Monday, August 31, 2009

Outpouring Continues: Update on Responses to Posting about Health Care Mobs, Bishops, and Kennedy's Funeral

This is a brief update of my post earlier today which takes note of the spate of comments that have erupted on my posting about the health care debates, some bishops, and hate for Ted Kennedy, following the response of Mr. Madrid of Belmont Abbey College's Envoy Institute to that posting.

As I said in my posting earlier today, it strikes me that American Catholicism--at least, some sectors of it (and their influence keeps growing)--has ended up in a state of moral imbecility around the issue of abortion. And it's not really about abortion at all.

It's about control and slogan shouting and the ravenous desire to make some folks insiders and others outsiders. It's about hating and bashing and not in the least about loving.

And nothing I'm hearing in the responses to my posting about the health care debate, some of the bishops, and Senator Kennedy's funeral is changing my mind about that moral imbecility and its extremely deleterious effects on the American Catholic church.

Good education would do a lot to correct the imbecility--the kind of education that challenges students to look at problems from perspectives other than their own, to grapple seriously with serious texts, to deal with pluralism and diversity and a complex postmodern society, to listen intently before they open their mouths and shout slogans that require about as much thought as swatting a gnat entails.

That kind of education--the kind that broadens mind and heart and makes them more catholic--may well be taking place at many Catholic institutions of higher learning in the U.S. It's evidently not taking place, however, in some of those Catholic colleges and universities that tout themselves as the standard-bearers of orthodoxy, but which have become, in reality, little more than propaganda machines for the political far right, as well as havens for a Catholicism that has more in common with cults than with bona fide Catholicity.

Some of those colleges, I read, even have strong ties to the Legionaries of Christ. And even as the Legionaries come under increasing scrutiny because of the behavior of their founder, these Legionary-affiliated institutions continue to shout about their exceptional Catholicity and how that Catholicity exceeds the Catholicity of other American Catholic colleges and universities.

If the students being produced by these places are any indicator of the moral and intellectual quality of exceptional Catholicity, I think I'll stick with the lax garden-variety of Catholicity represented by the likes of Ted Kennedy. At least one can talk to those of the lax who have heads on their shoulders. With the moral (and intellectual) imbecility of the uninformed righteous, there is no arguing.