This time the challenge is to guess about whom the following passages are written. Don’t cheat! 🙂
“Almost all of the other themes in [his writings] are social and revolutionary. … Plain and simple, his is the revolutionary social gospel of the political Left ornamented with ‘new age’ spirituality to mask its temporality. … [He] especially rejects punishment … [because of] his recognition of the rampant corruption in the [modern] criminal system and its inhumane treatment of prisoners. His criticisms, however, go beyond mere penal reform: They strike at the right of a society to pass judgment at all. For [him], criminals are the creation of a corrupt society stratified by class and wealth. [X] seems to tell us, naively, that if we were simply to love man, he would be a criminal no more.
“In [his] view, … the [poor] are presented as uniformly virtuous people toiling under the thumb of wealthy do-nothings…. Worse, the rich are oblivious to the suffering of the people who provide the very means of their luxurious and effete lives. … [W]e can see in [X] the equivalent of wealthy … liberals who are not merely content to give away their wealth … but who are compelled to attack others for not reaching the same conclusions and flagellating themselves before the less fortunate. The stink of self-loathing is so fetid with these types. … Unlike [other critics], who gave real substance to those who disagreed with him…, the adversaries … created by [X] are straw men. [He refuses] to believe that those who disagree with him are not knaves or malefactors. …
“[Further, he] asserts that ritual and superstition have taken the place of the Gospel message, which he [tends to reduce] to the Sermon on the Mount. … His discussion of punishment and class lays bare his denial of the concept of original sin. For [X], Heaven on earth could be attained if we were simply kind to one another. … [His] vitriol toward the [establishment] Church … is permeated by the notion of casting off divine judgment and embracing one’s inner deity. But he himself is … a walking cauldron of judgment and pride with only the veneer of kindness, tolerance, and genuine religion.
“Inasmuch as [X] was obsessed with reordering man’s social relations to eradicate poverty and injustice, his [error] is not particularly new or novel. Jesus Himself rejected this type of ‘revolutionary’ program when he chastised His disciples who objected to the ‘waste’ of a year’s wages on fine oil used to anoint Him before He entered into His passion, money they felt should have been given to the poor. ‘The poor,’ our Lord said, ‘you will always have with you.’ It was after this that Judas betrayed Jesus, delivering Him into ‘the hands of sinners.’
“Those who murmured misunderstood that our first obedience is to worship God. The woman in this passage understood that worshiping God is primary to everything, even above relieving the material suffering of mankind. … [Those like X] recoil at such a sacrifice. They do not consider that poverty is not an end, or that relief from poverty doesn’t guarantee man’s happiness. Only one thing does: prostration before the living God. … [Yet X] himself is one with those who murmured at the woman’s offering of oil to anoint our Lord. He too inverts the the priority of the love of God for the love of man.”