[Amy] Sullivan seems to think her readers are too ignorant to understand the difference between an election for pope and one for, say, U.S. Senate, and perhaps she’s right. [Jane] Kramer actually seems to be that ignorant. Her last bit, about ” ‘unrepentant’ gay and lesbian Catholic men and women,” is especially thick-headed. She doesn’t seem to understand that Christianity calls on everyone, not just those with unusual sexual tastes, to repent.
The underlying assumption behind coverage like this is that the Catholic Church is a primitive institution in need of being brought up to date. Sometime in the past 50 years or so, it was revealed that men and women are more or less interchangeable, that sexual liberty is a blessing, that homosexuality is normal and celibacy is deviant, and even, as per Kramer, that women ought to wear pants. By now all right-thinking people agree on all these points. Those old men in Rome not only doubt them but act is if they actually think they know better! What is the matter with them?
It seems to us–and we say this as a lapsed atheist, not a religious believer–that it is the Kramer worldview that is hidebound and parochial. Catholicism has evolved over 2,000 years and, whatever its adversities and shortcomings, has proved sustainable over that period. If you judge it by the standard of contemporary feminism and sexual liberationism, of course it will seem lacking. But these fashionable dogmas have yet to prove their worth, either for understanding human nature or sustaining a society over the long term. Their adherents fancy themselves sophisticated, but in fact they frequently are too simple-minded–or perhaps fearful–even to consider a different way of looking at the world.
Indeed: why actually think about things when you can just uncork that bottle of amarone and raise a toast to your a priori superiority over all philosophical/cultural/religious traditions you happen to dislike?
(Via Maverick Philosopher)