Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Crunchy orthodoxy?

Mark Shea links to this article in the Times Online regarding "crunchy conservatism". While I don't care for labels, and to create a new label kinda defeats the point; this article kinda sums up where I fit too. I don't avoid speaking or living a certain way just because it doesn't sound "conservative." There are the politically conservative, the financially conservative, the religious conservative and then there is the whole package. But a label doesn't fit, unless you apply the Roman Catholic label.

Mark makes some great points on why he doesn't just blindly accept the propaganda from either side.

Actually, I'm not above it all. I'm below it all. I'm a lower middle class schlep with a house and a mortgage and four kids whose eternal destinies have, till they are (please God!) well-formed and on their own, been entrusted to my and my wife's hands. In this little domestic bubble, we are trying to help both ourselves and our family hone the skills necessary to navigate raging seas of self-serving hogwash pumped out by giant states and giant corporations for the primary purpose of reducing persons to easily manipulable things who will get with the program of Work, Buy, Consume, Die and (above all) Serve Us.
Unless it comes from the Church, and then it isn't propaganda, it is truth.

When I look at the history of the Church, what I see is people who are on the right side of some controversy defeat their opponents--and then go on to be wrong by exaggerating their opposition to an old heresy into a new heresy. I fear more than anything that lack of balance, particularly in a world that is drunk on excess and has largely forsaken the Christian and Catholic teaching that gave it birth. So I try to cling hard to the Church's teaching, not because I'm so cockily confident I obey it, but because I'm very afraid I will not. That teaching, in my experience, is almost never amenable to any single human system. I wish it were, but I have absolutely no reason to believe it is.
This hits a point several that several Catholic friends were discussing over a beverage (Have I mentioned how much I enjoy theology on tap?) after a pickup game of basketball.

One fellow bravely stood up as a progressive and charitably held his ground against 4 of us who are a mixed bag, but stick to orthodoxy. Mark makes the point in bold that I think us 4 orthodox were trying to make. The Church has made it easy for us on critical topics. We can give our assent without worry because the Church teaches the Truth. But if we need to grow in faith and assure our minds, we can look into the teaching and discover the WHY behind the teaching.

And as one guy so wisely put, the pendulum swings to extremes, orthodoxy is the center where it is balanced. Or as Disputations has it, the perfect balance between thinking and assent on the faith plot.

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