Problem of Evil

Suicide And The Tyranny Of Altruism

Suicide And The Tyranny Of Altruism

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, Albert Camus, autonomy, awareness, Broken Heart, C. S. Lewis, Character of God, Christianity, Church, Comfort, community, Compassion, conflict, contemplation, courage, Creator, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, Ethics, faith, faithfulness, God, Grief, Healing, healing moment, in memory of, Lewis, Mystery, Pain and Suffering, Philosophy, Problem of Evil, reflection, relationships, Religion, remembrance, sadness, Suffering, The Divine, Theodicy, Theology, Uncategorized
This “Skeptic’s” column tackles a subject that is both delicate and volatile:  suicide. People who have known me for a fairly long time are well acquainted with a time in my life – during the time in Boston at Harvard and later at Seattle University  during the equally ill-advised quest for the MDiv -- when I was undergoing episodes of very  severe, quite arguably pre-suicidal, clinical depression. So – for the benefit of those people, for “my mariners, souls that have toiled and wrought and thought with me” – I want to emphasize that the following column does not describe me as I am now. Quite the contrary. I am not in crisis. I am not depressed. I am not afflicted with suicidal ideation – a term I came to know all too intimately during the “winter of [my] discontent”. So those of you
The Hazards Of Defending The Indefensible

The Hazards Of Defending The Indefensible

Abrahamic Traditions, Archetypes, Buddhism, Challenge, Change, Character of God, Christianity/Catholicism, Church, community, Compassion, conflict, contemplation, covenant, Creation, Creator, critical judgment, culture, entering into suffering, epistemology, Ethics, faith, higher criticism, Human Condition, monotheism, parable, paradox, Problem of Evil, Rationality, Religion, Scripture, The Divine, Theodicy, Theology, Uncategorized
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