“Moral Horror” is not a term I invented. I don’t imagine I would have coined it in a hundred years of study. But when I found it from the pen of Christine Pohl, in her book Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition, it just jumped off the page at me. A respected Christian scholar from a respected seminary, published in an elite publishing company talking about the failure of hospitality as a “moral horror” seems to go far beyond validating the message of this blog.
Allow me to quote:
Because Christian hospitality reflects divine hospitality, when it fails it is especially devastating. Claims to have run out of resources or to have “no more room” are particularly problematic when we reflect on the abundance of God’s household. There is a certain moral horror associated with turning persons away; when refugees are excluded and left in danger, or when homeless persons are left outside on freezing nights, it is rarely morally sufficient to say that there was not enough room.
The wideness of God’s mercy and the generosity of God’s welcome must frame our thinking about limits and boundaries. God’s kindness continually challenges us to consider our commitments. Jesus and the stranger stand outside, asking our communities to enlarge their borders and to share their resources. As we welcome the poor, the stranger, or the marginal person, they help us to remember that each of us is an alien and a stranger, welcome by God’s generous invitation.
Christine Pohl, Making Room, pages 129-130.