Hang ’em high chronicles

Among the characteristics of humans, when they are hated, is to hate right back. This applies to Left and Right; I think each side could enthusiastically agree, that the other is beneath contempt, if not beneath reproach. Yet both sides can’t be right. Judging only from passing comments in my inbox, including remarks forwarded to me, even my own harmless scribblings offend some people. I have been “triggering” the “trolls,” a friend explains. Truth to tell, sometimes I enjoy it.

But to preach hatred, as if it were a good — hatred of pope or president, for instance — is morally defective. In particular, the old Christian distinction between sin and sinner was a huge improvement on previous teaching. A man is bad, not for who he is, but for what he does or doesn’t do. It is actually possible to hate the sin but love the sinner. Difficult, but it can be done.

From my great impartial height, and with the occasional assistance of Our Lord’s instructions with regard to the treatment of one’s enemies, I survey the moral landscape. And then, I wonder what to drop. I am not in possession of thermonuclear devices. At the moment I have access only to the large icicles that have formed on my balconata. But I don’t know how to aim them. “Peace would be indicated,” as a lawyer might say. (I mentioned the “war” alternative, only yesterday.)

As the ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu once taught, the wrathful, hateful man is unlikely to win wars. He omitted the part about loving one’s enemy. Notwithstanding, it is the cool, rational head, who (assuming resourcefulness, or sufficient arms) wins the battle. He must assimilate realities, to do so. Indeed, one of Sun Tzu’s tips, was to anger the opposing general. Make him do crazy things, because he is “triggered.” Let him charge blindly into the traps one has dispassionately set for him.

But wars are large. Let’s keep this small and personal.

The loss of Christian faith has entailed the loss of Christian thinking, including a purchase on all of the ideas which made Western Civ work. Many of these ideas were not exclusively Christian, but were shared over time by all the sane. This included the aspiration to sanity itself, present at least somewhere in all the “great religions.”

To be more explicitly Christian, love is not an incense. It arrives, sometimes, without any scent, and generally without smoke and/or mirrors. As Plato’s Socrates projected, the best expression of love may be to administer punishment, justly. For without a “course correction,” the regretless sinful man will (not “may”) continue in the wrong direction.

Our own ancestors once understood, that sometimes the kindest favour one can do, for the seriously bad man, is to hang him.¬†Gentle reader may agree that this is tough love at its toughest. But it can be understood. The man who dies hanged enters into the posthumous state, having paid for at least some of his crimes. He’s in much better shape than were he still a debtor.

It is alleged, correctly, that I am a reactionary, and in my spare time, also perhaps a conservative, and “rightwing.” (The Christian part is often overlooked.) I see no reason to abandon the principles of the Revelation, or of the jurisprudence that was built around it. Indeed, anyone who proposes to “reform” these things — the partisans of mindless “niceness” — I consider to be not only my personal enemy, but an enemy of mankind.

Let me love him. Let me work diligently, when I can, to prevent his liberalism from succeeding, and likewise spare him from the gallows he might eventually deserve.