Monday, October 18, 2010

Cafeterianism in Religion and Politics

As it bedevils the Church, so it bedevils America—the uncertainty and confusion that has been part of the world since the beginning—as this article from The American Spectator notes; and though the conflation of God’s teaching with America’s founding principles is a stretch, the metaphor is still instructive.

An excerpt.

“Those of us who are faithful Catholics have the misfortune of coexisting with those of our brethren who are not in communion with all the teachings of the Church. Some of these folks attend Mass each week, while most haven't seen the inside of a church in years, yet feel compelled to identify themselves as Catholics; one would suppose, for the sole purpose of being interviewed by the New York Times.

“I will not rehash the grievances of these Catholics-In-Name-Only, but suffice to say that they involve the Church's failure to have evolved sufficiently enough to approve of the current proclivities toward the sins they wish to commit. They would seek to contravene the immutable truths of our Founder who said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away." They favor modern mores over timeless truths.

“In much the same way, America is now experiencing this inclination of a large number of citizens to disregard the founding principles that underpin our nation in favor of their own ideas of what our government is and should do; all the while insisting that they support and defend our Constitution. It is at times like these that non-Catholics share with us our frustration when reading the opinions of our brethren who pick and choose which, if any, precepts of the Faith they might respect.

“And the most perplexing aspect of all this is that these liberals who constantly trumpet diversity have a chilling disdain for the fact that both the Church and the U.S. are truly melting pots open to all men and women on Earth -- who are willing to obey the rules.

“And so must we deal with those who lay claim to an America that in many ways would be unrecognizable to those who crafted the greatest founding document in the history of world governance. The scandal of their perversion of that document is surpassed only by their phony allegiance to it when convenient.”