Monday, June 24, 2013

Distinguish Person and Behaviour

Letter published in The Catholic Register pointing out a lesson the common media seem unable to learn:

Re "Despite our differences, I still prayed for Dr. Morgentaler (June 9, 2013):

Jim Hughes is correct in praying for Henry Morgentaler. Hughes rightly distinguishes the individual from that person's behaviour. We are obliged to see God in everyone even when possibly loathing what he or she did in their lifetime.

In the field of art, we can enjoy a beautiful painting or piece of music without expressing approval of the artist's behaviour. Philosopher Jacques Maritain said that if the work enriches the spiritual treasure of the world with its beauty, forget everything else.

We must always separate the person from his or her actions.

* * *

On May 24, 2012, the Toronto Star published a waffling editorial concerning blood donations by gays.  The blood agency had recently revised its policy to accept donations from gays on condition they have been celibate for five years. My letter, intended only for the enlightenment of the editorial writer, was published May 31.

Your editorial, Lifting an outdated ban (May 24), makes a common error. You state that "the majority of gay men are locked out of donating blood on grounds of sexual orientation."  Not so. They are locked out, as you term it, because of sexual activity. One must never confuse the person and that person's behaviour. There's a significant difference.

No comments: