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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

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Chris

Yes, but the very truth of the pope's statement cuts both ways. The "creative minority" in the United States (and perhaps much of Europe, though I don't know for certain) is certainly homosexuals, who dominate the fashion industry and much of entertainment and media. They are trying their mightiest to "determine the future", including pushing gay marriage upon the country, and more pervasively, pushing a cultural agenda of sexual libertinism with deleterious effects to families and individuals alike.

By way of contrast, would the Catholic Church in the U.S. be the "uncreative majority"? Catholics number around 66 million, by far the largest religious denomination here, while the very highest estimates of the gay population put it at 12 million (at 4% of a population of 300 million people, and it's probably considerably lower than that).

Of course, actual, practicing, faithful, orthodox Catholics are a small minority (alas!) of self-described Catholics, so maybe we are a "creative minority" after all. And the U.S. bishops, two decades ago caught up in lame political jeremiads, seem to have found their voice, as a group, for authentic moral teaching over the least year or so. Considering that there are only a few hundred bishops in the U.S., maybe they are (or are becoming) the nexus of our Catholic "creative minority" here...?

Carl E. Olson

Chris,

Your point is well taken, but I wonder, "How 'creative' and 'minority,' really, are homosexuals and the agenda to make homosexuality accepted, even glorified?" Put another way, while the number of homosexuals is relatively small, the number of people who explicitly or tacitly support pro-homosexual measures and attitudes is much, much larger. It is, I think, something of an inversion of the Catholic numbers. While there are many Catholics, as you note, there aren't a huge number of serious, knowledgeable Catholics who are trying to live the Faith openly and without apology in the prevalent culture.

The overriding motif of a liberal society (and I use "liberal" in its modern, not traditional, sense) is equality at (nearly) all costs, enforceable by the State, based on a secular and ultimately relativistic notion of morality. I would argue the vast majority of Americans--even many Christians and many who would call themselves "conservative"--implicitly accept the liberal playing field, game, and rules. I think that Benedict is challenging Catholics to think outside the secular/liberal box and to live in a way that challenges the cultural, societal, and ideological norms. And one of those many "norms" is the acceptance of homosexuality and "same sex marriage" as being equal (or superior!) to monogamous, traditional marriage.

Brian

"the Catholic cannot be content with having the faith, but must be searching for God even more, and in dialogue with others relearn God in a more profound way..."

Let's do that instead of broad-brushing and demonizing homosexual persons and liberal activists.

Carl E. Olson

Brian: I'm not sure what sort of loose and incorrect of "demonizing" you are using, but nothing I said was demonizing. It is simply fact.

Brian

Listen to some of the rhetoric on homosexual persons and liberals floating around the Right. That rhetoric qualifies as broad-brushing and demonizing.

I also should have been clearer of what I was getting at when I said, "dialogue". I meant dialogue on human rights. The Vatican did a good job handling the controversy that erupted when it turned down a resolution at the United Nations calling for the elimination of criminalization. The Vatican clearly distinguished between its main objection--the ambiguous wording--and the calls for the simple elimination of criminalization, for which it expressed support.

Moreover, this 'blog has used buzz-words like "tyranny of liberalism" instead of actually discussing the benefits of liberal ideas, e.g. allowing women a voice in public life and allowing races to mix. One question I've pondered is: if we condemn liberalism wholesale, then doesn't that mean we condemn EVERYTHING that comes with liberalism? Disagreement with aspects of liberalism is one thing. Wholesale condemnation is another, isn't it?

I appreciate your patience. I'm trying to understand the truth.

Mark Brumley

You make interest points, Brian. While it may be the case that some folks on "the Right" paint with a broad brush and engage in demonizing, I don't think that that has happened here in connection with the Pope's comments quoted above. Do you disagree?

With respect to the blog's use of "buzz-words" such as "tyranny of liberalism", I'm not sure to whom you refer, since the "blog's use" can mean anybody who posts a comment on the blog--certainly a wide range of people. What's more, I think for a fruitful discussion we would need to define our terms. Most people I know who use the term "tyranny of liberalism" don't refer to things such as allowing women a voice in public life or allowing races to mix.

Brian

I was concerned that the "fact" about homosexual persons "dominating" public life derailed what the Pope was saying. I actually thought about whether to simply repeat the quote without any extra commentary. However, seeing that first post led me to react.

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