Saturday, November 25, 2017

The "Illogic" of an Absolutely Intolerant Pluralism - Viva, Cristo Re!

For all you Italian speakers, I wish to recommend this little video from La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana. It's classic, secular Italian "wisdom", but always superior to what the market of today pretends to offer.

So many of my neo-Catholic or Conservative friends seem incapable of translating the old principles of social or national identity which held in the terribly anti-clerical or anti-Catholic Risorgimento or in another form of common sense argumentation, as registered in an essay from the 1930's, proposing T.S. Elliot's counsel about the need for an established church in England for the sake of social cohesion. They can't quite grasp that the old logic, which inspired the religious liberty hypothesis was just that and no more. It has not stood the test of time, leaving us as Catholics, or as Christians generally in the world, exposed at best to bitter discrimination and too often, beyond scorn, to genuine and unrelenting persecution. 

Popular wisdom passes on to us that the "superior" experience of religious tolerance and pluralism as a founding or constitutional value of the American experience would be what still holds today as the social paradigm for western society. Sorry, folks, open your eyes and look around.

I am not going to dot the i's and cross the t's of the video's author. Making appeal to the "good sense" of the "tolerance" dictated by the Risorgimento is to a certain extent ingenuous. The false peace of an established principle of religious or social pluralism is as wanting as its sad European forerunner: Cuius regio, eius religio. Both run roughshod over the notion of truth as something objective.

As I have argued somewhere before (don't ask me when or where). Tolerance vis à vis other people or persons is a negative. I can tolerate pain or inconvenience, I can tolerate another's defects, but as a Christian, I don't tolerate others, I respect them. I hope they will respect my values, my faith, my vision of truth. I respect them, without necessarily conceding that their position must perforce also in some way be true. Again, truth is one and there are not many truths.

Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest and Universal King, is the Way, the Truth and the Life. With the great saints of all times, I can accept that many in error indeed seek the fullness of truth. I dare not deceive either them or myself into believing that the quest for truth can take another path or stop short of Jesus, my Savior and my God.

Nostalgia has nothing to do with my argument or my quest. The bottom line is and has always been spousal fidelity to the Bridegroom. He comes at an hour you do not expect; trim your lamp and rise to meet Him, for fear of being left in the darkness outside.


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