Christ in the Desert
I read Whispers in the Loggia every now and then, about twice a week. There is a reason I can't read him more often. Even though I suspect he's more on my side of things on the political spectrum, I can't stand his self-righteous exalted middle stance (i.e, the conservatives say this, the liberals say that, but I say . . .). But it appears it's not only me....
Of course it's not only you, Ono. But thanks for being stand-up about it -- it engenders respect.
I feel for Ono because he got railroaded by Deal Hudson, who was livid that someone in a position of Catholic leadership had the temerity to stand up to the teaching authority of Archbishop Bush, known to the world as the President.
But in the piece explaning his termination from his post at the USCCB, Ono gives us a valuable definition of diversity in the church:
I believed that the Catholic church in the United States appreciated the benefits of a vigorous discussion from differing ideological arenas, where criticism and divergent views signal the health and vibrancy of a community and not a lack of commitment.
Accusations of self-righteousness are nothing new for me. If they were, I'd have to have my head checked, no? An ex-girlfriend gave me the better part of three years of ribbing what she called my "Christ in the Desert" complex. And I completely agree -- when it goes down, hide the women and children... or at least give them earplugs.
But don't blame me for polarization -- I didn't invent the poles. I just report on what I see, and if there weren't all this screaming, then there'd be less to report. Think about it.
And, seriously, the screaming far left and the screaming far right are united in at least one thing: that they can't stand the words coming out of this blog.
So how 'bout this, gentle snowflakes: stop screaming and use your shared gripes as a moment for unity. Talk amongst yourselves (maybe for the first time) about common hopes, common ideals, using the human exchange of understanding and intellect to form a shared vision of who we are, what we do and, most importantly, where we need to go. Engage and respect each other and discuss differences in a manner of kindness, logic and mutual respect. It's not as hard as it may seem, people -- just don't shoot the messenger.
If we can be constructive in our dialogue, the world would be well-served by it and it'd alleviate a lot of unnecessary energy and rage. And if that service could be goaded along a bit by this outlet, then I can slip off to Hawaii and know that my work wasn't in vain.
As the good Cardinal Pell recently said, "I don’t think a Christian can say 'I’m a lover, not a fighter.'" But at least fight the good fight and not the nasty one.