This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Christian Left: A few of my prior Good Friday meditations

The Christian Left: A few of my prior Good Friday meditations

The Christian Left: My God, My God, Why have you abandoned me!

The Christian Left: My God, My God, Why have you abandoned me!





For_Holy_Week

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Cardinal’s Appeal 2018 Response on ENDA

Joseph M. Glimer,
Executive Director of Development
Archdiocese of Washington

Dear Joseph,

Thank you for acknowledging my $200 contribution for the Cardinals Appeal for this year, which will be taken from my account in $20 a month increments. Fate would have it that my other monthly donation to the Human Rights Campaign is for the same amount. Their project is the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, which seeks to insure equality in the workplace for gay and lesbian individuals. I know that the Church shares that goal in the abstract but is currently having difficulty when these employees decide to enter into civil marriage appropriate for their gender identity. Instead of throwing the couple a party, or even blessing the union, they fire the employee.

Please stop doing that. As I learned in the Baltimore Catechism, all civil marriage is considered less than sacramental, yet heterosexual couples are not fired when they contract such unions. I imagine they do get a party and even an offer to bless the union at a later date. That fidelity (and ending promiscuity) is celebrated for one group and not the other is sheer bigotry and sour grapes, considering the leading role the Church played in opposing marriage equality. Its time for the Church to put on its big boy pants and admit it was wrong in this instance.

Gays are differently made. The discovery of Epigenetics proves it, although we should have simply believed these individuals when they told us that they were born this way. It is not a chosen orientation, anymore than those priests for whom celibacy comes naturally chose their asexuality. Many think that those asexual feelings should be a guide to us all. They are not, from sacred continence to unitive sexuality within marriage. Gays and lesbians are open to raising children, if you only allow them to adopt or use IVF, are functional if you leave your preconceptions behind, and marry each other, with the officiant as witness, just like all sacramental unions.

Of course, I am not asking you to solemnize such unions yet, although I will when my daughter is old enough to marry her girlfriend. I am merely asking you to stop indulging in sour grapes and bigotry and in so doing have my contributions cancel each other out.

Of course, to speak prophetically a bit more, you are aware that there is a lawsuit that is using the gay marriage decisions as precedent to declare that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 already protects gays and lesbians in their employment rights. There will be no exceptions and I suspect that the next Congress would not enact any, nor would the Court not agree with me that sour grapes is not a justified reason to fire gay employees who marry. While there are those lawyers who would encourage you to let them take that case, I am asking you not to. Indeed, I suspect many of my fellow donors agree. You have our addresses. Just ask us.


Yours in Christ,

Michael


Monday, March 12, 2018

The Anachronists

When dealing to those who use Modernism as a religious slur, the chief difficulty is naming them back. Simply calling them anti-Modernists is using their term back at them, but it is not descriptive. Calling them Ultramontinists gets at the governance preferences, but does not really describe their overall epistemology. After Mass yesterday, the word came to me. Anachronist. This captures the full range of their error, whether it is in describing Marriage as an early sacrament (it certainly was not, at least in the Church, until the high Middle Ages),

The biggest Anachronist error is inferring that St. Paul was speaking about mortal sin, which had not been defined as such, when he wrote about receiving Communion unworthily. Paul was obviously talking about receiving without believing, something some Cardinals who have their doubts about the existence of God do today to save face. Whether doing so is a sacrilege or not depends on whether the pastoral interpretation of Paul is correct. Jesus may wish this form of Communion, even from those in crisis.

The second biggest error is inferring that Jesus was talking about all divorce and remarriage in the text where he condemns divorcing one spouse to marry a better one. That is obviously adultery. Being divorced and finding love again has nothing to do with the prior spouse, so it is not adultery against them. Once they divorce you, their property interest in you is done. Indeed, the entire Anachroinist view of marriage, where the wife is subordinate to the husband as the Church is to God is no longer applicable in modern society, on several levels.

Of course, the defiling Anachronism is continued belief in the Garden of Eden myth as fact (whether there were an actual Adam and Eve or two first parents lost to history in the Savannah's of Africa. Some even deny Darwin because of this belief. It is easier just to change how original sin is viewed. The text of Genesis is actually fairly obvious that the sin of the Fall is blame. Satan blames God for not allowing Eve to know who is good and who is evil (sinful), which is the province of God alone. Adam blamed Eve for the apple, Eve blamed the Serpent, thus completing the cycle, which was originally not about salvation, but about why we must farm rather than picking fruit from the trees.

This goes to the heart of the Faith, which for Anachronists is a noun depicting a group rather than trust in God. Anachronists believe in the transactional salvation of St. Anselm, which was used to justify indulgences and hearkens back to the Temple sacrifices to placate an angry God. This is as opposed to a modern view that Christ’s sacrifice was the emptying himself of both his mission and divine origins when he gave Mary unto John’s care in the same way a suicide gives away his stuff, from whence he cries out to God in despair, then drinks of the fruit of the fine and gives up his Spirit, making Calvary a placation of us, not the Father. The Anachroists will never consider such questions, which is their loss, their loss being a more adult faith.


Sunday, March 04, 2018

Third Sunday of Lent (B)

I have not been blogging the readings this season, but something about them this Sunday made me feel inspired.

First, we have the Decalouge from Exodus. It is clear from the passage that whomever penned this part of the book also penned Genesis, especially regarding the Third Commandment. I am actually writing this early Monday morning, so I am not breaking the Sabbath, of course I don’t work six days. At Mass today, the Priest did not read the parts in brackets which had your son and daughter and servants and aliens not work. The language of the Commandment does not allow Sabbath swapping. As it is, I could have used a swap while in High School, since I went to work five days and worked at least one or two weeknights and both weekend days washing dishes. The Commandment is for my protection, not to make sure I attend Mass, which was an added obligation, not a mercy.

They also left out the part about graven images, which every Catholic Church is full of, especially if you count the Tabernacle. There is something in the human psyche that likes to direct worship at an external object rather than the unseen God, even when we have received that God in the flesh into our very selves. Finding God in he fleshy experience of Communion provides grace. I have never found the same grace staring at a Monsterance or cross, atlhough I can’t seem to escape the habit of genuflecting before what is only the potentiality of an encounter with God. Of course, the original ban on idols was attributed to God but was of human origin. It can be changed, and if it can be changed, so can all of moral teaching. Still, iconoclasm rings true, even when dealing with the Eucharist.

Last thing on the Commandments, on coveting, note the neighbor’s house is put before his wife. This just reeks of the treatment of women as property in the ancient world. Until we ordain them, they still are.

The first chapter of First Corinthians begins the theme of the Wisdom of Love and its pressence in the death and ressurection of the Christ, with the foolishness of all else. Indeed, that includes all other forms of morality and worship.

The Decalogue is for our benefit, not God’s. Man seeks certainty rather than responsibility. The sacrificial animals and the sacrifices themselves were that certainty. Sacrifices bought off God, which is folly. We are not saved by paying for our sins (or having Christ do it for us), but by seeing Christ’s sacrifice as an act of solidarity with our sinful natures and accepting the gift of Love (the Spirit) into our hearts. The standard of our conduct then goes from following rules and bribing God as necessary with a sacrifice (the marketplace in the temple was but a symptom) or by going to Confession and performing some work to earn an Indulgence, but by praying constantly to love others as God loves them, which is perfectly. It is easy to traffick in sins, penances and indulgences. It is impossible to love others as God loves them, we we can only pray to try with God’s help. That is the true worship and religion of the temple which is Christ.