Thursday, January 8, 2009

And Cue the Clowns. And the Cavemen

I could not make this stuff up if I tried. Not in a million years.

After I posted my reflections on the Haight case and Benedict and relativism earlier today, I scanned the blog at NCR responding to John Allen's reflections about relativism as Benedict's primary concern with Haight's christology. Only to read the following rantin' and ravin' screed, one among several in the same vein:

END HERESY in 2009

Stomping out heresy is a good way for the Church to begin the new year.

Hopefully more peculiar theories are put asunder in the days ahead, so that the Church can speak its creed with one voice to all the world, and that all the world may come to better know the Triune God.

Yep, as I noted in yesterday's posting about my Catholic brothers and sisters of the right and center, talk about heresy is alive and well--in 2009. And not just talk about heresy, but triumphant war cries to "stomp" it out, and bring "all the world" to know the Triune God.

I could not make this up. If anyone had told me after Vatican II that this is where we would be in 2009--that voices like this believe they represent the center of American Catholicism, and are given reason to believe that, by the center itself--I would have laughed uproariously.

I am grateful, though, that the poster who posted the preceding rant did spell out what I wanted to underscore as the heart of Benedict's animus against "relativism": this is not about relativism at all. It's about triumphalism. It's about muscle-flexing.

It's about putting and keeping the other in her despised place.

Count on Benedict's friends to spell out the real social agenda--the toxic, coercive one--that masquerades behind all the high-flown theological words.

It's a big agenda that goes well beyond relativism and world religions and the hope to coerce others to accept the Trinity: because the folks who tend to post such screeds are repeat posters at NCR and other centrist Catholic blog sites, I know the agenda very well. They don't hesitate to talk about it. Ad nauseaum. In all its gory detail. These same folks now jubilating in Rome's concemnation of the works of a Jesuit that they have never read and never will read authored vitriolic postings about Obama, Democrats, and liberals all through the election period.

They jump in anytime abortion comes up. They're there with their clubs to bash gays anytime anyone suggests the church might love and not bash. They are eager to keep women in their "natural" and "God-given" place of submission.

Benedict's friends. Benedict's faithful followers. Is he truly proud of what he has made of the church, I wonder, and continues to make of it?

And what does any of this have to do with Jesus?