Last evening I was listening to 'Night Waves' on Radio 3, and someone (whose name I didn't catch) was talking about his latest book, which is basically about genocide.
He was saying that it has become increasingly common in recent years; if I understood correctly, he was suggesting that it has become a more common 'problem-solving' tool - get rid of the group of people who cause all the trouble, and you won't have trouble. Certainly the Twentieth Century provides plenty of examples of people who believed that idea was workable - Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Mugabe . . .
What worried me was that, as he was talking, I recognized so many correlations between the thought processes he was discussing, and the issue I discussed in yesterday's post : because since Vatican II, particularly, there has been an apparent determination in various parts of the Church to exclude those who disagree with various things to the extent of driving them out or even destroying them - despite the fact that the things they disagree about are not de fide, but are largely matters of taste, or praxis, or even personality.
Whether you agree with the Inquisition or not, that was about Faith, and the possibility of a person not only losing heaven for him/herself, but also endangering other people's chance of getting there : so you might make a case for the drastic actions which took place, especially given the culture of the time.
The fact that, in recent years, people (on both sides, I must make clear) have been prepared to adopt an alarmingly similar posture in relation to such things as the orientation of Mass, liturgical language, and the like, seriously made me wonder whether the speaker was right, and that the human mindset had developed alarmingly in recent generations, leading to this perception that 'eliminationism' was not only an effective, but also an appropriate, solution to every problem of dissent.
I hope not.