Posts Tagged ‘ diversity ’

From Fr. Z: Gov. Andrew Cuomo: conservatives “have no place in the state of New York”

Fr. Z shared a distressing article about New York that I’m afraid will be the trend in our country, the more we hope to follow Canada and Europe.

The Republican Party candidates are running against the SAFE Act — it was voted for by moderate Republicans who run the Senate! Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life[!] pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.  [Will he have people rounded up and deported?  Perhaps he’ll inter them in camps with the help of the National Guard.]

[Fr. Z’s emphases and comments]

Where is the freedom, the tolerance, the multiculturalism in scapegoating and eliminating political enemies?  That is the broad lie of the ideology of multiculturalism: adhere to my version of diversity or leave.  Seems more like uniculturalism to me (aka totalitarianism).  What kind of free society is this??

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“Liberal” Catholics Are Not Progressive Enough

I don’t understand actions and attitudes quite common in many American Roman Catholic  believers, attitudes which are, at their core, the fruits of the Enlightenment.  Ideals such as freedom and progress, as defined and practiced by today’s standards are fine.  But when mixed with Christianity–I get confused when Enlightenment-defined freedom subverts Christian freedom.  That is merely one example.

For the longest time, I rationalized that perhaps believers of this persuasion were simply heirs to the Enlightenment, and that was all they knew.  Indoctrinated in Enlightenment thought, they learned to emphasize Enlightenment values over any other values.  They received a thoroughly Enlightenment-influenced education and control a media landscape with a tendency toward brainwashing “progressivism.”

But people have a choice.  They are rational beings with a heart and a soul, who can make choices.  Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular presents a starkly contrasting view.  Christianity presents a more progressive view of  life, humanity, the future, death, and all sorts of terribly important aspects of living, compared with the drab gray, literally hopeless Enlightenment landscape.

Enlightenment living is static–for something is only better if it supports the meta-narrative of progress-de jure.  Since objective truths and values are anathema, real, lasting progress is only an ideal and can never be a reality in Enlightenment-influenced living.   Truly, the academy and the media concoct and promote a view of life so limiting, so anti-progress.   The axiom goes something like this: I am who I am and you are who you are, and that’s enough.   How is that progressive?

Want real choice?  Christianity offers expansive freedom and choice.  Want real, deep down hope?  Christianity offers that as well.  Believe in humanism?  The goodness of humanity at the core?  Christianity offers a deeper, comprehensive view of humanity.  Want to help people?  Real, lasting help?  Help which transcends ideology?  That started and ends with Christianity as well.

What I don’t understand is why believers prefer a twisted, anti-Christian brand of Christianity to what is really there. Why, when given the choice between the candy-saccharine heterodox Christianity and the joyous feast which orthodoxy provides, that heterodoxy is ever chosen?

C.S. Lewis in “The Weight of Beauty” said it better, as always:

If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and to eagerly hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion…is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

Of course in reality, it’s not an either-or endeavor.  None of us is perfect.  None of us is precisely obedient to the Lord and His Church.  All of us land on a continuum between heteropraxy and orthopraxy.

But, I’m not talking about heteropraxy (doing things contrary to the Lord and His Church) and orthopraxy (doing things in line with the Lord’s teachings and His Church).

I’m talking about heterodoxy (believing in things contrary to the Lord and His Church) and orthodoxy (believing in things in line with the Lord and His Church).  We all fall short, in practice.  To soak-in, breathe, teach, and argue for non-truth (heterodoxy), to the exclusion of truth–that is what I don’t understand.

Christianity is the true progressive heuristic, as compared with paganism or deterministic humanism/scientism or anything else.  Buddhism, teaching that people can become one, is progressive, but falls short of the progressivism of Christianity.  Christianity believes that people can actually progress–to be more like God–and to unite with God.  That doctrine is infinitely more progressive than any other belief conjured by the Democratic party, or by the overlords of scientism and the Enlightenment.

What is more progressive than knowing that each person’s potential is infinite?  A limited, constricting view of progressivism propagated by contemporary ruling powers falls short of the true progressivism taught by Christianity:

God Himself was born.  He healed and taught.  He suffered, died, and rose again.  Through sanctifying grace we can rise as well, as He did.

Now that’s progress!

Master Status

In one of my diversity indoctrination classes, we were taught about master statuses–the aspects of our personhood which are lenses through which the world sees us and we see the world.  Race, gender, disability status, sexual orientation–all these are master statuses.  We completed an informal survey to determine which master statuses were most prominent for us.  I determined religion as my top choice.  My faith informs the way I see the world and how I act.  And a lot of people comment that even if I don’t necessarily talk about my faith, I sort of “wear it on my sleeve,” as it were.  

So religion was bound to come up in one of my mandatory personal reflections.  All semester long, I had, rightly, learned about the social plight of women, people of color, the poor, the homeless, the disabled, non-heterosexuals, people who don’t fit into the gender binary, and immigrants.  Religion apparently didn’t make the cut.  The professor rationalized “Religion is really important, and I wish we had time for it…if there is more time in the semester, we’ll cover it.”  Talk about marginalization. But there is not a lot of sympathy for the white male in the room.  

So I chose to write about religion.  Specifically, how Catholics are also marginalized, and how I felt marginalized as a Catholic.  My TA’s comments were telling.  At first, the comments evidenced marked incredulity.  Her response to my personal reflection was something along the lines of:

How could it be, when Catholicism is one of the most populous churches, when it has “so much power, money, etc,” when the church itself marginalizes so many groups, that the church is marginalized?!

By the end, I had made a convincing enough argument.  I recall she wrote something by the end such as:

Yeah, I guess I can see that.

I wasn’t surprised to not receive her support.  In fact, I had only written my reflection as a sort of eye-opener.  There’s more to people than race, gender, and sexual orientation–to the ignorance of diversity indoctrination.  I have my own theories about why this might be so.  But this episode came to mind when I read the astute Mollie Hemingway’s post about Western media’s lack of attention to the plight of Christians.  Just a few stats quoted from the article:

Some 85 Christians were slaughtered and 120 injured, the bloodiest attack on Christians in Pakistan in history. The hospital ran out of beds for the injured and there weren’t enough caskets for the dead….

Around noon, armed gunmen stormed the mall and exploded grenades. Thousands of terrified people dropped to the floor, fled out of exits and hid in stores. The gunmen began lining people up and shooting some of the five dozen people they would slaughter and 240 people, ages 2 to 78, that they would wound…

 [In Egypt,] The violence of just three days in mid-August was staggering. Thirty-eight churches were destroyed, 23 vandalized; 58 homes were burned and looted and 85 shops, 16 pharmacies and 3 hotels were demolished. It was so bad that the Coptic Pope was in hiding, many Sunday services were canceled, and Christians stayed indoors, fearing for their lives. Six Christians were killed in the violence. Seven were kidnapped.

This is one of the main flaws in multicultural theory and practice.  Putting the focus on a few master statuses which in the past century have been the focus of liberation (race, gender, and now sexual orientation) deconstructs a global understanding of personhood to the point that it is inconceivable that people suffer from other social stigma.  Focusing on race, gender, and sexual orientation to the detriment of religion allows Westerners to sleep well at night, as long as we promote domestic and international policies ensuring abortion on demand and the normalization of homosexual lifestyles.  

While one may debate the relative merits of feminist and LGBT political priorities, ignoring the plight of Christians worldwide is naive and hypocritical.  Not all statuses are constructed equal.  

Imagine a lede such as

Some 85 women were slaughtered and 120 injured…

or…

Some 85 gays were slaughtered and 120 injured.

But

Some 85 Christians were slaughtered and 120 injured…

…just doesn’t have the same pizzazz to our society.  And shame on us.