Monday, September 30, 2013

Catholicism and Orthodoxy, and more




  • From Bob Wallace: Rose Wilder Lane, libertarian babe. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s daughter.
  • Ex-Army’s Venn diagram.
  • From LRC:
    • Walter Block on the non-aggression principle. The heart of libertarianism isn’t selfishness but the opposite, the golden rule.
    • George H.W. Bush recently served as a witness at a Maine same-sex wedding. Not surprising really. I like him as a person, a WASP gentleman from the golden era who proved his mettle in the war. Maybe as part of that he was just being polite to honor a friend. But since the ‘Reformation’ literally forced the English from the church, they haven’t really been conservative. Their only conservatism was cultural, a matter of manners. (Anglo-American religion: Calvinism that’s still moving away from the faith; having passed through the mainline and the Masons, now it’s political correctness/SWPLness.) Even the Queen’s on board with this stuff now. Laurence Vance’s point: even though the Stupid Party seems a smidge better than the Evil Party (it didn’t declare war on the church by trying to force it to pay for contraception), it doesn’t make sense for conservative Christians to be default Republicans. The Rockefeller Republicans and neocons think you’re stupid and that you have nowhere else to go. As for the deviants, we are all God’s children and all sinners, so as long as they don’t try to force me to call it marriage (which they are trying to do) and as long as they don’t spread disease, I leave them alone, they leave me alone. In short, right-libertarian.
    • William Dalrymple on Levantine Christians and Muslims. He points out how religious extremism and nationalism in the region have been poisonous for Levant Christians. This interview was recorded before the current disaster in Syria. Dalrymple comments on how Syria under Assad had provided the Levant Christians what was perhaps their last significant stronghold. The current round of hostilities might bring the end of Levantine Christianity.
  • Dreher says he’s not coming back to the church. My guess for a while has been that because he doesn’t think the church is a fraud (graceless), plus he doesn’t hang out with born Orthodox, he’ll come back. He reacted understandably to the big underage gay sex scandal and coverup. But you can’t blame those on Catholic doctrine, so of course his conversion doesn’t make sense to me. (That and, being people, the Orthodox have their own corruption and scandals nothing to do with the teachings.) You can make a plausible, principled case for Catholicism without the Pope, by rejecting development of doctrine for example. The Anglican old high churchmen and Tractarians: a religion on paper more ‘conservative’ than the church, as if they thought that in 2013 the church under crazy Popes would be innovating away with Modernism, women clergy, and gay marriage while the godly English stayed the Vincentian-canon course of the church fathers. Obviously not. So trying to make a case against the Pope doesn’t make sense. He’s stayed that course, and is the last man standing in Christendom regarding contraception for example. So what about Vatican II? We screwed up. (While the Orthodox get liturgical change, if any, just right.) Like the gay scandal, you can’t blame the teachings. The council couldn’t change doctrine. Converting because of the council doesn’t make sense because you’re reacting to having Western Catholicism taken away by joining people who think Western Catholicism’s a fraud. (The East is great, but not at the West’s expense. Greeks and Russians are estranged Catholics, not Protestants or liberals. The few converts? High-church Protestant-like, the nicest of them, such as the Western Rite Antiochians, being like ’50s high Episcopal, obviously based on traditional Catholicism but swearing they don’t need Rome.) Again I don’t think Dreher really buys that. He’ll be back.
  • On that note, schisming to try to save your culture, the Slavic-American Orthodox story, doesn’t work either. Never should have happened, not really about doctrine, and our own churchmen’s fault. Of course I find the story sad. But understandable. The culture’s good; our idiots should have left well enough alone. But by the third generation you’ve assimilated so you lose the culture anyway. Why both the American Orthodox and the American Greek Catholics have lost so many people.
  • I’ve said this before: while I think I get Pope Francis, speaking from the safety of the church on emphasizing God’s love and mercy over rules, it doesn’t make sense to me when an Orthodox (putatively liturgically, morally, and theologically conservative/high) enthuses over a low-church Pope saying things that can be construed as mainline/PC. Dreher to his credit does the opposite.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your excellent commentary on Mr. Dreher.

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