Archive for January, 2009

Pharisaism alive and well

Monday, January 12th, 2009

I came across this just yesterday in Thomas Merton‘s Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander. Although written in the early sixties and referring to America it seems very appropriate today given the situation in Gaza.

In politics, as in everything else, pharisaism is not self-righteousness only, but the conviction that, in order to be right, it is sufficient to prove that somebody else is wrong. As long as there is one sinner left for you to condemn, then you are justified! Once you can point to a wrongdoer, you become justified in doing anything you like, however dishonest, however evil.  *

It would seem that in Israel, even after two thousand years, pharisaism flourishes.

* Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander,  Sheldon Press, London, 1977, p. 74