Monday, September 07, 2015

How the triumph of the therapeutic spread relativism and wrecked society, and more

  • Hypothesis: the gay-marriage debate was really over in the '50s. Not just straight people redefining marriage away from family continuation; rather the cause of that and more, which we'd say goes back to the "Reformation" and of course the fall of man, but the theory here is what Rod Dreher has quoted, the description of moralistic therapeutic deism, the key concept being Rieff's "triumph of the therapeutic." There's a lot to be said for modern therapy; many conditions are now understood and if not cured then treated compassionately. The trouble is: John Crowe Ransom argued in God Without Thunder (1930) that most Americans had already traded away the traditional view of God and replaced it with varying degrees of enthusiasm about science, progress, and the like. Here was the most definitive proof of his thesis. Religion, morality, even reality were now questions of self-fulfillment—making truth subjective and traditional truth claims irrelevant and meaningless. Same optimism behind Vatican II. Why wasn't the outward change earlier? "It takes time for norms to catch up with values." Like how many/most of the English lost their faith at the "Enlightenment" but the establishment kept going through the motions of orthodoxy with the creeds and the Book of Common Prayer.
  • The ghost of Episcopalianism past, a historical blog that has a kind of charm since the larger culture was closer to the faith, to the church, but looking at this as an adult, from Catholicism, like the observers of the aforementioned shift in American and Western culture, I clearly see Episcopalianism present. Claiming Orthodox recognition, desperate for validation from a real church, plus pushing little schisms from American Catholicism such as St. Anthony's, Hackensack, and the Polish National Catholics. I have some respect for Western churchmen who don't quite accept Catholicism but this is creepy.
  • A new, growing Catholic college has decided to reject nearly $1 million in federal aid so that it can remain free of the Obama administration’s mandates, which would lead to government interference with its Catholic mission and identity. It must really be Catholic ("conservative"); it's new and growing. What's left of the huge American Catholic minority the Sixties enabled Protestant America to eat up. That reminds me: I wonder how much the Rockefellers paid Fr. Hesburgh.
  • Let's motorvate: '58 Plymouth Savoy.
  • Labor Day car show, Cherry Hill, NJ.

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