America’s original sin

was rebellion against her rightful monarch, obviously!

Owning slaves, by contrast, is not intrinsically immoral.

Most nations have sinful beginnings, truth be told, but these don’t cast the same “original” shadow over the future if they are repented, forgotten, or overlooked.  Not the sin itself, but its rationalization is what killed the soul.  America embraced its rebellion and now can never stop rebelling.

When the present contests the past: the death penalty

David Bentley Hart has an attack on Feser & Bessette’s defense of the death penalty.  His main argument is that the death penalty is un-Christian because, basically, Jesus has already taken the sins of the world upon Himself.  I remember making the same argument as a teenager.  The problem, of course, is that this isn’t an argument against the death penalty; it’s an argument against punishment of any kind.  Catholic orthodoxy, once again, has chosen to endorse common sense rather than the cleanest theological argument.

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