For instance, the sin of contempt has the paradoxical effect of blinding you to person for whon you have contempt, so that you wind up not having the slightest clue who it is you are fighting. The danger of this is that, if your contemptuous words do not, in fact, describe the reality of the one for whom you have contempt, they may wind up proving to be better, smarter, cleverer, wiser and even even more just and holy than you are. So, for instance, Goering’s contemptuous remark that “All the Americans can make are razor blades and refrigerators” turns out to have been wanting in actuality in the event.
Similarly, becrazed atheists who are not merely non-believers indifferent to Christianity (and atheism is virtually always has Christianity as the target, by the way, since one seldom finds atheists fulminating againt Quetzlcoatl) but actually filled with a sort of missionary hatred often wind up writing things like this:
The Christian — at least the theologically and intellectually honest Christian — must hold that what shocks his conscience is not that Hitler intentionally and deliberately slaughtered ten million people in death camps, but only that he did so without first securing priestly approval. (And that he did not actually win; had Hitler won, the Christians would have been quick to provide theological cover.)
This is the voice of contempt. It is isn’t even interested in making a true assertion. Merely in hitting the object of contempt with a stick. It is unhampered by interest in things like “a basis for the claim”. So, for instance, it ignores (and, due to contempt, is ignorant of) the fact that Western powers who defeated Hitler saw themselves doing so in *defense* of Christendom
Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us now. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say, “This was their finest hour.” Winston Churchill, June 1940
It is ignores (and, due to contempt, is ignorant of) the fact that Hitler intended to murder the Pope, whom he regarded as an enemy.
It is ignores (and, due to contempt, is ignorant of) the fact that millions of Christians died rather than “provide theological cover” for Nazis in places all over Europe where Nazism *had* won decisively, as in Poland.
All this goes for nothing, because the sin of contempt blinds this guy to the possibility of any redeeming characteristics for Christians. We’re all closet Nazis.
This, he calls “theological and intellectual honesty”.
The chief effect of contempt in atheist circles is, repeatedly, the tendency to encourage atheists to worship their intellect rather than use it.