Still not the passive
Over at Slacktivist, Fred says, in the latest of his "Left Behind" posts:
Jenkins muffles the message a bit here with an evasive passive voice — “he became a marked man,” “he would suffer for it,” “he had so far eluded mortal harm.” He’s careful to avoid mentioning any explicit subject or actor. They are intent on killing Ben-Judah because he has become a Christian. But who are they?Fred's on the money about LaHaye and Jenkins muffling their antisemitism. But he's wrong about their using "an evasive passive voice". Wrong, wrong, and wrong - all three times.
He became a marked man does have a passive participle lurking in it - "marked". But "become" can't be used passively; it's not a transitive verb. It doesn't take a direct object that could be turned into the subject of a recast sentence; it takes a predicative nominative.
He would suffer for it doesn't even have a passive participle. "Suffer" here is simply intransitive. "Would" is a modal auxiliary, the form of "will" used to talk about the future in the past - sequencing of tenses, where event X is in the past from the speaker's point of view, but in the future of the time being described, for example in a narrative structure. Here, Ben-Judah's suffering is in the future of Cameron's visit to Israel, but in the past of the person telling the story. "Would suffer", then, is just a tense of "suffer". It could be used passively, if they provided the object - "he would suffer agonies for it" could be, awkwardly, turned into "agonies would be suffered by him for it". But here it's nice and active.
He had so far eluded mortal harm does have a transitive verb. But the passive version of this sentence would be "mortal harm had so far been eluded by him". And as for "no explicit subject"? He, dammit. He is the explicit subject in every one of these sentences.
Now, as I said, Fred's dead right when he says Jenkins "avoids mentioning any explicit ... actor" in the sense that we don't know who's marked him, who's going to make him suffer, or who's threatening him with mortal harm. (Spoiler: it's the Jews!!). But this just goes to show that you can indeed be vague about agency, and can avoid naming someone, using the active voice.
This - this - is the "sin". It's not using the passive voice; it's refusing to lay the responsibility where it belongs.