Saturday, December 5, 2015

Jesus loves Mengele

Rod Dreher had a post up recently about the rhetoric in America's interminable abortion debates. I had been commenting to defend the typical pro-life statement that "abortion is murder" (which it is), and the propriety of comparing abortionists to Nazi medical experimenter Josef Mengele (since both, despite many admittedly salient differences, are examples of vivisectionists). Meanwhile, a fellow Christian pro-lifer intervened with what I took to be a distressing callousness regarding the deaths during the recent Planned Parenthood clinic shooting in Colorado Springs. 

I humbly propose that what follows is worth reading not only as an intervention in the abortion discussion, but more so as a reflection on how we ought to think about the infinite compassion of Our Incarnate Lord.

What follows below the fold is a lightly edited transcript of my comments in response to this fellow Christian, beginning with a quotation from his remarks:

I will not have sympathy for those who have intentionally seared their conscious to the point that they are no longer humans but ogres, demons who eat the flesh of man. They themselves who have cast their humanity away.
This is, literally, dehumanizing, demonizing rhetoric. This is rhetoric that leads to Hell. As a brother in Christ, I must rebuke you. You need to root this apathy and scorn out of yourself while you are still alive to do it. You cannot loathe your fellow men like this and attain theosis. You simply cannot. It is not possible.

Judas and Pilate were not demons, but men. Hitler and Stalin were not ogres, but men. Christ died on the Cross for all four of them. Really, He did. (Whether they chose to accept the grace He won for them on the Cross is another matter. But He died for them as much as for you or me.) Christ cried out from the Cross, “Forgive them Father.” Christ had so much sympathy for His own murderers that even as He writhed in agony, He found time to pray for them.

In a very real cultural and political sense, the abortionist is indeed our enemy. But we are under Christ’s orders to love our enemies. Love.

I am not being sentimental or mawkish. I am deadly serious and I am speaking to you as one combatant to another about a very real problem on the battlefield: You and I and every other Christian are engaged in a daily fight for our souls with Satan. That is the war in which we fight. Your words here indicate that you are presently losing your war. We’re like two junior officers standing on a hill, and from here I can see that your troops are heading into an ambush: you need to go save them right now.

In an entirely non-metaphorical way, you risk spending all eternity seared endlessly by dark flame, devoured by the worm that does not die. I could not possibly be more serious right now. I do not judge you, but I cannot imagine a way that you can avoid eternal hellfire if you go to your grave thinking of other children of God, other brothers and sisters for whom Christ died, as “demons” and “ogres.”

Please. Please talk to your priest about this. This is important, and you need to work on it. No one will care in a month or two what was said on this thread. But your battle with loathing other human beings will still matter. You can’t change abortion politics. You can heal your own heart. Focus on that. It’s what’s practical.

Yes, abortion is murder. It is vile. But I tell you this. Had some Roman tied the Blessed Virgin to a table and aborted the Christ Child in her womb, I have no doubt that the murdered Christ would have interceded with His Father in Heaven to forgive the abortionist. Because forgiveness is the very core of Who He Is. There is no other Way. None. Narrow is the road that leads to Heaven. Don’t stray from it. Forgive. Love.

Now. While there’s still time. None of us ever know our own day or hour.

One more thing, and I hope it helps. When I was a boy, my grandmother and my mother always told me that because Christ is God, His mind was infinite. That meant that in the hours He was on the Cross, He had INFINITE subjective time to devote to me, personally, to offering his Sacrifice just for me. He had infinite time to watch me develop in the womb, go to school, grow up, and live my life. Infinite time to love me more than anyone else ever could, to cherish me and to suffer bitterly at His knowledge of any pain or hurt or sorrow I went through, like a mother pained at seeing her child hurt. Even if I was the only sinner in the whole wide world, Christ would’ve laid down his life just for me. He loves me so much. And you, too.

But consider this, my brother in Christ. The abortionist is in some ways like Josef Mengele. This is true, and I’m not going to stop saying it no matter how much pro-choicers reject the obvious truth that both the abortionist and Mengele are examples of vivisectionists—people who cut up living human beings without anesthetic.

You surely agree. But what of Josef Mengele, then? Well, Christ would have laid down his life just for Josef Mengele. Christ would’ve wept tears of pure Heavenly joy if Mengele accepted His grace. Choirs of angels would’ve rejoiced at the salvation of Mengele’s eternal soul. When little Joey Mengele was in the womb, the Crucified had infinite subjective time to watch him grow, to love little Joey so very much. The Crucified watched little Joey Mengele come home from school one day with good grades, and was happy for him. The Crucified saw Mengele’s heart get broken one day by some girl or some career setback or something, and wept for him. Just for him. Christ would’ve done it all, the Incarnation, the Passion, all of it, just for Josef Mengele. He loves him so very much. When Mengele turned to wickedness, Christ looked down from the Cross and wept—not just for Mengele’s victims, but for the infinitely precious, infinitely cherished soul of Josef Mengele. Had that lost sheep come back into the fold, oh, how the Shepherd would’ve rejoiced!

That is how much Jesus loves you, and me. That is how much Jesus loves Mengele, even still. So is the abortionist a vivisectionist, like Mengele? Yes. That doesn’t make Mengele, or the abortionist, an ogre or a demon. It makes them both beloved—infinitely beloved—children of God.

Calling people less than human is precisely how the infinitely precious soul of Mengele began its likely descent to Hell. No one is less than human. Not the Jews. Not the unborn. Not you. Not me. Not Mengele. Not the abortionist.

You are called to love the abortionist. Believe me, Christ loves every single abortionist with a passionate intensity you cannot even begin to fathom. In some way that transcends linear time, we know that the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Divine Liturgy, gives us access to Calvary in an unbloody manner—it allows us to reach across time to that place where Christ is contemplating, with infinite tenderness, the souls of you, and me, and the abortionist, and His beloved Josef Mengele, contemplating us all in infinite love, somehow not 2000 years ago, but right now.

The way of scorn is Satan’s dark road. Satan is the terrorist, and to hate anyone is to let him win.

Love. There’s no other Way.

You have my heartfelt prayers that Our Lord Jesus Christ brings you ever closer to His Merciful Heart. He already loves you so, so much. Just as much as He loves the abortionist.

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