Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Final Thoughts on "Dante-Gate," Forgiveness, & an Apology

Quite a bit of the media circus that's pitched its tent on this blog over the past week or so has made the disparity between the Catholic doctrine of forgiveness of sins and the alleged lack of it thereof in my blog post into something of a premiere attraction. Both the combox here and some of the actual articles published by various gaming websites contained allegations that I had failed in my Christian obligation to show mercy/forgive/"turn the other cheek."

Though I did address this issue (among many others) in the combox myself, after reading Mark Shea's brilliant article on the subject today, I've come to the conclusion that I did myself and all readers a disservice when I claimed that "If EA comes out with an apology of some sort, I'll gladly extend my own olive branch." Those who accuse me of being lacking in the charity department after reading that particular comment do so with considerable merit. Whoever made the decision to perform that ludicrous stunt at EA deserves my forgiveness, even if (especially if!) they don't acknowledge their own petty wrongdoing. Rest assured, they have it. I owe everyone an apology for not doing so sooner, including EA. Mea Culpa. To the gaming journalists and combox warriors who deliberately and/or scurrilously distorted the meaning of my posting for your own ends (which, for the record, I find to be far more offensive than EA's mock-protest): this same mercy applies to you, too.

HOWEVER --- "What I have written, I have written." I offer no apologies for the tone or the content of the blog post itself, with a slight exception that perhaps my diction could have clearer (my descriptors left far too many people feeling slighted, most of whom were not the intended recipients of my comments). I think I've said enough in regards to the actual content in the comments already, so I'll let this sleeping dog lie down and die now. I hope Mark Shea's article (do take the time to read it! It's long but well worth your time!) and my subsequent apology are sufficient door-closers for the manufactured controversy centered around that particular posting once and for all. Peace and God Bless!

St. Isidore and St. Ranieri, pray for us!


Buzzkill3r said...

"Turn the other cheek" along with "Judge not, that you be not judged" are the most misquoted, misinterpreted, and indeed the most memorized verses of the Bible by those who harbor a resentment towards Christ and his Church.

The most common abuse of these verses is to blunt any righteous criticism or moral outrage over the promotion of the immoral and sacrilegious in our society. The only reason this tactic has been effective is because most Christians have little understanding of the Bible or the theological virtue of forgiveness itself.

At the root of the misunderstanding is the unspoken and flawed premise of 'collective morality', that is, the idea that virtue or vice is the property of the group and not the individual. This is a diabolical inversion of the truth. Can a miser claim to be charitable solely because his government has a implemented generous welfare program? Is the police officer who takes a bribe innocent because his precinct does a good job of fighting crime? Can a man who commits adultery claim to be virtuous because his chosen political party is lobbying for better health care? Most certainly not! Morality is the responsibility of the individual and the individual will only be held accountable for his own actions.

In the same way, I can't 'Turn the other cheek' or even forgive a wrong that is perpetrated on others. I can only offer forgiveness to the degree that I have been wronged. If a man steals from you, who am I to forgive him? Who am I to 'turn the other cheek'? In this case I have no power to forgive. Rather, I have the responsibility to look out for my fellow man, to see that justice is done.

The mockery of Christianity was done by individuals at EA (or a publicity firm) and the onus is certainly upon us who have been wronged to forgive those individuals.

But just as we are to love the sinner and hate the sin, so too is it our duty to condemn the actions that scandalize the faith.

Christ himself, though undoubtedly forgiving the money changers in the temple, did not allow them to continue their defilement of his father's house.

Pat said...

If you didn't know already, game journalist Tom Chick sent some fairly positive comments your way in one of his recent posts. Check it out:

Andy Kirchoff said...

Thanks Pat! Fidgit was kind enough to link to my article when they posted their commentary a few days ago; I actually commented on the article myself, but for some reason the comment never appeared. Hmm...

Another blog, Semifat Sediment (run by a game designer living in San Fran), also recommended my SCIV "review" to its readership. For my part, I'm just glad that visitors have found something else worth reading besides "the-post-that-shall-not-be-named."

BTW, nice CoD 2 review!

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