A welcome follower of this blog is a person who writes under the handle of "reddog". Recently he responded in the threads of the BlueWave link to the threat atheism poses to freedom of religious expression. I follow with my response.
Your comments are always welcome!
"Atheism poses no threat to freedom of religion. It's the freedom itself that threatens organized religion. Most people will always possess some type of spiritual beliefs. Once they can believe anything they want without the coercion of a dominant religion, they do. Cafeteria style. They borrow from friends more than model after priests.
JPII was an attractive and charismatic figure, he helped the RCs regain some ground, though the faith of those that came back was diluted and had a lot of ecumenical pollutants. Benny 16 is back to the model of a self loathing, closeted, Gay, that RCs suffered through with Paul 6. No help there.
Priests no longer have the luxury of teaching. They have to sell. They need to be heroic in the image of Jesus, not Peewee Herman. You need a good, long, dark age, full of ignorance, pestilence, poverty and fear. You can always hope."
Reddog: I appreciate your opinion, but it seems to me that somewhere in excess of 1 billion others would disagree. I point out that this claim is made at a time when the world has not experienced widespread dark ages, ignorance, poverty or fear for almost 1000 years - and thrives among the hearts and minds of some of the brightest in human history. I appreciate too the challenge these times present the Church, but the internet has provided one of the most effective media by which to speak to untold thousands of people in a variety of cultures, (all in a "one on one" based encounter) with one post or recommended article that is put before people to select in the "cafeteria" of faith.
Cafeterias can be a source of wholesome eating if the food served is healthy and nutritious. Let's use the same methodology that Satan worked in cleaving souls away from the faith. It's not the method that was evil or somehow ineffective or immoral. As C.S. Lewis would write, minds and consciences are formed (or deformed) in a slow bit by bit approach. What was evil was his intent, not the tools he used to accomplish them.
Persuasion is an effective tool, if done with charity and fidelity to church teaching. I try to personally ensure that for this blog by sending posts to priests who exemplify these same virtues, and edit my posts if they offer sound advice to so. This "spiritual buddy" system taught to us in Kindergarten is still an effective way of keeping each other safe... or to return to the food metaphor again... ensuring that our offering is nutritious and pleasing to those who pass by to graze.
Now is the time for the church to establish its presence in these buffet of information that is modern communications and culture. We should not fear setting up our offerings beside the spiritual McDonald's of our adversary either. Offering a healthy menu in places people go when they are hungry is always a good choice appreciated by many.
As President George H. Bush proposed in his winning campaign for office... "do not curse the darkness. Rather lift high your candle. Become one of a thousand points of light to guide our nation in dark times". This metaphor propelled him the highest office in the land (and stands in stark contrast to the eloquence of "W", thus proving that a gifted tongue is not a trait that is inherited by the child!) The same metaphor applies to the issue of evangelization in this age. (I think I can offer this particular piece of personal opinion without having to state whether the Bush's represent the voice of faith or not; politicians do not always offer credible witness when one is arguing for the faith, at least in this country)
An old priest once counseled me that it is always wise to know your enemy for he might have much to teach.
Wisdom then... wisdom now.
- American Papist Blog
- American Spectator
- Archbishop Tim Dolan's (NY) Blog
- Big Blue Wave
- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC News Site)
- Catholic Dialogue Blog
- Catholic Education Resource Center
- Catholic Exchange
- Catholic Heritage Website (Ireland)
- Catholic Insight
- Catholic News Agency
- Catholic Online
- Catholic Sensibility
- Catholic, and Loving It
- CTV News Site
- Ethics and Public Policy Center
- First Things
- Fr. Raymond De Souza - National Post Columnist
- Fr. Raymond deSouza personal blog
- Freethroughthought blog (excellent site)
- Friar Rick's Webblog
- Get Religion.org
- Global TV News Site
- Holy Post - National Post Religious Blog
- Inside Catholic Blog
- New Advent
- Pave the Way Foundation
- Priests for Life Canada Website
- ProLife Blog
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Pembroke
- Rosary for the Bishops
- Salt & Light TV - Canadian Catholic Television Website
- Sandro Magister
- Sane Conservatism
- SoCon (social conservative)
- Sylvia's Website: Canadian Clergy Sex Abuse Cases
- The Catholic Register
- The Hermeneutic of Continuity
- The National Post: Canada's National Daily
- The New Jesuit Review
- The New York Times Website
- Vox Nova
- What Does Prayer Really Say - Priest bolg
- Whispers in the Loggia
- ► 2015 (1348)
- ► 2014 (2437)
- ► 2013 (1381)
- ► 2012 (1527)
- ► 2011 (1437)
- Fr. Ron Rolheiser's take on the "what bad things h...
- Evangelical Catholicism as expressed by John Allen...
- KEEP PRAYING FOR DR. ROB SUSIL
- Atheists go postal over stamp honoring Mother Ther...
- Pope Benedict - and his great drive for ecumunism....
- Your prayer help is URGENTLY and IMMEDIATELY neede...
- Point to remember when posting comments
- An excellent reflection on the Church's use of the...
- Here's you chance to put your "John Henry" on an i...
- US Federal Buildings closed for people of faith
- Today is a fruitful one on the internet
- A quick and easy post!
- Another civil exchange of the challenge the Church...
- Thoughts to consider before leaping into reaping v...
- BIG BLUE WAVE: Atheism: a danger to freedom of rel...
- Christianity: A Threatened Belief (The arrival of...
- Interesting statistics of the life of the Catholic...
- One of Bishop Fred Henry's (Calgary) classics
- Insightful editorial on the issue of God & Haiti f...
- From the "now I've seen everything" file
- Pope calls on priests to use the internet to sprea...
- Canadian Government continues its ATTACK against i...
- A theologian-pope sidelines theology | National Ca...
- More on the connection between evil, sin , grace a...
- Looking for help with an ancient theological puzzl...
- A summary for Martin - a fellow seeker for truth i...
- How did "sex" change from meaning one's gender to ...
- Another thought produced by the tragedy in Haita
- Kate McGarrigle R.I.P.
- Video report on Pope Benedict XVI to Jewish Synago...
- Moral/Mental Reservation
- Robert F Kennedy: 4 April 1968.... man of peace an...
- A little humor at the end of the day
- This puts the current War in Aghanistan into the p...
- Quebec defines that heterosexuality cannot be taug...
- Help!! I lost the Red Cross!!
- Pope B16's visit to the Roman Synagogue
- The devil is real... and he is us.
- Does Haiti teach us any lessons about God?
- Keeping "clean" on the muddy paths of the internet...
- Getting the most out of Mass
- Confession by the Numbers
- Canadians cannot withhold taxes in abortion contes...
- ROME REPORTS TV News Agency - Best keep secrets of...
- Finding God in clay vessels
- A Group worthy of support, praise and reading!!!
- Where Rights came from. A video series by Dr. Tom ...
- Accessing the historical memory of the Catholic Ch...
- Amid the hysteria... some perspective
- Defending the indefensible!
- Calls for moderation within the greater world wide...
- How to reach lapsed Catholics
- Eleven steps to a better ministry
- Questions about genetic research... is it about to...
- A Bishop faces and angry parish in France when he ...
- Why Catholic scandals are treated differently than...
- "You might be a redneck" as morphed for Catholics!...
- OPEN FORUM
- Picture Proof of what heaven must be like (at leas...
- Interesting articles.. and subsequent ruminations ...
- "The perspective of size"
- Code Words in the Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal - anoth...
- Demographic bomb in the heart of Europe
- A good news post
- John Allen's take on the past 10 years in the Vati...
- ▼ January (67)