Don Lemon, amateur theologian


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The people who seem to know the least about Christianity tend also to have the loudest opinions on Christianity.

Some may call this "ironic," but that's wrong. It's really just par for the course.

CNN host Don Lemon says it's time for the Roman Catholic Church to “reexamine” its teachings on faith and morals. It should get with the times, the cable news host said, especially in regard to same-sex unions, which the Catholic Church does not recognize and will not bless.

After all, Lemon explained, God is not about “judging people.”

Now, of all the things that can be said in opposition to the Catholic Church’s position on same-sex unions, this has to be one of the laziest and most ignorant. It's one thing to say the Catholic Church is wrong about same-sex unions because our understanding of cultural norms and human sexuality has evolved since its founding. But to believe the Catholic Church is wrong because God doesn't "judge" people is enormously stupid. It requires an astonishing level of ignorance.

Christianity recognizes God explicitly as the judge of all things. Yes, Jesus told humans it was not their place to judge — that they should be careful about condemning others, for they shall be judged by the same standards they mete out for others.

But that's the thing. People aren't supposed to judge, but that's because only God is supposed to judge. “Judging” is what God does. The Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed, which all Christians hold in common, state the Son of God will come "to judge the living and the dead."

Are we supposed to ignore those passages in Scripture, including Judges 11:27, Isaiah 33:22, Romans 2:16, 2 Timothy 4:8, Hebrews 12:23, and James 4:12, wherein God is identified specifically as “judge?"

The Vatican reaffirmed this week that it cannot bless same-sex unions, arguing God "cannot bless sin." To bless such a union, the Vatican reasoned in a two-page statement, would be to equate same-sex marriage with the sacrament of marriage, which, the Catholic Church stated, would be “erroneous and misleading.”

On Monday, Lemon, who is gay, provided the Vatican with a theology lesson of his own, saying Catholics should be nonjudgmental, just as God is nonjudgmental.

"I respect people’s right to believe in whatever they want to believe in their God," the CNN host said Monday during an appearance on the View. "But if you believe in something that hurts another person or that does not give someone the same rights or freedoms, not necessarily under the Constitution, because this is under God, I think that that’s wrong.”

He added, "God is not about hindering people or even judging people."

Whatever Lemon is describing here, it certainly isn't Christianity.

Those passages referring to “the Lord, the judge,” “the Lord is our judge,” and “the Lord, the righteous judge” seem fairly unambiguous. Does Lemon believe Scripture is one of those “take-Him-seriously-but-not-literally” type things?

No, really, what does the CNN host suppose Christians mean when they talk about the “Final Judgment?” What does he suppose Jesus meant when he said the goats and sheep would be separated at the Last Judgment in Matthew 25?

The CNN host continued, saying he believes the Roman Catholic Church “and many other churches” need “to reexamine themselves and their teachings because that is not what God is about.”

He added: “And to put it in the context of race, I find that, you know, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said the most segregated place on Earth, time on Earth, was 11 a.m. on a Sunday morning.”

Speaking of King, it may interest Lemon to know the late reverend wrote specifically of the “judgment of God” in his 1963 Letter From Birmingham Jail.

The cable news anchor went on, arguing that “religion and the pew” act often as “barriers from people actually getting to know each other,” which is nonsense.

“I would say to the pope and the Vatican and all Christians or Catholics or whomever, whatever religion you believe, go out and meet people and try to understand people and do what the Bible and what Jesus actually said, if you believe in Jesus," the host concluded. "And that is to love your fellow man and judge not lest ye be not judged.”

So, Lemon remembered enough Scripture to cobble together two separate passages into a still-theologically ignorant argument. Points for effort, I suppose.