Thursday, February 25, 2021

Hate the Sin and not the Sinner

In the Catholic Times a lawyer writes in Eyes of the Believer column on the topic:  Hate the sin and not the sinner.

A few days ago, TV news reported the child abuse incident at a daycare center and showed the same video several times. A young female teacher picked up a large sponge pillow, turned it to the side, and hit a three or four-year-old child hard. The child fell to the floor. From the teacher's perspective, it must have been because the child did something wrong, but it was a lack of sympathy for the child.

The next scene of the news showed the victim's mother crying and appealing for severe punishment in front of a court where the teacher was arrested for child abuse. If his grandson had been abused like that at a daycare center, he would have been resentful of course. However, he felt a little uncomfortable in that scene, perhaps because of his profession as lawyer defending the wicked. He would have preferred that the daycare center solve the problem.
His mother use to say often: You hate sin, but don't hate people. If you hate people more than you hate sin, you will lose your sympathy and be no different from the wicked.

That's the case with the news report. It doesn't seem necessary to show the teacher hitting the child repeatedly. It was read as a selfish intention to increase ratings by repeatedly showing stimulating scenes to viewers. Selfishness is the opposite of compassion.
We seem to have a kind of pleasure in uncovering other people's faults,  making them known, and punishing them. By the way, is there nothing wrong with us? The lyrics of the folk song 'One and 500 Years' are now brought to mind. "I find it difficult to live in this unkind world with its lack of compassion."
There is a vicious cycle in which the daycare center teacher fails to embrace the child with a generous heart to correct the child, and society calls out harsh punishment for the teacher's actions, and the media uses it for their business. A vicious circle, not a virtuous cycle.

Two years ago, on behalf of a terrible killer, a petition was filed with the court,  that the death penalty was unconstitutional. A young man who graduated from a  prestigious university, suffered from various delusions, brutally killed his mother from  "an order from within," and even chased his father to the master bedroom and killed him. The Bishops' Justice and Peace Committee began the constitutional trial with the intention that instead of cursing the pariah, the death penalty, should be abolished. It's because you hate sin but not the sinner.

The Hindu scripture Bhagavad Guitars
teaches that people must escape the yoke of "I" to be saved. There are several things on the road. On the Christian path of wisdom  we are flawed and finite, but realize we are children of God. The path of abandonment is to put down the desire to achieve the results of our acts but do what has to be done— the path of devotion to God and neighbor.

We have to get out of the bondage to the  "I" and break the vicious circle of hate that the whole society is slowly falling into. In order to do so, it is important to realize that wicked people and adults are all children of God, so you have to have compassion:  you hate sin but not the sinners.

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