the road to hell…

April 19, 2009

some thoughts brought to the fore by the post we don’t need another anti-racism 101, including the comments by belledame222 and by kathy at restructure where there are excerpts of the post and comments. to be noted, kathy spoke about the sacrament of reconciliation in response to the same topic, but bnot haviong been raised catholic, my experience is different, proddy bastard here.

matthew 5:27-8 you have heard that it was said: do not commit adultery. but i tell you this anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has in fact already committed adultery with her in his heart.

this passage is clearly problematic for i’ts sexism, women are objects to be lusted over. if you doubt later in the same sermon when he talks about divorce jesus again assumes that the man will be the one who decides and acts.

not  the point of this post but should be acknowledged at the start. what i want to write about is how it has functioned to create a morality based in intentions that fosters dishonesty.

on face value jesus’ saying requires that even if no physical harm was done if there was desire to harm it is wrong. this falls in line with the overall thrust of the sermon, which gives a stricter interpretation of his jewish tradition contrary to a running theme in christian anti-semitism that judiasm was all strict and mean til jesus taught about grace

in the christian culture that i was formed in it has come to mean that the intent is what matters and if there was no desire to do harm then there is no fault for the actual impact and you can get off with a lame assed i’m sorry you took it that way apology to damage done.

i would tie back to  lens of privilege that i wrote about earlier. dominating culture will interpret everything in a way that allows it to hold onto it’s power.

this shift to intent is all over the place in the sayings that i learned to interpret the world through. i didn’t mean it that way. only god can judge a persons heart {which is what really matters}, i’m sure they had the best intentions….

of course all these excuses are used to enforce power. the government, church, police, teachers… are always doing their best. we, white midwestern christian folk, have the best of intentions. but if someone starts to upset us, or we step out of line and beginn to question, well that is trying to cause troubke, being cynical, or paraniod. and again it is the intent that matters. even if the uncomfortable statement/act was undeniably true the fact that it was “trying to make trouble/coflict” makes it immoral.

the shift to intentions is perfect for policing heirarchy because whoever has already claimed the power to speak for others gets to decide the intentions and thus the culpability of everyone in a situation. and if it is within your grasp to be the dominator all you must do to grab it is have the best intentions, or convince everyone that you do, or make everyone who is not convinced shut up.

if in the process you lose the ability to be honest about what your aims are even to yourself… welcome to the road to hell

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One Response to “the road to hell…”


  1. […] example of an ancient Western cultural artifact is the Christian tradition of considering intention when judging the morality of an action. This Christian concept is […]


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