You’ve seen it a hundred times. Someone will make a witty rejoinder, or even a barbed or sarcastic comment in a discussion, and someone inevitably fires the “You’re being uncharitable!” cannon. It has become the Christian equivalent of the race card.
Diogenes at Off the Record sees it is more often employed as a rhetorical ploy by people who confuse lack of niceness and tact with lack of charity:
I’m struck by how often Catholic controversialists admonish each other with some variation on the dictum, “in all things, charity.” I think what they are really calling for is not charity, but magnanimity and graciousness. Attractive as these qualities are, they are symptoms of charity rather than its criteria, and the confusion can work unintended mischief.
In all things, charity. No argument. Charity is not proposed to us as an invitation or an ideal but given as a command – a divine command – and we’ll all have to answer to God for our failures therein. When charity becomes a weapon in polemics, however, our theology has jumped the rails.Read the whole thing here.