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.
It just could be happening. In the US, the RC Church isn't participating, but it didn't participate in the first three either, did it? I don't want to give advice to the RC Church, being a Protestant, but the evangelicals are leading the charge in bringing the life of the spirit to a world of malls, self-obsession, and empty holidays. Not the Presbyterians, not the Methodists, not the RCCs, not even the Congregationalists or the Dutch Reforms. It's not a competition, and it's not a race, so whoever does it doesn't really matter. I have no fear of the role of religion in public life. In fact, I feel it's essential. Humans are worshipping beings, so we will find something small, like Self, or booze, or fun, or $, or power, or whatever to worship if we can't imagine something bigger and more worthy.
Why not? It's an 11th Century artifact. Just like infallibility is a 13th Century artifact. Nothing to do with anything Christ taught that I know of. Celibacy is fine for monks. Kristof in the NYT here
What Direction for the Church?
"If getting on the side of history means embracing the radical individualism at the core of what passes for today's thought, the church's slide could accelerate."
Thomas Bray in the Detroit News. A thoughtful consideration of where the RC Church finds itself today. But his piece contains the common error of confusing filling seats with saving souls:
"For the fact is that John Paul II, far from being a simple-minded reactionary who everywhere and always opposed modernity, was a theological moderate who wrestled hard to rediscover, on behalf of his drifting flock, the hard truths that lie at the center of human dignity and an ordered society.
His real legacy may be less a matter of conservatism or liberalism than a church that uses both faith and reason as the means of finding its way -- a church largely reconciled to the Enlightenment, in other words."
The root of the Pope's thinking - that there are eternal truths no one can change even if one wanted to - is completely incomprehensible to the progressivist mindset. There are no absolute truths, everything's in play, and by "consensus" all we're really arguing is the rate of concession to the inevitable: abortion's here to stay, gay marriage will be here any day now, in a year or two it'll be something else - it's all gonna happen anyway, man, so why be the last squaresville daddy-o on the block.