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Monday, June 13, 2011


Irenaeus of New York

That was an interesting analysis. I think those who promote such a contradictory value system know what they are doing to the culture. I dont believe this is driven soley by market forces.


We have, at least for the moment, lost our secular dialogue partners, and, to some extent, perhaps even our ecumenical ones as well. This is not due to a lack of charity but because for a meaningful dialogue to take place the partners must have sufficient confidence in what they believe as to permit disagreement and conflict. As Rabbi Heschel observed, before you can have “inter-faith” talk, you must have faith.

Fascinating statement. How true, yet he ends, it seems to me, without the obvious conclusion. What a golden opportunity this presents, if his assessment of the culture is correct, and I think it is.

What is the expression, "nature abhors a vacuum?" Is not what he describes really a cultural vacuum? It seems to me that if we have lost our dialogue partners, it may be time for a monologue. He worries about triumphalism, but the antidote to that is of course humility.

This is not the time to back off, but rather to "put the pedal to the metal." If we flood the market with Catholic culture rooted in Catholic faith we fill a void that someone else will fill if we wait.

But it must be rooted in Catholic faith. Catholic culture is meaningless without the truth of the Catholic faith. This is clear from the situation at St. Xavier University and Manhattan College where the National Labor Relations Board has declared them secular institutions because they could not could not demonstrate a “substantial religious character.”


Rabbi Heschel is right, first you need faith.


Fantastic piece.

I think he is essentially pointing out how we need to refocus in the Church on our essentials, which have been blurred as we have chased after enculturation. It is not a time to back off, but you also can't share what you don't have. I think he is underscoring the need to unify and fortify the troops before we rush off to the front lines.

A very encouraging and Catholic faith. PTL!


Austin echoes a piece that PBS's Frontline did around a decade ago, called The Merchants of Cool. If memory serves, the point was that corporations were spending too much time and money trying to stay ahead of the curve in serving the multibillion dollar teenage market (music, fashion etc.) and so they decided to make the curve themselves by promoting ideas of what is and isn't cool. (i.e. cool is whatever they are selling at the moment.)

I don't remember if Frontline drew the connection, but this demands that they sell more foundational ideas: materialism, consumerism and hedonism. These things make one a good, compliant puppet of the corporate boardroom with the added amusement that one becomes such a puppet while waving one's faux-individualist fist in the air and repeating meaningless slogans about illusory freedom.

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