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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!


Born This Way: A Violent Farce Against All that Is Good and Beautiful

Born this way

Give me a break.  

Just the way you are

Come on now.

Live on and be yourself

Are you for real?

Don’t buy it when someone wants you “Just the way you are.”  Don’t buy it when a group wants you “Just the way you are.”  Don’t buy it when a religion wants you “Just the way you are.”  I don’t get it.  What is there to like about an ethos that is so negative?  If all there is is this moment, then fine.  I’ll take that.  Anyone would take that.  In this particular moment, I accept and love you just as you are.  That is very sensible.  “Just the way you are”: insensible.  Anyone outside of a philosophy department at a local university knows that there is more than this moment. 

What I can’t stand about this “Just the Way You Are,” “Born this way,” “Live on and be yourself,” is not really the battle that these propaganda are used for.  I understand the battle.  I can’t understand the war.  It’s the war against virtue, against striving to be the best version of ourselves as possible.  The life-long strife of development.

If the human race is evolving, progressing, and overall, growing toward something positive, or good, then anyone who tells you to be “just the way you are,” is holding you back from greatness.  Living in the past.  Turning the clock back as it were.  

I unequivocally decry the “Just the way you are” attitude.  What pitiful and limiting message, which essentially communicates, “You can do, be, or progress to nothing greater than you are now.  You’d be better off just stopping to strive, because it’s better to feel good about yourself and settle, rather than struggle now, and achieve.”  

Ugh.  The time someone tells you to “Live on and be yourself,” or “You were born that way,” or “You’re okay just the way you are,” walk away swiftly, and say, “No thanks.”