We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Liberal Catholicism and Liberal Protestantismat Inside Catholic, by David Carlin, author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America. He begins:
Catholic liberals (by which I mean theological liberals,not political liberals) never cease to amaze me. On the one hand, they appear to have a sincere devotion to their religion. On the other, they campaign for moral and theological changes that, if carried into effect, would tend to destroy their Church.
Why do I say this? Because the history of Protestantism has made it perfectly clear what happens when a Christian church turns liberal or modern. Unless a Catholic is quite unfamiliar with the sad history of liberal Protestantism, he would not call for the theological liberalization or modernization of Catholicism.
In America, liberal Protestantism has always had three characteristics: (1) It is an attempt to find a compromise or via media between traditional Christianity and the fashionable anti-Christianity of the day. (2) In seeking this compromise, it drops certain traditional Christian beliefs as so much excess baggage. (3) To atone, so to speak, for this weakening of doctrine, it intensifies its moral commitments.
Three great "moments" in the history of American liberal Protestantism illustrate what I mean here. The first was the emergence of Unitarianism in the first quarter of the 19th century. The fashionable anti-Christianity of the day was Deism -- as found, for instance, in one of the writings of Tom Paine (The Age of Reason). So Unitarianism, in pursuit of a via media, dropped the Trinity, the Divinity of Christ, Original Sin, and a few other Christian doctrines. To make up for these discards, it strongly committed itself to the anti-slavery cause.
I hate to pick nits but this is no nit:"liberal Protestantism has always had three characteristics: (1) It is an attempt to find a compromise or via media between traditional Christianity and the fashionable anti-Christianity of the day. "
Romanism is paganism baptized in dirty water: the stench of Babylonian mystery religion stinks to high heaven. And today Romanism is seeking to accommodate the very worshipers of Satan - Islam.
Unlike the Nicolatans of Rome, the protestant movement brought the bible into the common languages of the people and enabled them to worship God in truth and Spirit.
I have to admit, as a lifelong United Methodist, that the article's author has a spot-on description of Liberal Protestantism. I see it around me at every church conference. However, there are substantial movements in our church and others trying to reclaim our denomination's traditional faith and teachings and reverse the decline that has been going on for so long.
If the opposite of liberal theology is fundamental theology, we have an impasse that even Christ came to state to ignore the dust in your neighbors eye until you remove the log from your own. His message of love and forgiveness didn't set well with the church of the day and todaywe his followers still need to learn these lessons.
Both the far left and far right of theology or politics are wrong for the middle, but it is the middle where we reside and try to make sense of the real world. But was Luther a liberal? He was to the Roman church of the day, without Luther where we would be today as Christians? Luther was condemned by the Roman Church over the radical idea that man was capable of studying the Bible by himself and that forgiveness came from God, not from the CHurch.
Also, I think in churches and government should be broken up into schisms, because when the get too big, it becomes more of the entity than the message.
Now if we could just shrink Washington over some idea....any suggestions?