Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I owe a debt of gratitude to Prof. Rusty Reno today for helping me by Putting Politics in its Place, which post appears over on the First Things' blog Observations & Contentions.

"All the ephemera of the campaign season—the sound bites, the spin, the counter-spin, the endless layers of media meta-spinning comments on spin, the polling, the focus groups, the reporters interviewing swing voters, indeed, the very concept of a swing voter—all of this and everything else that will clog the airwaves for the next two long months serve this basic goal: to win for the sake of our often inchoate, often inarticulate, but always passionately felt sense of the purposes and dangers of our collective life."
Inchoate means formless. Prof. Reno is correct in both his assertions that what forms our sense of purpose ought to be deeper than politics and that we often invest too much in political outcomes. Rocco over at Whispers has the scoop on the USCCB v. Biden. In other words, the USCCB's correction to the senator in the wake of his "personal and private" comment made on NBC's Meet the Press last Sunday.

Thanks also to Deacon Greg over on The Deacon's Bench for drawing my attention to this article about one Skye Denno that appeared in the U.K.'s Daily Mail: Lager-loving punk who dresses as a dominatrix is appointed village curate. Now, let's not be too quick to dismiss, too quick to smugly chuckle and self-righteously belittle, lest we miss something important. In order not to do that we have to momentarily set aside concerns about whether her "partner," by whom she has two children, is her husband and, as Catholics, the whole issue of female priests. Now, the argument that such possible disconnects between faith and life might flow from being immersed in too non-Christian, even un-Christian, a milieu, are not lost on me. Indeed, we are "like sheep in the midst of wolves," which is why we must "be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves" (Matt. 10,16). With that being acknowledged, let's return to the something important that is all too easily missed, to the way of seeing this that does not allow us to be smug or permit us to be outraged. As Christ's body, we must try to serve everyone, to be present in all places, in pubs, prisons, and punk clubs, especially in the post-Christian, God-haunted societies of the west, the emptiness of which spawns many such places and what goes on in them, places and doings in which people seek that which corresponds to their heart. I can relate to some of her experiences, like praying with and/or for someone in a club, all too well. Besides, her musical preferences are great: "The Cure, Sex Pistols, Clash, Sisters of Mercy and Last Dance". The Pistols, of course, more for the spectacle than any music or message. After all, what other Catholic blog has posted a video of a Dead Kennedys song?

Oh, and just in case you're wondering, yes, in the sex industry, which is where Pink Cross Ministries and XXX Church are.

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