Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Heaven Help Me, I Agree With Tim Dukeman

I love Christ and Pop Culture. Me and Alan Noble are buddies on the interwebs. I told him I read the magazine religiously, and I mean that in the creepy Catholic sense. Even when they annoy me, I can't stop reading it. In many important ways, I'm still an evangelical. (You could legitimately argue that I'm still Reformed in some non-doctrinal, non-ecclesial ways, too, and I think that's good. That tradition holds a non-negligible influence over that expression of evangelical piety, and it will probably stay that way.) Every time Alan writes a post looking for new writers, I punch myself, because justification by faith alone is a deal-breaker over there, and I'm a bloody Catholic; I can't affirm it. But I want to write for them almost as much as I want to be on The Journey Home, which is a lot. I need you to understand that. I love what they do. Let me just get that out of the way.

But they are annoyingly temperate, at a time when we really don't need that. Technically, I'm not a Millenial; I missed it by a year. And maybe that's a tendency of the generation; I don't know. But I do know that this generation labors under the delusion that their fathers in faith were unnecessarily combative, mixed up in the culture wars. If we'd be a little nicer, we could win them for Christ like never before. Have you forgotten that Christ is a scandal? His cross is foolishness to the Greeks, etc. Respecting the dignity of the person does not mean making them happy. There is an holistic anthropology behind the saving message of the Incarnate Word; killing our children will not get us closer. Affirming people in their sexual sins will not get them closer. I am ever the optimist; I do not believe our nation is doomed to extinction, nor do I believe that Barack Obama heralds its end, as foolish and infuriating and reductionistic as he is. That said, it's time to fight, and fight hard. As much as none of us wants to be identified with some political movement or ideology, let's cut the mess; if you don't get life and death right, the niceties of trade and tax rates is pretty close to pointless. Where did we get the idea that non-partisanship meant "mainstream and acceptable?"

This dude is 1000 percent right. Today, that is. As much as Catholic Social Teaching (CST) may not line up with the economic proposals of the big elephant, (let the reader understand) as much as progressive ideology on certain issues may be theoretically harmonious with the dignity of the human person, enough to make me uneasily "conservative" at times, I know this: I'm sick of Boomer weariness, and the Millenial need to be liked; sometimes, you've just gotta shoot it straight. They aren't going to like us. The work of lawmaking requires nuance, cooperation, and compromise; setting a vision requires bluntness and courage. As long as we have some semblance of political freedom, as long as there is still a glowing ember of a culture worth saving, let's do it! After we have done so, they may call us alternately communists, and backward, moralistic reactionaries, but we will have split the middle with considered reflection, and not, quite frankly, with timidity. I may be my generation's James Dobson, or a new William Jennings Bryan. You know what? I don't mind.

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