Friday, June 14, 2013

A bit of a passive-aggressive observation

Scandal-mongering is a cheap way to cash in, which is why it is so popular, even in the so-called Catholic blogosphere (I'd assert that it's trapezoidal). Hey, without morbid curiosity, our desire to be titillated (if that word doesn't pique your prurience, then I've failed as a writer- not for the first or last time), and our vicarious need to act to defiantly, all of which are surely external proofs of our fallen human nature, members of various spheres that comprise "the media," "the new media," etc., would simply be reduced to reporting on or writing about things that actually matter.

Morbid curiosity= the hope of seeing blood and guts, and/or being told the gory details.

titillation= the hope of seeing someone naked, and/or being given the details about someone's sexual proclivities and shenanigans.

Vicarious defiance= faux "sticking-it-to-the-man"-type things.

For whatever reason the last of these seems to be a Catholic favorite. Examining this a little and working on the assumption that those who pass these things along, adding their own spin, are acting sincerely, at root, such a view would seem to suggest that truth isn't paramount, but conscience. This is usually where Cardinal Newman's quote about toasting conscience is violently ripped out-of-context and sloppily applied as an undercutting argument.

Once this argument is accepted, then it's all about mis-formed and malformed consciences acting in defiance of authority, regardless as to how gently or prudently authority is asserted. Of course, on those not-so-rare occasions in local churches, when authority is asserted imprudently and/or is high-handed, it only serves to exacerbate the problem, like when a parent overreacts to something a child does wrong, thus enabling the child to justify her/his wrong action on the basis of the parent's overreaction.

Ah, the nice, polite, white, middle-class people acting the hippy, even when the results of their "worldview" are demonstrably destructive. It never gets old, n'est ce pas?

While truth not expressed in a loving manner is pointless, freedom untethered from truth is slavery. Other than the fact that I see too much of this on daily basis, I am not sure why this is such an issue for me right now. I'll stick with what I wrote in one my posts from last week, "many Catholics are content to stand, as did Pontius Pilate, asking, 'What is truth?' Or, worse yet, simply assert[ing] their own 'truth.'"

As a polite version of a (fairly) old saying goes- "Opinions are like elbows, everybody's got one." This implies, of course, that not all opinions are equal.

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