Over the years of studying and dealing with both the practitioners and the practice of theodicy, I have developed a pretty accurate set of antennae for detecting when even people of undisputed integrity and good will have gone “a bridge too far” in their zeal to “justify the ways of God to man” by defending conduct that, in other contexts, would be assessed as unambiguously criminal. In such cases, God is allowed to breeze by despite conduct that would earn a human a war-crimes trial at The Hague. No devout monotheist is exempt from this risk, not even the most temperate, rational, and tolerant. Fr. Ron Rolheiser is a quintessentially temperate, rational, and tolerant man par excellence, both professionally and personally, as I can attest from having met him, spoken with him one-to-on
If there are any Trump supporters reading this, I urgently advise you, before you read any farther, to place across both knees a large book like Gray’s Anatomy or the unabridged Oxford English Dictionary, because I can guarantee that at some point, your knee will jerk, which could cause you to kick your coffee table over or result in a shoe flying off your foot and through your TV screen. There … you have been warned. (You might also reflexively shout in a Terminator or Robbie-the-Robot voice “Godwin’s Law … Godwin’s Law … Godwin’s Law”, but unless you disturb your neighbors, no harm / no foul.) Why? Because this “Skeptic’s” column is about parallels, which I insist are neither gratuitous nor imaginary nor fictitious, between Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler. I would also recommend that y
Back in late March, just before Easter, I published a “Skeptic’s Collection” column in which I posed the following question that generated quite a bit of (civil, moderate, thoughtful, and sophisticated) reaction on the part of my readers, to wit:
The Christian belief that Jesus Christ is the full Incarnation of the God of the Hebrew Bible (Col. 2:9) logically entails the consequence that, in addition to being a Baby in a manger and a Man Who loves playing with little kids, Jesus Christ, as God’s full Incarnation (Heb. 1:3), necessarily means that the Person of Jesus also incorporates the Hebrew God’s tendencies toward vindictiveness, violence, vanity, and abusiveness.
If we take the latter seriously as actual attributes of God qua God and not as mere human projections, then we al