One thing I have learnt from being a priest is that if a person is in pain then it really is the worse pain in the world and it really is the only pain in the world. I truly believe that God believes that too. Comparison, when it comes to suffering, is the work of the devil.



  1. And he is absolutely right, Father. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the whole idea of a hierarchy of oppression comes from the oppressor.

  2. I agree with you too. Well said. Pain is not relative, not in any meaningful sense. It never made anyone’s pain any the less to be told that someone else somewhere else was worse off.

  3. Interesting.

    Contra “comparative victimization”.

    The Voice of Evil: “But What About…?!” [i.e., whenever you call someone out for the evil they’re doing, they say “But What About [Evil Done to ME!]?”

    No, Israel: when it comes to your imperialist oppression of the Palestinians, we’re NOT talking about the Holocaust!

    No, Palestinians: when it comes to acts of terror against Israelis, we’re NOT talking about “The Catastrophe”!

    No, Christianists: when it comes to your hateful acts against [Gays, Jews, Muslims, Agnostics/Atheists . . . actual Christians (i.e. Episcopalians ;-/)], we’re not talking about what Mao [Stalin…Nero!] did to Christians.

    There IS no “But What About”!!!!

  4. This is very true, and a lesson I’ve learned and taken to heart from you.

    I my case I simply feel ashamed because my own pain consumes my attention in a way that others’ doesn’t. It’s not that I don’t care, or empathize, just that I don’t suffer with them. It’s . . . self-centered, egoist, to me.

  5. @JCF – I couldn’t help but notice that the “Christians” had the longest list of those they’ve abused 🙁

    Not surprised, mind you – just saddened.