On Friday, Angus Dwyer wrote on Twitter:
You’ll never guess what uncontroversial Christian doctrine this Republican candidate and/or office-holder believes!Yes, friends, it’s that time of month again, when political reporters discover Christian doctrine and write BuzzFeed-style pieces about how outrageous said doctrine is! This weekend’s example comes, conveniently enough, from BuzzFeed’s own Andrew Kaczynski:
Virginia Republican Lt. Governor candidate E.W. Jackson candidate said birth defects are caused by sin.The headline and subhed:
Va. Republican Lt. Governor Candidate Said Birth Defects Were Caused By SinIs St. Augustine running for the Republican nomination to be Lt. Governor of Virginia? Because he wrote about this idea a long time ago! As reporter Joel Gehrke gently replied to Mr. Kaczynski:
“It is the principle of sin, rebellion against God and His truth which has brought about birth defects and other destructive natural occurrences.”
Don’t most Christians think that the world would be perfect if not for sin?Kaczynski then appealed to his 12 years of Catholic education to say he had never heard of such a notion. Gehrke provided links to Augustine. It turns out all sorts of Christians teach and confess that evil is not the result of a loving God but, rather, sin. Just randomly from the Google, for instance, I found this passage on an Antiochian Orthodox Church web site explaining Holy Unction:
Sickness is the weakness of the body as a result of the sin of the world. Sickness is not the punishment from God of personal sinful behavior, per se. We all share in the consequences of sin in this world.I hope no Orthodox Christians think about running for political office! BuzzFeed is on it!
Such confusion is poor journalism. Instead of investigating, somebody went off with a half baked comment laughable were it not the ignorance so lamentable...
What is journalism and what is not? There are a plethora of tweeters and twits using electronic media to presume to be journalists when, in fact, they are plain old lay commenters like me and this blog. Let me state it clearly here: I am not a journalist. Neither are nearly all of the folks pretending to be. Reader beware.
Such confusion is poor education and catechesis. Something is wrong when standard Christian teaching becomes unknown or unfamiliar to Christians or those who ought to know what Christians believe, confess and teach. This is not obscure doctrine but the standard teaching of Scripture, most Christian denominations, and marked over history as faithful and true.
Such confusion reflects a culture in which orthodox Christianity is increasingly suspect. We live in an age in which the preference is for a generic and vague Christianity which holds few specifics and even fewer tenets; one which is easy to confine to feelings and personal opinion.
Such confusion is the fruit of a relentless effort to accept every aspect of self as natural or intentional, something to be embraced and accepted more than controlled or reformed. We have made sins into disorders and treat them medically instead of with repentance. We have turned every flaw into virtue, physical and moral, so that our quest for a pseudo diversity in which everything is tolerated and nothing condemned can be satisfied.
I hope Mollie can intervene to expose what is going on and educate the ignorant but I am betting that more of this is down the road. . . What about YOU?