HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

Punish the Sin and Not the Sinner - Hypocrisy
 
A sin is a crime - it says, "Judge me. I'm bad - I should not be tolerated or go unpunished."  Sin means a crime against God.  A crime in the secular world means an offence against society as represented by the state.

 

Annie Besant claimed that that only real way for sin to be punished is for it to injure and damage yourself as a person who is moral in nature. It is an attack on yourself, your personhood and your identity. She is right in a sense that that is what punishment should be. But it is not. The fact remains we all feel that if it does not feel bad then it is not punishment. Jail is not punishment in any important way if you love being there and it is so good that it does not matter if you are guilty or innocent.  For sin to self-punish we would need a radically different psychology than the one we have.  It is true that a sin ideally should punish itself.  Suppose in an imaginary world it does.  Then the problem with that is that it rules out any need for a God or society to punish.

 

Religion tends to argue that sin in some incomprehensible way damages the sinner and thus punishes him.  That means that in some way the person is less human and more objectified and degraded.   That totally refutes any notion of treating the sinner with full dignity.  It demands abuse of the sinner.
 

A crime needs to be punished by society in some way.  Sometimes the school punishes.  Sometimes where appropriate the state has to do it.

 

For religious people, sin has to be punished by God and often by man as well.  Often God is seen as punishing people through the state (Romans 13).  The two co-operate.

 

Punishment is a necessary evil because society cannot function unless people are punished for crimes.  If crime did not affect society then punishment should not happen.  It is vindictive then.  Operations are necessary for people to be healthy but if everybody was healthy then performing operations would be a sick abuse.   Bringing God into it as an extra and unnecessary punisher is just a cloak for hoping that bad people suffer for what they have done whether they reform or not.

 

For believers in God, the ultimate reason to punish crime is that crime is against the will of God.  God is the ultimate - the goal behind all goals.

 

It is conclusive - to say that God exists is to by default become vindictive against those who commit civil or religious crimes.

 

Back to how a crime or sin relates to divine and human retribution or punishment.  To say love the sinner and punish the sin would imply you want the sinner to, among other things, to avoid punishment from either authority.  If the sin goes on the person will get punishment from God, from the state and will be targeted by those who punish in their own way by condemning her or gossipping about her or even firing a brick through the window.  There is both punishment from legitimate and illegitimate authority to worry about.  But notice what is happening - read between the lines.  "You should be punished and your actions will have bad consequences for example people picking on you and gossipping.  You opened the door to all that and are the real cause."  The love is not so sweet now!!

 

Punishment that is not an expression of personal feeling against evil or the evil person is not punishment at all. It is like trying to think of the flu without admitting that there is a personal and human element. Punishing is a way of disapproving seriously of evil and taking the evil as seriously as it should be taken.  Punishment that is not punishment is intended to be an injustice.


The hypocrisy of Christians who say we must judge sin not the sinner is astounding. In other words, the sin is told its wrong and worthy of punishment but the sinner is not wrong or deserving of punishment.
 
To hate is to wish harm on. Punishing is wishing or inflicting harm on somebody in order to make them pay for their evil.
 
To love is to wish for somebody's wellbeing.
 
Yet religion says we can love the person and hate their sin and exact retribution on it.
 
Punishing sin but not persons is really not punishing at all. It's not retribution. It's anti-justice. If you separate the sin from the person and make the person suffer for the sin that is intended to be revenge not justice. Those who hate and punish the sinner could be better people than you.

 

Trying to overcome evil with evil involves trying to make the person see evil for how repulsive it is. That is what we mean by teaching them a lesson through hurting them.  It is about making them endure evil so that they understand what they have done.  It seems that trying to overcome evil with acts you think are morally neutral is okay. It seems it is okay as long as you are not fighting evil with evil. Neutrality is better than evil.

 

Thus we see that banning revenge as in giving evil for evil is not enough and another avenue for a form of revenge can be found.


Is it hating the sinner that is so bad or punishing/taking revenge on the sinner?
 
No truly good person holds that it is the crime that matters not what the crime says about the person. Indeed it would be evil to condemn an action and risk upsetting the person if it is only the action that matters. Those who believe in love the sinner and hate the sin are worse than those who admit that to hate the sin is to hate the sinner. They do justice great harm and make a laughing stock of morality or right and wrong. While they claim to love the sinner they show intolerance to the person who judges the sinner and who demands justice! What hypocrites they are!
 
If a person has to be punished for a crime should her character be taken into account? If she is a philanthropist should she get lighter punishment and more sympathy than the obnoxious buffoon who has committed a crime as bad as her's? The world generally answers that punishment is about what the person deserves to receive and not what kind of person they are. Punishment is not based on what qualities they have. If you love the criminal and hate his crime, you cannot say the kind of person he is is irrelevant. Love means considering him or her as a lovable and valuable person.
 
If the godly really think you can judge and punish sin while leaving the sinner out of it then why do they punish the sinner for committing the sin? Why do they not scrap the punishment when the sinner is somebody who has done a lot of good? For example, they will not let a doctor off scot-free or lightly when he commits murder even though he saved millions of lives. They do not put the good before the bad then as their so-called unconditional love would require. If you really should love the sinner but hate the sin the nearest you can get to doing so is to inflict pain on sinners with a view to making them convert as quickly as possible. That is the only way to reconcile the command to love the sinners and hate the sin for it is wanting the hated sin stopped by love. Obviously, nobody verbally and physically abuses sinners this way so nobody loves sinners and hates their sins.
 
The society that boasts that it loves sinners and hates sins proves it is a liar when it sends people to jail the same regardless of how much good they have done.
 
Some say that if a person commits a crime, he is to be punished because he deserves it. To punish him for the sake of hopefully making him a better person and a law-abiding one is seen by them as manipulative.
 
Sinners don’t mind their sins being hated as long as they pretend this does not mean they as persons are hated. But they certainly do mind anybody hating them or trying to stop them sinning by force or threat of punishment. The love sinner not sin philosophy is an incitement to evil and therefore commands us to hate the sin and the sinner. If the philosophy were to be bluntly stated it would run: “Love the sinner for you cannot do that anyway and pretend you hate the sin but while laying the foundation for sin to be encouraged.” To hate the sin of another is to make them sin worse for they know that by sinning others are supposed to hurt themselves by hating it so how could it possibly be compatible with loving them?
 
Christianity teaches that sin deserves to be punished and hated. To say you love the sinner and hate their sin is to say that the sin deserves to be punished and hated but the sinner doesn't which makes no sense. The rule is not practical, not helpful, and not honest. It is bad enough for unbelievers and atheists to accept the rule but for god believers to attribute the rule to God and say God keeps it is extreme blasphemy. It is like saying that it is a sin to drink the blood of babies and then to allege that God wants it drunk. They say there is no love of neighbour unless you love God above all things first. They ridicule God and disguise it as reverence so belief in God makes them hate sinners more not less.
 
If sin deserves to be hated then the person committing it deserves to be hated. It is only people that can deserve things. To say sin deserves to be hated is to urge people to hate the sinner. Criminal law needs to recognise that Christianity, Judaism and Islam are inciting to hatred and violence and deal with them accordingly.
 
God comes first for the loyal Christian. It follows that if a Christian state punishes, its prime motive must not be the common good but God. It does it for God not the nation.

Many in religion say we must tolerate sin but not the sinner. The apostle Paul does not agree with tolerate the sinner but not the sin. He condemned the man living in sin with his stepmother as being delivered to Satan and had him ostracised. Tolerate sinner not sin does not make any sense anyway and is only cherished by those whom it turns into hypocrites. Indeed Jesus himself said that anybody who goes to eternal punishment is in the same condition as one who has never done a good deed in their life. He explained all this in the Gospel of Matthew. He said they are going to Hell not for hurting others but because when they hurt others it was him they hurt. This implies that they could have been seen as good people but because they didn't do good for his sake he condemns them. Both Jesus and Paul then suggested the sinner must be completely rejected.

Loving the sinner and hating the sin implies that the sinner is a victim of their sin and so should be subjected to pity not anger or hate or punishment. They are to be considered mentally ill because alien forces take them over. They are to be forced to obey the Christian religion for they don't know what they are doing anyway! See now why you shouldn't let yourself feel cared for when Christians love you and hate your sins! If they really loved you they would not be patronising you so nauseatingly and making out you are sick for sinning or disagreeing with them! You would rather be hated than be subjected to such putrid sycophantism.
 
Hating the sinners respects them more than love the sinner and hate the sin. It has more concern for their rights and personhood.
 
The Christians don't stop there. They even go as far as saying that you may punish the sin but never the sinner! That is even worse than judge the sin not the sinner.
 
The most outrageous hypocrisy of Christianity is in its doctrine that you must regard sin as punishable and therefore hate it but you must love the sinner. "Punish the sin not the sinner." But you cannot punish a sin ever. Its impossible. What you do when you say you punish a sin is that you punish the sinner. Can we be hypocritical enough to pretend that the sinner had nothing to do with the sin? The next step is surely the sinner feeling they can sin all they want for sin is not a part of them but separate from them.
 
The failure of love the sinner and hate the sin proves that it is vindictive to believe in a God of justice who rewards people according to their works be they good or bad. Punishment is your reward for being bad!
 
It is wrong for people to take consolation in the belief that wholly evil murderous people like Hitler who cannot be made to pay for the great evil they have done for life is too short will pay in the next world thanks to God. That is saying that Hitler and his like should have died when they did instead of living on this world where punishment would be more certain at our hands. People are after the feeling of consolation more than to see them punished. They choose irrational consolation in preference to rational so they are only out for themselves. Do they realise how uncaring their attitude is? What if there was no afterlife to give the victims justice?
 
Punish sins not sinners does not need analysis for it is so silly.  But as people spout it without thinking and the Church laughs at them it has to be analysed.

 
THE WEB

www.shilohcommunitychurch.org/love_sinr.htm
TRUE OR FALSE? GOD LOVES THE SINNER BUT HATES THE SIN, FALSE, Errol Hale
 
www.ffrf.org/fttoday/back/hatred.html
With Perfect Hatred by Dan Barker
 
http://www.godhatesfags.com/
A Baptist anti-gay site
 
BOOKS CONSULTED

BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL, Friedrich Nietzsche, Penguin, London, 1990
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, Veritas, London, 1995
ECUMENICAL JIHAD, Peter Kreeft, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1996
GOD IS NOT GREAT, THE CASE AGAINST RELIGION, Christopher Hitchens, Atlantic Books, London, 2007
HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Monarch, East Sussex, 1995
HOW DOES GOD LOVE ME? Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986
IN DEFENCE OF THE FAITH, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1996
MADAME GUYON, MARTYR OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, Phyllis Thompson, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1986
MORAL PHILOSOPHY, Joseph Rickaby SJ, Stonyhurst Philosophy Series, Longmans Green and Co, London, 1912
OXFORD DICTIONARY OF PHILOSOPHY, Simon Blackburn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1996
PRACTICAL ETHICS, Peter Singer, Cambridge University Press, England, 1994
PSYCHOLOGY, George A Miller, Penguin, London, 1991
REASON AND BELIEF, Brand Blanschard, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1974
REASONS FOR HOPE, Ed Jeffrey A Mirus, Christendom College Press, Virginia, 1982
THE ATONEMENT: MYSTERY OF RECONCILIATION, Kevin McNamara, Archbishop of Dublin, Veritas, Dublin, 1987
SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD, Jonathan Edwards, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, undated
THE BRIEF OF ST ANTHONY OF PADUA (Vol 44, No 4)
THE IMITATION OF CHRIST, Thomas A Kempis, Translated by Ronald Knox and Michael Oakley, Universe, Burns & Oates, London, 1963
THE LIFE OF ALL LIVING, Fulton J Sheen, Image Books, New York, 1979
THE NEW WALK, Captain Reginald Wallis, The Christian Press, Pembridge Villas, England, undated
THE PROBLEM OF PAIN, CS Lewis, Fontana, London, 1972
THE SATANIC BIBLE, Anton Szandor LaVey, Avon Books, New York, 1969
THE STUDENT’S CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, Rev Charles Hart BA, Burns & Oates, London, 1961