Morally, Divorce is a Heinous, Evil, Wicked Crime

December 17, 2005 § 58 Comments

Divorce is categorically a moral crime every bit as much as murder and abortion. It is greater in its gravity than theft, embezzlement, assault and battery, fraud, or any number of other things that incur a criminal penalty of imprisonment in our present legal regime.

Not all moral crimes should be (or even can be, as a practical matter) punished by imprisonment, of course. But no-fault divorce laws are as fundamentally unjust as a legal right to abortion.

I expect that divorce would be far less common if it were a requirement that one or both spouses be found at fault in order for there to be a divorce, and a requirement that the at-fault party or parties do some jail time. Even if not a particularly practical notion at this particular place and time, our visceral reaction to the suggestion says a lot about how seriously we take the sanctity of marriage.

Divorce is like war. It is possible to engage in one justly, under certain excruciatingly limited circumstances. But there is no such thing as a “no fault” war.

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§ 58 Responses to Morally, Divorce is a Heinous, Evil, Wicked Crime

  • New Jersey Lawyer says:

    I support jail time for adultery.

  • Rob says:

    Jail time? Pish-posh! That hasn’t stopped drunk driving, has it? In the first place, only a woman can be guilty of adultery, and in the second place, the penalty is death by stoning. We will get nowhere by being soft on crime.Once death by stoning is established in statue law, I plan to invest heavily in quarries.

  • zippy says:

    Whether it “stops” adultery or not is completely irrelevant, as far as I can tell. It is a question of <>justice<>, not policy consequences.Mercy is a good thing, of course, but it comes into play <>after<> it is unequivocally accepted that the crime is indeed a crime. It isn’t merciful to tell the sinner that his sin is not a sin; indeed that is one of the great wickednesses of this age, this indifferent faux mercy.The point to the thought experiment is not that we should be jailing divorcees, but that no-fault divorce laws are inherently unjust.

  • Rob says:

    “…no faulty divorce laws are inherently unjust.”To whom are no-fault divorce laws unjust? Given a secular couple, each of whom desires to sever completely and finally any legalities with regard to the division of property, and who can come to a mutually satisfactory agreement concerning these things prior to filing for divorce, how is making it quick, easy and inexpensive for such a couple to do so unjust to anyone? The couple is content and society benefits by not having the court system needlessly tied up with unnecessary proceedings.Where there is contention, over property, or over custody of childrren, obviously, no-fault divorce is ipso facto ruled out, and justice must be sought through court proceedings.If adultery were made a crime, I assume that the guilty party would do his/her time and emerge from incarceration still married, with both parties (and any offspring) even worse off than they were before.I fail to see how society-at-large gains from your proposals, although I suppose that what you propose does make sense as applied to Catholics. What you need is an ecclesiastical court with the power to impound property and to corporally punish transgressors; a court whose decisions are innoculated against appeal to secular law. Yet, this is what we just destroyed in Afghanistan and are wasting lives trying to prevent in Iraq.

  • zippy says:

    <>To whom are no-fault divorce laws unjust?<>The spouse, society, children, and God.<>If adultery were made a crime, I assume that the guilty party would do his/her time and emerge from incarceration still married, with both parties (and any offspring) even worse off than they were before.<>That is correct. Adultery is a heinous moral crime that has permanent consequences.

  • Rob says:

    Zippy–Well, all I can say is that it is seemingly the case that only certain Muslims take their religion as seriously as you believe it should be taken. By taking it seriously I mean that they actually take control of their societies and enact religious law as the law of the land, or at least try to.If every Catholic who secretly believes pretty much what I presented above were to be purged from the Church, what percentage of currently professing Catholics do you imagine would remain in the Church?Before you answer, I know that *you don’t care*; what I’m asking for is your opinion of what the real, prevailing conditions are in this less-than-ideal world.

  • zippy says:

    <>…it is seemingly the case that only certain Muslims take their religion as seriously as you believe it should be taken.<>Every man takes his religion seriously. In fact, you can tell what a man’s true religion is by observing what he takes seriously.<>… they actually take control of their societies and enact religious law as the law of the land, or at least try to.<>Marriage is a matter of natural law, not particular religion. Someone who ends a marriage has done something unjust thereby. Sure, in general Moslems believe that divorce is just a matter of the man saying so. But as an objective matter it is still unjust when a Moslem divorces.Specifically, a law that made adultery punishable by prison would be no more (or less) religious in nature than a law that makes dealing heroin to children punishable by prison, or a law that makes burning crosses on the lawns of black people punishable by prison (etc. etc.)As for your question, you are correct that opinion polls of Catholics and otherwise are utterly irrelevant to me. But I also don’t know what the results of putative opinion polls would be. So I don’t know <>and<> I don’t care.

  • Rob says:

    “Specifically, a law that made adultery punishable by prison would be no more (or less) religious in nature than a law that makes dealing heroin to children punishable by prison, or a law that makes burning crosses on the lawns of black people punishable by prison (etc. etc.)”That may be the case, but even so, the political power of those people whose religion is sociology will keep it from ever happening.Only a return to faith of sufficient numbers of people to enact such a law out of *religious* conviction would bring it within the realm of the possible. So, practically speaking, it would be a *religious* law–or, rather, a reversion to religiously-inspired statute law.

  • zippy says:

    <>That may be the case, but even so, the political power of those people whose religion is sociology will keep it from ever happening.<>So what? Because you want to sustain the notion that it would be a “religious” law in some sense, and therefore you are free (in what sense?) to ignore the whole notion? The same trick can be employed to dispense (or require) anything at all, it seems to me.<> ..practically speaking, it would be a *religious* law–or, rather, a reversion to religiously-inspired statute law.<>Ah yes. And “practically speaking” anything that taxes the rich and feeds the poor would be a *religious* law in this same way, set against the political power of those whose religion is capitalism, so we are dispensed from worrying about such things unless and until a Christian theocracy becomes a practical possibility.Feh.

  • I agree in principle – however, legal punishment for adultery should take a backseat to the good of the family. In other words, it is far better for a couple to reconcile and the children to be spared the heartache of a broken home and an incarcerated parent. Perhaps if adultery were only prosecuted at the discretion of the wronged spouse, and imprisonment contingent on the failure of reconciliation after a mandatory waiting period, the interests of the children would be safeguarded.

  • Rob says:

    Zippy–No, we’re not “dispensed” from anything. If our faith dictates that we not divorce, then *we* may not divorce. But unless and until our faith runs the courts and operates the jails, we will look in vain, at least in most jurisdictions, for the constable who will lock up our horny neighbor for his adulterous behavior, and we will similarly have no means by which to dictate that our fellow citizens may not have access to no-fault divorce.Right now, sociology prevails for the majority. I predict that it will one day swing back the other way. The current mode of the majority is what we truly shouldn’t care about. We need only mind our own P’s and Q’s.

  • zippy says:

    Jeff: I agree. The person who should be incarcerated is the adulterer whose actions actually result in a divorce.(And again, the interesting thing about this topic to me is what it reveals about our attitudes toward adultery and divorce moreso than the particulars of what exactly to do with the civil power and when).

  • zippy says:

    <>No, we’re not “dispensed” from anything.<>Right. Including the pursuit of justice not only for ourselves but for others and for society as a whole, using all licit means available.

  • Rob says:

    Zippy–So, I guess then that Jesus committed an injustice by preventing the stoning of the apparently guilty, and so far as we know, unrepentant, adultress?Or, is it that we are without sin?Or is it that we have found a more commensurate punishment than that prescribed by God?Assuming that the woman taken in adultery had already been divorced by her husband, didn’t Jesus, in fact, grant her a “no-fault” divorce by preventing her punishment, forgiving her sins, and sending her on her way with an admonition to sin no more? Isn’t this episode our template in matters of adultery and divorce?

  • zippy says:

    <>…didn’t Jesus, in fact, grant her a “no-fault” divorce by preventing her punishment, forgiving her sins, and sending her on her way with an admonition to sin no more?<>No, because of the “sin no more” bit.

  • Rob says:

    Zippy–Oh, come on. “Sin no more,” is more like encouragement than punishment: “Keep your nose clean!” The punishment was stoning, and He rescinded it.

  • Rob says:

    Don’t forget that he asked her, rhetorically, “Does no man condemn you?” And then added “Neither do I condemn you.”

  • zippy says:

    Sure. Christ can (and does) forgive sins. That doesn’t make them not-sins. Your exegetical technique could as easily be used to invoke the Good Thief to argue against the incarceration of thieves by the civil authority.

  • Rob says:

    Zippy–The Good Thief! Good one! I actually thought of using that, and decided against it, for the very reason that you state. But, since you have brought it up, the contrast between the two is instructive, I think. The Good Thief, by the time of his reward for acknowledging the divinity of the Christ, will have already been punished for his crime. The adultress, on the other hand, is pardoned without having done anything to deserve it. In releasing her from judgement, Jesus is forcing her judges to judge themselves. As should we all.

  • Rob, you’ve got to be kidding: Jesus pardoning the adulterous woman for her sin is the furthest thing in the world from granting her a divorce of any kind. On the contrary: “Go and sin no more” acknowledges that she is still bound to the moral law and is in no way free to re-marry.

  • Rob says:

    Jeff–What I am saying is that, assuming her to have been a married woman, she has presumably already been divorced by her husband for reason of adultery. The penalty was death by stoning. By rescinding the prescribed penalty, Jesus has, in effect, provided her with the equivalent of a “no-fault” divorce. If she had been a Catholic, she couldn’t remarry. But she was a Jew. So I don’t quite understand your point.

  • Rob says:

    This from the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Jewish law and divorce:“Moses found this custom even among the people of Israel. As lawgiver, he ordained in the name of God (Deuteronomy 24:1): ‘If a man take a wife, and have her, and she find not favour in his eyes, for some uncleanness: he shall write a bill of divorce, and shall give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.’ The rest of the passage shows that this divorce was understood as justifying the wife in the marriage with another husband, hence as a complete annulment of the first marriage.”

  • Rob says:

    But, in any event, the bone of contention is whether contemporaneous adultery should be punishable by incarceration, in lieu, I suppose, of stoning. I say “No”, and I base my response on the lesson to be learned from the story of the woman taken in adultery. I know myself to be morally unfit to throw the first stone.

  • Rob says:

    With regard to marriage being a matter of natural law, it would not seem that St. Paul was conversant with that fact. And St. Augustine, following Paul’s lead says, in Confessions VIII.1:“Your apostle did not forbid me to marry, although he counselled a better state… But I was a weaker man and tempted to choose an easier course…”I will grant you that this does not mean that, once married, a couple should not stay married. But it does call into question whether marriage itself is dictated by natural law, and, if it is, whether that natural law is not trumped by the commandment to strive for perfection. St. Augustine evidently felt that it was.

  • zippy says:

    You have a unique talent for reading whatever you happen to want to believe into Scripture, Rob.

  • Rob says:

    Zippy–I’m not reading into it, I’m reading out of it. That’s what the Scriptures are for: to teach God’s will to man. I am expressing what they say to me.But, instead of telling me what I do, why don’t you tell me why I’m wrong, if that be the case?In Leviticus 18 it says that any man who has intercourse with the wife of a fellow countryman has committed an abomination and must be separated from the people. Therefore, exile, or excommunication, or shunning, would be the proper punishment for a male adulterer (although the Bible does not use that term for men, I think), not jail.You would appear to be the one who is reading into Scripture bases for proposed legislation which do not exist there.

  • zippy says:

    <>I’m not reading into it, I’m reading out of it.<>You may think that is what you are doing, but when you read about Christ’s mercy toward the adulteress and conclude that Christ granted her a no-fault divorce you are <>in fact<> simply making up the result you want and claiming that it is implied by the Scripture (even though your novel interpretation was somehow missed by Christians for a few thousand years up until the appearance of Rob).

  • Rob says:

    Zippy–So, you think that the story of Christ’s mercy to the adulteress is just episodic? The only point of the story is to show that Christ was merciful to one, particular woman, and that there is no further implication to be drawn from it with reference to crime and punishment in the realm of adultery?Moreover, I guess, we are not to identify in any way with those men seen dropping their rocks in the story. Those were specific men, in a specific, historical circumstance, and the story ends there.Then why, Zippy, is the story even told to us?

  • Rob says:

    It is interesting that if it’s used to arguing against what Zippy says, the teachings of St. Paul, or the teachings of St. Augustine, or the teachings of Leviticus, become instead the opinions of Rob, and, therefore, void of all truth. It isn’t enough to say that my interpretations are wrong because they are my interpretations.And, if we must go ad hominem, you completely ignore the fact you alone are of the opinion that adulterers should be jailed. (Well, there’s that anonymous “lawyer” in New Jersey…)

  • zippy says:

    Neither Christ, nor St. Paul, nor St. Augustine granted the adulterous woman a no-fault divorce anywhere other than in the mind of Rob.

  • Rob says:

    C’mon, Zippy, you can do better than that.You have two issues going here:1) adulterers should be jailed;2) divorce is a heinous crime, and no-fault divorce is unjust in that it promotes divorce by letting the “criminals” skate.I have argued that: 1) adulterers should not be jailed, because Jesus rescinded the legal penalty of the woman taken in adultery; and2) Jesus’ act of mercy was analogous to no-fault divorce.Now, Jeff claimed that it wasn’t an analogy, because the woman could not remarry, thus, she was punished and her presumed divorce was not “no-fault”. I showed from Leviticus that she could, in fact, have remarried. She was a Jew, not a Catholic.At the cost of sounding like Bill O’Reilly: Where am I wrong? I’ll give you the last word.

  • zippy says:

    <>Where am I wrong?<>In pretty much all of it, other than the bit about her being a Jew and about the Levitical code (which Christ Himself characterized as unjust); and including your characterizations of what I said.

  • Rob says:

    Zippy–You go on telling me THAT I’m wrong, without showing me HOW I’m wrong.How, for instance, have I mischaracterized what you said?

  • Rob says:

    What I am doing is attempting to test the validity of your point of view by offering a plausible alternative, based not only upon my subjective view of the matter, but also existing writings.You seem unwilling to refute my argument point by point, preferring instead to pontificate concerning my lack of authority to offer interpretations of those writings which support my point of view. Thus, we have no debate.

  • zippy says:

    <>How, for instance, have I mischaracterized what you said?<>I’ll give you a couple of examples.You wrote:<>You would appear to be the one who is reading into Scripture bases for proposed legislation which do not exist there.<>I never made a claim about Scripture at all, one way or another. I made claims about divorce and natural law.<>1) adulterers should be jailed;<>In some limited circumstances – that is, in (some) cases where the adultery results in a divorce. Sure. This is only a novelty in our peculiar and very recent context.<>2) divorce is a heinous crime, and no-fault divorce is unjust in that it promotes divorce …<>This one is particularly egregious given how long we’ve discussed these kinds of things. You should know by now that such consequentialist arguments are anathema to me.Your mischaracterizations of (e.g.) St. Paul and St. Augustine are just as preposterous. St. Paul and St. Augustine praise the celibate priesthood, and Rob interprets this as a license for no-fault divorce!At a certain point, Rob, the things you say become so preposterous that the amount of work required to take them seriously, and talk them through word by word, becomes prohibitive; much as I like (and I do like) spending my days chatting with you about them.

  • Rob says:

    Zippy–1)St. Paul was not talking about the celibate priesthood, as it did not yet exist. It did not exist in the time of St. Augustine either, did it? St. Paul was talking about elective asceticism in the area of sexuality as a thing good-in-itself. If marriage were dictated by natural law, how could St. Paul take this view?2) By insisting that my interpretation of Scripture is invalid, you are *implying* that you have an alternative *valid* interpretation which proves mine wrong. It is true that you don’t share it with us, but you DO make whatever it is by implication.3) You say that adulterers should be jailed under some circumstances. I say that they should be jailed under no circumstances. I am not arguing about particular circumstances, but about the entire concept of jailing adulterers, to which I am opposed across the board.So, you have mischaracterized yourself in your opposition to me.

  • Rob says:

    p.s. I concede the consistency of your point about consequentialism.

  • Rob says:

    On the other hand, you did say this:“I expect that divorce would be far less common if it were a requirement that one or both spouses be found at fault in order for there to be a divorce, and a requirement that the at-fault party or parties do some jail time.”

  • zippy says:

    <>St. Paul was not talking about the celibate priesthood, …<>If I stipulate this (while believing it to be false) it still does not follow that your invocation of St. Paul justifies no-fault divorce.<>If marriage were dictated by natural law…<>I have no idea what you mean by this. Nobody has ever claimed (to my knowledge) that the natural law compels marriage for every man, if that is the straw man you are erecting. (And if it is, it is precisely this sort of thing that makes it prohibitively laborious to take every point you say seriously and address each one individually).<> By insisting that my interpretation of Scripture is invalid, you are *implying* that you have an alternative *valid* interpretation which proves mine wrong.<>No, I am not. In order to show that proposition X is false, I do not have to have an alternative proposition Y. I simply have to show that proposition X is false. “This probably means something, but it can’t possibly mean what you say it means” is (or can be) a perfectly rational thing to say.

  • Rob says:

    If you say that proposition X can’t possibly mean what I say it means, you have to show why it can’t possibly mean that.I can’t just say “Morally, divorce is NOT a heinous, evil, wicked crime” without showing why it’s not.

  • zippy says:

    <>On the other hand, you did say this:<>“I expect that divorce would be far less common if it were a requirement that one or both spouses be found at fault in order for there to be a divorce, and a requirement that the at-fault party or parties do some jail time.” I did. Notice that1) The statement makes no assertions about <>adultery<> at all; and2) It proposes a cause-effect relationship without advocating for the cause, and indeed was intended to be ironic and half-serious at the same time. I don’t in fact propose that every divorce result in at least one jailed spouse without exception, but both the visceral reactions we have to the proposal and the objective cause-effect relationship are interesting things to think about.

  • zippy says:

    Lets go back to your actual proposition X:<>With regard to marriage being a matter of natural law, it would not seem that St. Paul was conversant with that fact. And St. Augustine, following Paul’s lead says, in Confessions VIII.1:“Your apostle did not forbid me to marry, although he counselled a better state… But I was a weaker man and tempted to choose an easier course…”<>So, resting on the Augustine quote above and from unspecified statements of St. Paul you say that marriage is not governed by the natural law.Now, I can look at this and quite validly observe “Rob, you are nuts, nothing in that Augustine quote implies that marriage is not governed by natural law. In fact Augustine doesn’t even talk about the natural law in that quote.”Notice that I don’t have to know what the quote <>does<> imply. I don’t have to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of what the quote <>does<> say about all possible questions. I just have to observe that it doesn’t say anything about marriage not being governed by the natural law.And frankly, that is quite a lot of effort to put in just to address one obvious nonsequiter.

  • Rob says:

    Zippy–“1) The statement makes no assertions about adultery at all;” The statement makes no mention of adultery, but it does make mention of “jail time”, (‘a requirement that the at-fault party or parties do some jail time’) which you elsewhere link directly to adultery resulting in divorce.On the natural law point: St. Augustine refers to what he has read in the Epistles. I don’t know to which verses he is alluding, but I have faith that he is correctly characterizing what he has read in the Epistles. I was only suggesting that if St. Paul taught that marriage is always, and for every person, a safety valve, a means to avoid the sin of lust by legitimizing the sex drive through a contractual arrangement–one that is permissable, but still inferior to celibacy–then it follows that St. Paul must not have believed that marriage was a mode of existence prescribed by natural law as universally necessary to the human condition, under ideal circumstances. The teleology of sex may be procreation, but the teleology of man on the path to the Kingdom does not include sexuality as a given.To my mind, this trivializes adultery and other sexual transgressions to a certain extent, whereas you would make them high crimes and misdemeanors. For His part, Jesus did not seem to become overly worked up concerning them either, as seen in the story we’ve been discussing. Also as seen in the woman at the well. Perhaps as seen by His acceptance of Mary Magdalene, etc.

  • zippy says:

    <>The statement makes no mention of adultery, but it does make mention of “jail time”, (‘a requirement that the at-fault party or parties do some jail time’) which you elsewhere link directly to adultery resulting in divorce.<>I wouldn’t limit jail time only to adulterous spouses, though. An abusive spouse whose abuse led to divorce would also get jail time (or extra jail time if the abuse itself calls for jail time, etc). A commenter brought adultery into the discussion; my post is about no-fault divorce, not adultery.Someone who causes a divorce utterly ruins at least one other person’s life. That person cannot ever validly remarry, cannot ever take holy orders, cannot ever go on with a valid vocation. In some ways murder is more merciful than divorce, because it doesn’t leave someone in a state of perpetual temptation to damnation. Divorce fractured the Church, destroyed the communion of Christian faithful. Divorce is among the <>most<> wicked and vile of crimes, not the least.And if the civil law shouldn’t reflect that fact, at the very least it should reflect the fact that divorce <>is<> a moral crime: that there is no such thing as a no-fault divorce.

  • Rob says:

    Zippy–Well put. I don’t necessarily agree with all of that, but I recognize it as valid point of view. I will consequently stfu about it. Thanks for the debate!

  • Rob says:

    “Divorce is among the most wicked and vile of crimes, not the least.”One last thought: does this not show precisely why St. Paul preferred celibacy to marriage?

  • zippy says:

    I think St. Paul was very, very wise here. As reflected in St. Augustine’s words that you quoted, marriage <>seems<> like the easy way out, the normal route for a man who is not a saint. That may even be true in the short run, and even in the long run in particular cases. But very much of the time it is not the case. In particular the cross which must be born by someone who has been validly married but has been civilly (or uncivilly, ha!) divorced is among the most terrible. The temptation to give in to the world, get remarried, move on, start over, etc must be horrendous. And it just goes on, and on, and on, with no end this side of death.Thanks for the discussion.

  • WICatholic says:

    While searching for something else entirely, I came across your discussion here and found it interesting. However, Rob said that Jesus’ action with the woman caught in adultery effectively meant that he had granted her a no fault divorce that allowed her to marry again? Jesus was Jewish, not Catholic. Jesus lived the Jewish Law. Has Rob ever read Jesus words about divorce and marrying again? Four separate places in the New Testament, Jesus is quoted. And in each instance, Jesus says that this would be adultery, and He included EACH of the four people who could ultimately be involved in this: A) The man who divorce his wife, B) his wife, whom he ’causes’ to marry another, C) The man she marries, and D) the woman he marries. For reference, read the following:Matt 5:31-32Matt 19:3-9Mark 10:2-10Luke 16:18Also, zippy said:“In particular the cross which must be born by someone who has been validly married but has been civilly (or uncivilly, ha!) divorced is among the most terrible. The temptation to give in to the world, get remarried, move on, start over, etc must be horrendous. And it just goes on, and on, and on, with no end this side of death.”Amen. Rob also said, in one of his first statements:“To whom are no-fault divorce laws unjust? Given a secular couple, each of whom desires to sever completely and finally any legalities with regard to the division of property, and who can come to a mutually satisfactory agreement concerning these things prior to filing for divorce, how is making it quick, easy and inexpensive for such a couple to do so unjust to anyone?”Statistically, this is not what happens. 80% of ‘no fault’ forced, unlateral divorces are caused by one who wants, and one who does not want, but has no choice and no defense. At least 80% of them fall into this category. And often, the one filing, the one being granted the divorce simply because they did file…is the one who was involved in the adulterous affair to begin with. And many times, that person is also awarded the home, the children, and then wants the first spouse to amicably accept the ‘other person’ moving into said home and family… ‘for the sake of the children’. No fault, forced, unilateral divorce is evil. Your title for this entry is exactly right.

  • Rob says:

    wicatholic:Jesus told the woman, simply, “Go, and sin no more.” As she was Jewish, and as He did not explain to her that He was modifying Levitical law, she would have understood that she was free to remarry. If 80% of no-fault divorces are as you say, then they are unjust. Certainly, however, no-fault divorce, as you describe it, would not be the law applied as it was meant to be applied. In these cases, the injustice would be the fault of the judge granting such a divorce.

  • zippy says:

    Rob, your selective exegesis is as always a fabulous argument against <>sola scriptura<>.

  • Rob says:

    Zippy–My response, referred to by wicatholic, was in answer to a specific post. Taken out of context it is surely susceptible to the criticism offered by wicatholic. I am, of course, aware that Jesus proscribed divorce for His followers. My argument is, and always has been, that people who are not His followers should not be bound by His proscriptions. This would include contemporary, secular individuals, and the Jewish adultress who was lucky enough not to be stoned–thanks to Jesus.

  • zippy says:

    <> My argument is, and always has been, that people who are not His followers should not be bound by His proscriptions.<>So in your view it is morally fine and dandy for someone to reject Christ? And if one does, then Christ’s prescriptions don’t apply for that person?

  • Rob says:

    Zippy–No, of course it’s not fine and dandy for a person to reject Christ. That’s the rub.

  • Rob says:

    The thing is though, that if a person *does* reject Christ (and ergo His prescriptions) it is a *personal* tragedy for that soul, and his loved ones. If it affects society at all, it is only one in a million human failings that make life in this world a little more coarse and a little less happy.

  • zippy says:

    Well, we will have to agree to disagree yet again Rob. To my way of thinking one person rejecting Christ is worse in itself than pretty much any other tragedy in this world: not just for that person, but for all of us.

  • Rob says:

    Zippy–Yes, there is a level at which that is most certainly true; but it is not the sphere of the courthouse and the capitol. It is the business of the Body of Christ, as Christians, not as citizens.

  • […] I’m neither conservative nor religious. I’m an atheist libertarian. I don’t believe in God or gods; certainly not the God of Abraham and Moses. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. But given the vastness of the universe, I find the idea of an anthropomorphic cosmic deity who concerns himself with the disposition of my naughty bits to be slightly daft. You will not find me saying that someone is formally cooperating with evil for not opposing gay marriage, or suggesting jail time for adulterers. […]

  • […] a serious Christian. The perspective on divorce seemed very like my own, that is, a view of it as an individual crime and a pollution of the common good.  That’s not to mention the frequently engaging and funny […]

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