "gay" at least 3 years ago yet (Rizzo, as cited). Today, he says, in another vein, "The damage Benedict XVI has done to the Catholic church and the papacy may be far from over" (Andrew Sullivan, 27 February 2013, andrewsullivan.com). This is Catholic blogging!?
Who is this guy? Andrew Sullivan is "the World's Best Blogger" in the opinion of Max Read, Gawker Editor (gawker.com). I'm afraid Max has been reading too much about Andrew. Born in southern England in 1963, Andrew Sullivan is a former senior editor of the Atlantic (theatlantic.com). He has published 5 books and has been blogging since 2000. World's Best Blogger? I have been blogging since 2006 and I have uploaded about 2,000 essays of at least 1,000 words each to the American Chronicle (check it out here, americanchronicle.com), and to my blogs (visit now The Creattitudes Encyclopedia, blogspot.com). I write the alphabet, from A (as in A-1) to C (as in 4 Cs of Communication) to M (as in Microorganisms) to P (as in PageRank) to S (as in Science) to V (as in Vision) to Y (as in Yesterday) to Z (as in Zimbabwe). World's Best Blogger? Setting aside 2 million words blogged: Frank A Hilario is successful in raising fun; Andrew Sullivan is successful in raising funds. My language is simply a better renegade; Andrew Sullivan's language is simply a better rogue.
Andrew Sullivan is a champion of gays in the military and same-sex marriage. You call that Catholic? Not me. On 02 April 2012, Andrew wrote about "Christianity in Crisis" (thedailybeast.com), saying that "Christianity has been destroyed by politics, priests, and get-rich evangelists," and that the best thing is to "ignore them, and embrace Him" (Christ). This is not Catholic blogging! (The Protestants should embrace Him, I mean, Andrew Sullivan.)
So why does not Andrew Sullivan ignore Pope Benedict XVI? If he believes in Christ, why does Andrew not pray the Pope's prayer? "Trusting in His great mercy toward us, we humbly beg His forgiveness for our own failings, and we ask for the strength to grow in His holiness."
In his Crisis article, Andrew defies the Christians and deifies Thomas Jefferson and tells this little story: When Jefferson was already 77, he created a different New Testament out of the Christian Bible, cutting out by razor what to him were the "misconceptions" of the followers of Jesus, those verses "expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves," and pasting on only "those passages he thought reflected the actual teachings of Jesus of Nazareth." This was desecrating the Bible. This is not Catholic blogging!
Jefferson's biblical act was not statesmanship either. Neither was it churchmanship. It was Jefferson who invented the phrase "wall of separation between Church and State" (Wikipedia). In 1786, his proposed "Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom" was adopted, "its goal (being) complete separation of Church and State." Now then, what was this statesman doing with the churchman's sacred text? Did Jefferson perhaps receive some revelation from someone that impelled him to his unvirtuous act?
This is not to be ignored, I mean the New Testament as revealed to us by a former American President as revealed by a blogger. Thomas Jefferson was among the Founding Fathers of the United States, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and the 3rd President of the US (Wikipedia). With divine inspiration, it was Jefferson who wrote these words into the Declaration of Independence: "All men are created equal." Jefferson also owned hundreds of slaves and was the biological father of the 6 children of one of his slaves, Sally Hemings. Such is Andrew Sullivan's hero. A sinner.
Did Andrew choose his sinner by mistake? When he was US President, Jefferson "permitted church services in executive branch buildings ... because he believed that religion was an important support for republican government" (Wikipedia). And yet, in his later years, "Jefferson refused to serve as a godparent for infants being baptized, because he did not believe in the dogma of the Trinity." If a blogger believes in a hero who does not believe in the Trinity, he may be the World's Best Blogger but he is not a Catholic.
He is entitled to his opinion, but Andrew Sullivan cannot go on masquerading as a Catholic blogger. If he keeps doing it, he is an inveterate sinner, and I cannot but hate the sin!