Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Truly Counter-Cultural

As René Girard points out with breathtaking acumen, culture is a by-product of the founding violence of the primitive Sacred. From the originary scene of the scapegoating crowd and the victimization of the one or the few comes ritual, myth, and prohibitions that will concretize into what we call 'culture'. Our myths, regardless of our individual cultures, bear witness to these sacred origins.

Now in a brilliant stroke of understanding, Bishop Allen Vigneron in Oakland, CA, observes:
Referring to the God-authored “purposes” of marriage – “(1) the mutual loving support of husband and wife and (2) their loving service of life by bringing children into the world and raising them to be virtuous and productive” – Vigneron said that “the experience of history … has taught us that no government has the power to change the order which God has inscribed in our nature.
“The conviction that same-sex couples cannot enter marriage” is implicitly professed in baptismal promises, where Catholics profess “the Church’s faith that the Father Almighty [is] the Creator of heaven and earth.” But, though “confirmed by faith,” the Catholic understanding of marriage “can be known from reason,” wrote Vigneron. Thus, to work that the state recognize only natural marriage is “not an imposition of an ideology but a service of the truth which we make for the common good.” It is “not a form of discrimination, but undergirds our freedom to live according to God’s plan for us.”
René Girard, as a faithful son of the Catholic Church and her truth, would, in my estimation, fully agree with the good bishop. For the Magisterium of the Church understands the wiles of sin, the "father of lies and a murderer from the beginning" (Jn 8), and the manner conventional culture is an instrument of temptation in the hands of evil yesterday (Mtt 4,1-11) and today.

Read all of “Our way of life will become counter-cultural.”

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