One more squib from the a discussion in comments
on this morning's evolution soapbox post
. (I know it's tacky, but I quote myself because I can...it's my blog!)
I personally view secular progressivism as a nearly unrestricted good, but many political conservatives and people of faith certainly don't. Which seems odd to me, because it's precisely secular progressivism which most jealously guards the rights of differing viewpoints and dissenting faiths.
I never fail to be amazed at how the point of tolerance can be lost on people who think they have a grip on spiritual truth. I suppose there's a profound egocentrism in many strains of faith, the "one truth" effect that blinds believers from seeing the limits of the perfected worldview they think they've found. Much like the "Permanent Majority" meme so recently in play among conservatives, come to think of it.
...the "one truth" effect that blinds believers from seeing the limits of the perfected worldview they think they've found. That's faith. That's the way it works. And it's not "one truth", but The Truth! And if it is, The Truth, than you can keep posting about this until you run out of keystrokes, but they'll still believe the Rapture will happen any day now, that the Devil is real, and that sinners like you and me are going to burn forever for something we did in a 70 year lifespan. Tolerance? Faith? Those two words just don't go together.
As a person of faith, however, this post can just illustrate the challenges of the entire debacle when it comes to discussing this topic.
*Both* sides frequently assert that they possess The Truth. *Both* sides can exhibit intolerance while sweetly asserting that they are oh-so-tolerant (and a hint to secular progressives, asserting your tolerance while attacking all persons of faith ain't tolerance, okay?).
(Further hint: not all Christian persons of faith believe in the Rapture. Or are driven to faith by concerns about any afterlife. Some of us have our hands full with the daily life we're living, much less worrying about the any afterlife.)
|2007-11-30 15:25 (UTC)
You don't know what constitutes an attack on your faith.
I never fail to be amazed at how the point of tolerance can be lost on people who think they have a grip on spiritual truth.
I honestly don't see that the secular progressives have a leg up here. That doesn't excuse believers for being intolerant-- whatever intolerant means, these days-- but far from being paragons of acceptance and understanding, most secular progressives I've come into contact with are just as closed-minded as your given worshipper of DeityX.
Absolutely agree with this post.
There's no excuse for being intolerant on either side of the issue--but if I were to make some of the statements putting down atheists/agnostics that I've had directed to me about my particular form of faith, I'd be ruled intolerant. There does appear to be a double standard when it comes to intolerance of people of faith (out in the general world, I've found this blog to be pretty reasonable with a couple of exceptions).
Fortunately, I've got a pretty dang tough skin when it comes to putdowns about faith, and I'm not gonna be drawn into discussions of Stupid Archbishopric Tricks.
|2007-11-30 14:13 (UTC)
Note I said secular progressives, not atheists. One reason I've always been hesitate to identify myself as an atheist is that the label has been co-opted from both directions to strongly imply a militant anti-religious stance.
Think, rather, the ACLU, who will defend any rotten bastard's right to speak out about their rotten bastardy.
Alternately, you're going to stick corks in your ears every time someone points out that a fraction of every dollar you put in the collection plate is used by the Church to support child rape and the spread of Aids.
And here's a fine example of the intolerance of those who call themselves secular progressives.
If *I* were to counteract in a similar manner, I'd be condemned for it.
Instead, I'm supposed to smile nicely and consider myself reprimanded.
Actually, you are supposed to stop supporting the rape of children and the spread of fatal infectious diseases, or present a reasonable counter-argument as to how you can claim to be Catholic and not be responsible for the actions of your church.
Why waste my time? We've already established you're not in a mood to easily change your mind, in past discussions. Whatever. I'm not in a mood to pound you over the head with my principles in order to convert you; you, on the other hand, want to cram your beliefs down my throat (I'm sorry, but your method of argument is a classic among Fundamentalist Christian sorts. I find that angle to be tedious as well--fundamentalist atheists are as tiresome as their Christian brethren and, I'm sure, their Muslim, Hindu, and Jewish counterparts).
The Church has its problems. It's a human institution. Name me *one* human institution that is less than perfect.
However, my money and time goes to a progressive parish. We at least try to do something about feeding the hungry and helping the poor--year-round.
That's the last I'm going to say on this subject.
Why waste my time?
Because complicity in the rape of children and in spreading Aids is wrong.
I'm sorry that you feel my informing you that raping children is wrong is inappropriate.
I can name you a number of institutions which do not systematically spread Aids and aid child molesters in fleeing from justice, but you don't seem inclined to listen. That all institutions have flaws does not suggest they are all equally flawed, and it is not an excuse for ignoring those flaws.
... and should it have been unclear, you and your parish may both be progressive, but both of you support the Church as a whole... by identifying yourself as Catholic, by defending the institution, and by feeding funds up the chain. That chain includes your local Bishop, who has a written order indicating he should conceal incidents of molestation, swear molested children to secrecy, contact the Vatican etc, and that order was written by the present Pope in his capacity as Archbishop Ratzinger. As Pope, he speaks with the voice of a billion self-identified Catholics.