Monday, June 09, 2008

When sincerity trumps Tradition

...Back when we were Anglicans, I would hear ad nauseam the tired argument that all feelings were valid and "let's just all live together in this hothouse of beliefs" because conscience is muy primo. Of course, if you tried to argue from the side of reason (appealing to the Anglican three-legged stool of Scripture, Reason, and Tradition), you'd get the stupid response, "Your belief is your belief and my belief is my belief." One perspicacious sixteen-year-old asked, "So there's no such thing as Truth?" You can guess the snooty response, said with all the dripping condescension, from someone decades older than teenager.

Then, said the sixteen-year-old, "Well, didn't Jesus say 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life'...he didn't use an indefinite pronoun. 'The' is pretty definitive." Now, son, Jesus is the Way for Christians, but for Buddhists, it's Buddha, and for Muslims, it's Mohammed. See you can't be so intolerant as to expect Jesus to be the Way for all people. That's what church is all about, to learn that the work of justice is to understand that we are all equal in God's eyes. Each way is just as valid, because in the end we'll achieve heaven.

Said sixteen-year-old was skeptical and has since converted to the Catholic Church.

Okay, that was my oldest child's experience. The adult above targeted some glares in my direction that said, "This is your kid. What in the world are you teaching him?" So I'm reminded of that conversation whenever I read this kind of whining (via The Curt Jester). I call it whining because you can hear the epithet said under breath, "These Young Fogeys!!!!"
If older liberal Catholics are over-represented in reform groups such as Call to Action and Voice of the Faithful, Davidson said, younger conservative Catholics are equally over-represented among new priests, seminarians, and even theologians.

Speaking specifically about theologians, Davidson said that a growing tendency for younger theologians to reflect a "culture one" mentality reflects "a larger pattern of separation between the laity and the leaders of the institutional church."

O'Connell largely agreed, saying that one distinguishing feature of her generation of theologians is that it came of age in an era of a "near-total disconnect between a culture one hierarchy and a culture two laity."
Culture One and Culture Two? That sounds like Mars Rovers. I smell fear.

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