Friday, May 22, 2015

coercions both external and internal

Not about to wade into or in any attempt to settle the gay marriage debate.  This does not mean I am not concerned about it.  If not it itself then the ramifications of its legalization look to be the religious freedom debates we will have for the coming years.  This time will not pass easily nor gracefully.  Prayers for all are needed.

That being said, somebody who IS wading into the fray, Rod Dreher the omnipresent one on this blog, posts this:

You understand, of course, that this is not about getting equal treatment. The lesbian couple received that. This is about demonizing a point of view, and driving those who hold it out of the public square. Just so we’re clear about that.

Why the stridency?  As is implied above, a lesbian couple in Canada asked a jeweler to make them wedding rings.  The jeweler, who actually opposes same-sex marriage, made the rings.  OK, so far, so good.  This jeweler sounds like the other, less-vocal side of the "Would Jesus bake the cake?" debate.  Christians are called to convert the culture and here's a guy doing his level-best at his job, which is making jewelry.  For whom it matters not;  God is glorified by the jeweler's honest work.  I could also see Escriva-ian/Opus Dei and St. John Paul II angles to this, too.  Work in the world is the arena God gives us to return our gratitude and love to God.  Real work humanizes us, giving us myriad opportunities to develop in faith, hope, and charity our unique skills. Work need not draw attention from the world;  by working well quietly God is praised.

But once the lesbian couple discovered the jeweler's true feelings about same-sex marriage, they returned the rings, and demanded a full refund which the jeweler, again perhaps exemplifying a quiet but very real current throughout Christian spirituality, did.

Thus Dreher:

I’m sorry that <<the jeweler>> gave in to this intimidation, but I suppose if you are a small businessman, you have no choice once the mob turns on you. It does indicate, though, the next phase in the March of Progress. You must not only bake the cake, or arrange the flowers, or make the ring, you must hold the correct opinion when you do it.

Read it all here

Right--coercions and conversions now seek both internal and external transformation.  You must submit thoroughly and completely or you will be punished.  This attitude represents a secular, totalitarian inversion--for surely the Stalinists, Maoists, and Nazis sought the same level of complete assimilation--of the Christian ethic.  St. Paul's delicate balance of love as the new law of the Christian Church, illuminated by the Resurrection, requires more than faith or works (I Cor 13).  One must act and live with love, for that alone does not fail.  This new ethic, though, replaces love with acceptance and affirmation--which is not the same thing.  And truth be told, the emerging powers know this and request it anyway...because they can.  This abuse of power--of which, yes, the Church is surely guilty--indicates that the "love" animating the ethic is of the self and not God.

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