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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

5 Thoughts For Today

5. Welcome to the Cardinals, Justin Masterson! [That ERA is truly hideous.--ed.] The change of scenery will help. [I hope so.--ed.]

4. Utter the slightest word that what we want at any given moment is not our final end, and the Acton Institute will freak out, and call you a Stalinist. [Exaggeration much?--ed.]

3. Bryan Cross wrote: " Dylan writes, "This has had the ill-effect that those dissatisfied with the product are more likely to go “church shopping” or, perhaps, take an entrepreneurial model and start their own church or denomination. But what is the alternative?" He then proposes a dilemma: the only alternative to ecclesial consumerism is coercion, which is obviously untenable. So instead of complaining about consumerism, claims Dylan in his penultimate paragraph, churches need to offer a better product than their ecclesial 'competitors.' But Dylan's "either ecclesial consumerism or coercion" dilemma is a false dilemma. In advancing such a dilemma, Dylan misses Fr. Dwight Longenecker's point. The problem with consumerism is not desire per se, but disordered desire, underwritten by the assumption that there is no standard or basis for the right ordering of our desires. This is the assumption on which a consumeristic culture is built, and is the reason why such a culture fosters the proliferation of disordered appetites, much as Plato described in Republic Book VIII. The tendency in disordered appetites, is precisely toward greed, narcissism, self-gratification, and the instrumentalization of others in lust and abuse. The remedy to consumerism is not coercion, but virtue, which includes valuing the truth and the common good over the demands of our lower appetites. I've written about ecclesial consumerism at the link below." (Which is here.) For my part, I hadn't even noticed this; I was just slightly paranoid that Cross wants to take away my chicken sandwiches! But seriously, I think a good Catholic fight about markets and the common good would be highly useful. [This isn't it.--ed.] No; you're right. We have work to do.

2. I have pulled a muscle in my back. I knew I wasn't that out of shape. But now, I'm more disabled than normal. I can't get out of bed on my own.

1. I discern a movement of my appetite toward a box of SweetTarts. Is this gluttony? Good thing I don't have any.

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