Blog Template Theology of the Body: All cats are gray in the dark

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

All cats are gray in the dark

I've always liked to think of myself as a broad-minded and fair individual (but then again, don't we all?), so it seemed particularly abrupt when a friend of mine recently accused me of seeing things in "black and white." She told me this after I had voiced my oppostion to abortion—which couldn't have been a surprise to her, but apparently it touched a nerve.

In today's world, saying someone sees things in black and white seems to be one of the worser sorts of things you could say, since moral rigidity is equivalent to "religious fundamentalism" which is equivalent to being a terrorist, or equally awful, a hateful, spiteful person (such as this woman who claims that "God hates fags"). In the liberal West, openness, acceptance, nuance, living in the "gray areas" and of course, "tolerance" are our chief social virtues. And perhaps they should be, since these are qualities not far from, and often closely associated with that chief of true virtues, charity.

My friend's comments recurred to me at mass this afternoon while listening to today's Gospel (John 3:16-21):
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
Our culture's ability to foster ambiguity, even valorize it, is leading to not only a great deal of sin, such as abortion, but also a pandemic of individual loneliness, hurt, and suffering. Christ did not come into this world to teach us tolerance, but to bring us out of the darkness, out of uncertainty, into the light, where all things can be seen and known for what they are, where truth and love reign.

Pray for my friend, and for all those who are adrift in the darkness of the absence of Christ.