September 17, 2003

What Value Symbol?

Amy posted a link of atheists wondering aloud. They are wondering, "why do we fight Christians over trivial issues like the slab of Ten Commandments?".

CalPundit links Alan Dershowitz, who apparently opines that fighting the fight against Judge Moore is something upon which lies the fate of civilization. But then Alan's business is controversy, he makes money off of it, so it's easy to discount.

But what about when my side weighs in?

Deal Hudson, for example, a better Catholic than I, strives to remove pro-abort Leon Panetta from some bishop's panel. Tom of Disputations asks, "does this solve anything?", and it does make the issue look paltry when he puts it that way. Leon Panetta seems an unlikely target for all our Catholic angst.

(I didn't realize until recently that I had a litmus test as to who is a "real" Catholic - those who are against abortion. My pride in proclaiming that I would become a Democrat if they became the pro-life party morphed into the thought that any Catholic Democrat voting for a pro-abortion candidate isn't a real Catholic. But since Christ wasn't in the business of litmus tests when He walked the earth, nor can I. Although for me, Ono's blog is still a near occasion of sin.)

In the political arena, the two most effective political lobbies are probably the NRA and NARAL. What they have in common is a take-no-prisoners, surrrender-no-ground attitude. Thus the NRA can defend firearms designed to raze a village and NARAL can defend partial birth abortion and cast a blind eye to infanticide. They see value in symbolic victories.

Obviously just because something "works" in the political sphere doesn't mean we should approach religious controversies the same way. Maybe it should even be a "contrary indicator", although we are told to be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves." At the very least, the no surrender approach leads to polarization rather than fraternization. JPII, to my mind, has walked that tightrope as well as anyone, sometimes polarizing sometimes fraternizing and thus gaining enemies on both the "left" and the "right".

For now I'm going with my pastor and following the kids. Like this one.

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