From Fury

There is no fury like conservatives scorned. I sampled the start of Joseph Bottum’s essay, and some of the comments here and there especially. To be accurate, it’s really a trait of human nature, not just conservatives. The fury, I mean.

People like to be part of a flock or a school. Everybody moving together at the same speed and the same direction. But really: are we animals, that the slightest deviation from the norm will throw a few neighbors off and cause them to budge their neighbors? Will the domino effect doom the whole tribe? Some people think so, it seems.

Friends and readers know I do not shoal. I certainly don’t with my more excitable political sisters and brothers in Catholicism. Gathering in a large group is suitable for Mass. Maybe a sporting event now and then. But even then, if I brush against evil behavior in the Scriptures, I’m not going to take it as given. Likewise, I don’t boo or taunt in stadiums and arenas. I always brought a book or bought a program at hockey games. When the mob stood for a fight, then it was my time to review statistics in the glossy or catch up on a bit of cosmology.

This post isn’t about another Catholic traitor. In the abstract, politics holds little to vanishing interest for me these days. If I want to get active about something, I’m far more enlivened about lassoing people into the faith. Or deeper faith than what they’ve known.

As conservatives trot out the argument of prudence on things they wrestle with–immigration or capital punishment or unlawful imprisonment–I don’t see how they can get around the postulation that maybe, just perhaps, some people are born gay and that’s how God made them, Torah tunnelvision notwithstanding.

For the weekend it seems that same-sex people get a reprieve while Mr Bottum gets thrown to the sharks or some deep circle of hell. Just for the appearance of cavorting with liberals (Robert Royal’s epithet). As in many e-places, the issue doesn’t live up to the promise of a real discussion. Let’s just search for the peripherals in the story and latch on to those.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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5 Responses to From Fury

  1. John Drake says:

    Well, if it’s accurate to say that the fury is really a trait of the human condition, why could you not resist the urge to open your piece with the bit about conservatives scorned. As usual, Todd, you take the quick and cheap shot.

    • Todd says:

      Why? Because conservative Catholics provide such an easy invitation, mainly because they protest, often, that they are just telling the truth. Because this is the story of the weekend, and more conservative bloggers and sites are wringing hands over it.

      The most important thing is that Mr Bottum strikes me as a thoughtful and discerning believer. More power to him, especially as the insults start flying his way.

  2. Charles says:

    Cheap shots fly above and toward us from all ideological points, John.
    Trying to even figure out how one would self-classify one’s political political leanings on this social subject isn’t a cake walk.
    As a Roman Catholic, there ought not be that trouble in articulation. But in lieu of outright scandal or attacks upon the Church, we must first examine ourselves, edify ourselves sacramentally and then “go” out to evangelize.

  3. Jim McCrea says:

    I am sorry, but I have never understood why the Catholic church or any other religious group can claim the right to weigh in on what constitutes CIVIL marriage, other than in the most generalized First Amendment sense. The institution of civil marriage is parallel but quite different from that of a marriage recognized by the these groups, appropriately so. They are perfectly free to recognize marriages according to their own dictates, but have no right to then claim that they should also use their particular precepts to define what should be defined as a civil marriage, with legal rights flowing therefrom.

    One can use all of the talking points (convoluted and otherwise) one wishes to say that the religious groups are the victims in this regard, but I do not agree. The issue was simply whether lesbians and gays can have their unions recognized by the state, and obtain the same legal rights that straights do. I don’t see any way to claim to affirm gays’ and lesbians’ dignity when they are told that their unions are not worthy of state recognition, and that they are not entitled to the equal protection of the laws. As verbose, meandering and excessively long as I felt Bottum’s apologia was, I think that he has grasped the key issue: civil marriage and different from religious matrimony.

    No one has ever shown my how allowing marriage equality will somehow push traditional marriage over the cliff of support by those who currently practice it, as imperfectly as they do. My goodness, people, heterosexuals have proven themselves more than capable of ignoring, defeating and not understanding the sacramental character of their religious rituals. Stop trying to shift the blame to lesbians and gay men.

  4. Jim McCrea says:

    Proof read, Jim: proof read.

    civil marriage IS different from religious matrimony.

    No one has ever shown ME how …

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