Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Weigel - Two Americas

George Weigel gives expression to Two Americas: (W)hat this year’s election cycle clarified decisively is that the great public fissure in these United States is between the culture of life and the culture of death.


David Nybakke said...

Ath, some interesting comments to his post.

Well, I can't help but feel that the VAST majority, when and if they even allow themselves to be in a position to hear someone talk about "culture of death," they simply yawn and turn up their mp3 players while rushing little jr. and sis to their respected sports programs. Everything is so "relative" that, ... hey, culture of death...culture of life, hey what's the big deal?

Who or why was Hitler? And hey, brown shirts might turn us into Franciscan, huh? Red shirts will pop when you wear them at the next country singer concert that comes to town.

I don't think the "average" Catholic who voted for Obama really has any clue what "culture of death" is or means or represents nor do they care. And for that matter probably most Catholics period are in the same bag. And if we say that about Catholics in general, what about the rest of the population.

Culture? What culture anyway? I just want to know if I still have a job and can have my wine after dinner and listen to the oldies on my mp3 player.

Athos said...

MY iPod left me feeling alone and isolated in and around the time of my surgery, Aramis. I hated it, and flung it away. Imagine: listening to my music, alone, utterly and ontologically an individual. Gave me the creeps and shutters.

Besides that, however, I cannot speak for average Joe Catholic, let alone judge. My experience as a refugee from the Protestant world entering the Catholic one is largely favorable. Beyond that, I cannot say.

David Nybakke said...

Dear Ath, I don't think you would want to speak for Joe Catholic, especially if Mark Gordon is right: (this from the comment section of one of his post.) Really, what’s to look at? For most of those voters, being Catholic is no more significant than being a Rotarian or a member of the 7:00 am coffee klatch at their local diner. They are the product of 40 years of bad catechesis, brought to you courtesy of spineless bishops, swinger priests, and angry feminist nuns. When only a third of Catholics ever darken the door of a church; and when only two thirds of those believe in the Real Presence; and when most Catholics haven’t been to Confession since their teens; and when Catholics contracept and abort in percentages almost identical to the population at-large; why should anyone be surprised that they vote like everyone else?

Taking it a step further, one can’t even assume that those Catholics who voted for McCain did so out of moral conviction. There were significant problems with McCain’s candidacy from a Catholic moral point of view. His eager support for the war, his embrace of the death penalty, his enthusiastic endorsement of embryonic stem cell research, even his incomplete and half-hearted stand on abortion … all of these should have given faithful Catholics pause before pulling the lever for him. But did they? In other words, did most Catholics who voted for McCain really vote like Catholics? I doubt it.

I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. The Catholic Church in this country will only begin to find itself again once the current bench of bishops has shuffled offstage, and the Church herself has endured some great suffering. When there is no cost to being Catholic, one soon ceases to be Catholic in anything but name only. And that is where the Church in America is today.

Ath, you wrote in your comment: "My experience as a refugee from the Protestant world entering the Catholic one is largely favorable. Beyond that, I cannot say." Well my experience entering the Church has been totally fantastic, but still this does not allow me to close my eyes to what Mark addresses above. If one has a calling to evangelize the Good News (which I believe we all do in one degree or another) we might consider starting at home in our own pews - and that means meeting them where they are at - mostly in an inflated, liberal ego leaving them in a nearly paralyzed and numbed state (lacking the power to feel).

I am doubting that over-against-method-of-talk will reach or penetrate the hardness of hearts that beset Joe Catholic.

In Balthasar's book on Prayer he mentions how the Holy Spirit implants the mind of Christ in the hearts of those who pray "so that we may fashion our lives accordingly." p 131. We need to grow more and more into a people of God by pray, devotion, worship first and foremost through the liturgy of the Mass - helping everyone to "see" and experience the wonder-ment and grace of the Mass and how it effects your life at every point.

I think that this is happening, very slowly, and it will result in a smaller and yet more expansive Church. So I do feel the hope of the Church.

Athos said...

Which is all to say how blessed we've been to have been gifted with friends, mentor, associates, and fellow knights-errant who are converts, reverts, and basically people to whom the Holy Spirit has been blowing powerfully in their lives.

Of course Mark is right. Sadly.

But unless one allows oneself to get out of the flow and into some stagnant backwater, I find it amazing how fed one continues to find the life in the Spirit of the Catholic Church and her Eucharistic grace.