Condemning Condemnation

It always makes me laugh when, during the course of a debate, one of the participants resorts to the “Condemning Condemnation” card. You know. Like when someone says that such-and-such is wrong and their opponent immediately declares, “But it’s wrong for you to judge!”

Wait… what?

One of my favorite parts in Gregory Koukl’s Tactics is when he shares a conversation where this sort of fallacious argument reared its ugly head. He promptly nips it in the bud.

Lee: I’m not a homosexual, but I think it’s wrong to condemn anybody for anything.

Greg: Why are you condemning me, then?

Lee: What?

Greg: I said, why are you condemning me if you think it’s wrong to condemn people?

Lee: I’m responding to the fact that a lot of Christians condemn people.

Greg: I understand. And it sounds like you’re condemning me because I just condemned homosexuality as wrong.

Lee: Yes, I am. You are supposed to love everybody.

Greg: Wait a minute. You’re not listening to yourself. You just said it’s wrong to condemn people. And now you admit you’re condemning me. So I’m asking, why are you doing the very same thing that you say is wrong when I do it?

Lee: No, I’m not. [Lee pauses as the light slowly begins to dawn.] Okay, let’s put it this way. I’m not condemning you, I’m reprimanding you. Is that better?

Greg: Then my comments about homosexuals are simple reprimands as well.

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3 thoughts on “Condemning Condemnation”

  1. I’ll have to remember this one. But I often hear this coming from Christians who are afraid of making any sort of moral reprimand about anything. :-)

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