September 27, 2013

Politics and Religion

Amused by New York Times piece that said Democrats are enraged that Republicans are forcing them to be "the adult in the room".  Unfamiliar role.

The "daddy party" is daddy no more?  The Republicans are like bachelors on a bender.  It's kind of interesting and oddly inspiring to see what was traditionally seen as the cautious party acting slightly crazy, but then that's the role of a minority party. Don't the Dems know that with power comes responsibility?  Dems want power with no responsibility. 

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I must say that the Patheos shepherdess, aka The Anchoress, has a keen eye for talent. For whatever reason I'm not an avid reader of the Anchoress's own blog, but you look at the list of writers over at Patheos and you understand exactly why they're there. It ain't no accident. Simcha Fisher and Betty Duffy to name but two. (They seem to thread that fine line between presumption and despair, challenging us but offering a side order of hope.)  There's a value added in being a fine curator, as the Anchoress is.

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Six months into Pope Francis's papacy, we're hearing some grunts of pain from the underappreciated right.  The honeymoon be over. R. R. Reno's column in First Things was an example, but it hit closer to home when that stalwart of conservative consistency, blogger Jeff Culbreath, stepped into the critical realm.  I uncharitably anticipated a lack of nuance and a doctrinaire dislike of the pope's style, but I was moved by his humility and cri de coeur:

"I must admit to feeling orphaned by this pope in other ways. Pope Francis seems unaware that those of us who do not suffer material poverty need the Church just as much as the poor need the Church – perhaps moreso. Most of us in the prosperous first world are on the “existential periphery” when it comes to the salvation of our immortal souls."


The astuteness of recognizing that spiritual poverty is greater than material poverty was telling.  I knew this wasn't the pope for Jeff and that that would entail some measure of suffering, but I was far too flippant about that suffering as is the usually the case when it's OPS (other people's suffering).  There are costs to this papacy, just as there were costs to the Benedictine reign.  No pope can seem to be all things to all people.

4 comments:

culbreath said...

Thanks for the mention, TS! There's more I would like to say, and being the hothead that I am, I probably will at some point. :-/ In the meantime I'm going to try to stop reading Catholic news for a while ...

TS said...

Howdy Jeff! Yes, not bad idea to stop reading Catholic news for awhile, although Francis is in all the news, all the time!

Bob the Ape said...

Speaking only for myself, and not intending to denigrate anyone else's take on the matter, Pope Francis is providing an excellent opportunity to put into practice the Serenity Prayer (which in itself I loathe, having come across it in numerous kitschy catalogs, printed on various household objects (I loathe Footprints even more), yet seem to agree with the sentiment). Whatever Francis says does not change the day to day challenges and responsibilities with which I have to deal at work and at home and in my own soul, and from which I should let nothing else distract me (which, of course, I do all too often). Nor does it change the guidance, help, and light offered by the Church.

As in everything else, pray. Pray for Francis, for those disturbed by his words, and for the Church. And trust in God.

(On a lighter note, the verification text is "mewper", which strikes me as a useful word: There's a lot of mewpering going on about the Pope's interview.)

TS said...

Good advice Bo.

Mewper happens!