Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Why is the secular Right blogosphere seething with hatred?

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(Indeed, the same applies to much of the 'hard line' - legalistic, hyper-correct, over-systematic - Christian reactionary blogosphere.)

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Taken as a whole, the Right are a mass of despisers.

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Yes, of course the Left is intrinsically evil, and reality and truth are on the Right.

But this is what we find.

The public arena of the Right is dominated by those who are very obviously in the grip of hatred, who are consumed with loathing and despising, and who revel in the fact. They glory in their own invective.

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Why? I think the answer lies in the human heart.

The human heart, in its natural state (in our childhood, and among most people inhabiting simpler and better societies) is open and warm - yet in a world full of evil, in a world where we are bombarded with evil and where Good is mocked, subverted and attacked unceasingly - there is a strong tendency to harden and close the heart as self-protection.

Indeed, the temptation to harden and close may prove irresistible, except when there is a strong Christian faith (most other religions do not value an open and warm heart).

A Christian must strive to live by love, but a hard-closed heart makes this impossible.

Not difficult: impossible.

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If your heart is hard and closed, and you are content with this situation or perhaps even pride yourself on your toughness and power to resist influence - then you are not a Christian; and it does not matter what you do, what rules you follow, nor what you profess.

From a Christian perspective, if society is ruled by those with closed and hardened hearts who do not acknowledge nor try to remedy this; then it is a hellish state, and it does not matter much what the rules are nor who does the ruling.

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We are not allowed to protect ourselves from the evil of the world by closing ourselves off from it and making ourselves indifferent to it - and if we succeed in this aim of autonomy, this carries its own punishment of absolute alienation and utter aloneness.

The only permissible defense against evil, and the only one which works over the long haul, is to maintain the heart as open and warm, childlike; but to block the access of evil by love - this love comes by grace (undeserved) from God if we allow it.

People must be realistic, they need to be tough - but this is not a legitimate end in itself, and if tough-realism is adopted as an end in itself it is merely a shortcut to evil.

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It's quite simple to state: we must be realistic and tough and we must have warm and open hearts.

That is, incidentally, exactly what we are taught by the heroes of the best of literature: especially by Tolkien, more recently by JK Rowling.

This is not just a theory, not merely abstract advice - it has been worked-out for us imaginatively and in detail in Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, Aragorn, Harry Potter.  

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