Catholicism a la carte | Bleader

Friday, November 24, 2006

Catholicism a la carte

Posted By on 11.24.06 at 12:51 PM

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Religion is more interesting than Elton John, Richard Dawkins, or PZ Meyers seem to think. From TruthDig:

(1)  "Vatican condemns border policy," in which a senior Vatican prelate "condemned the building of walls between countries to keep out immigrants and said Washington’s plan to build a fence on the U.S.-Mexican border was part of an 'inhuman program.'”

(2)  "Catholic Church still out of touch," in which the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reconfirmed the church's condemnation of gay sex and "artificial" contraception.

As TruthDig's chosen headlines hint, few people (and few Catholics, I dare say) will have exactly the same response to both church positions. Not conservative, not liberal—something else. Much like Wal-Mart but older and more powerful, the Catholic Church confounds of our usual ways of thinking. 

In the same vein, sort of, Fred Clark at Slacktivist reflects on what a wonderful guide Paul's writing in I Corinthians 13 (the "love chapter") can be—and how sharply it contrasts to other passages where he's busy prescribing male and female roles. One of the post's commenters describes a wedding where one participant accidentally wound up reading I Chronicles 13 instead—the one where God strikes Uzzah dead because he touched the sacred ark to steady it in transit. A pastor in the back row "had to lie down he was laughing so hard."

"Cafeteria Catholic" is a term that's used dismissively, but is the general idea so bad? So the cafeteria offers junk food mixed randomly with the fruits and vegetables? That's what a cafeteria does; choose wisely. There's no need to puzzle over the weird story of Uzzah in order to benefit from I Corinthians 13, any more than we're required to wonder why Shakespeare writes "Cry 'Havoc' and let slip the dogs of war" in one place and "Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments" in another.

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