03/06/2004: "Liberals vs. Conservatives"
After a good friend took me to task on the conservative bias of a townhall article I endorsed, I thought it was a good idea to write some thoughts on the subject of conservatives and liberals.
I think we often forget in the American Christian world that what is religiously conservative and liberal may not correspond to what is politically conservative and liberal. I recently heard an argument on Catholic radio between a caller and a apologist who was agressively promoting "The Passion". The caller thought the movie was anti-semetic (he had seen it). The apologist suggested that when the caller went to see the movie he was colored by a liberal mindset. The response of the caller was to say, "Hey, I voted for George Bush in the last election."
What's that got to do with it? We're talking about a different playing field.
Along those lines, Christ called us to something far bigger than a political party, so it is not surprising that his requests of us cross political boundaries. Here are a few examples of traditionally democratic and Republican issues that Christ would "lobby" for:
Give to the poor
Turn the other cheek
Sanctity of Marriage
Sanctity of Life (abortion)
Christ definitely transcends political boundaries.
Now, when we get down to religiously liberal and conservative I think we're in a different ballgame. What I perceive in these areas is not that either side is inaccurate but that they chose to emphasize different aspects of the same faith. Liberals like to emphasize that faith is for everyone and tend to argue for Women Priests, Married Priests or consecration by Lay people and celebrating the Eucharist in a more "casual" fashion. Conservatives tend to emphasize the Holiness of faith and and tend to argue for tighter restrictions on the priesthood, not even woman Deacons (or no Deacons at all), and continued exclusion of Eucharist from the divorced/remarried, those who haven't attended confession lately and other Christian faiths.
Both sides are emphasizing an aspect of faith. Faith is both for everyone and something so Holy that we are all not worthy of it. What's the right answer? Well, I have my opinions, but that's not the point here. The point is that all are trying (emphasis on trying) to help our Church do the right thing.
Lastly, we all must be VERY careful who we deny the faith of. In the call in show I earlier referred to, the caller got so upset with the Apologist that he said, "He's not a Roman Catholic!" which is totally out of line. The caller may disagree with the apologist's viewpoint, but to deny him his faith and his Church over a movie, is absolutely absurd. For individuals, it is for God to decide which of us our worthy for his presence in the afterlife, or as we Catholics say, is a part of the Communion of Saints.
In peace to all who seek God with a sincere heart.