Friday, October 9, 2015

The saddest thing about the Christian liberal...

..Is that they've lost the strategic suspect of the cultural left, and the conditional tolerance of the orthodox Christians. And they lost it at the same time.

Being a Christian is a liability in liberal circles, to the point where your faith needs to be an absolute joke - a Christian who believes accepting Christ is irrelevant, who believes that God revealed Himself to man to support abortion and gay marriage, and more. Any orthodox content is openly laughed at, or whispered at best.

It used to be that liberal Christians could at least count on a grudging 'We all share faith in Christ' attitude among more conservative Christians, but even that's falling. The orthodox, rightly, see liberal Christians as dupes or traitors, and have gone from a neutral 'big tent' attitude towards a liberal presence in their church to actively wanting them to leave it entirely. "But by casting us out you'll lose our souls!" no longer has pull, because the realization is that the soul is lost if it isn't sincere and right in its remaining anyway.

So they're left with the most diminished voice of all. The strategic, formal respect of the left is gone, and the patient, neutrality of the right is gone.

Of course, they won't mind too much. Everyone regarding them as irrelevant dupes just gives them one more opportunity to get up on the cross and throw a pity party for themselves, which is the very thing that attracts them to Christianity to begin with.

11 comments:

B. Prokop said...

What is your opinion of Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton?

Crude said...

What is your opinion of Bernie Sanders?

Syllabus said...

What is your opinion of Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton?

How is that relevant to the point? Neither of these people inhabited the same sort of social environment that the OP talks about. The point is not that "Christians can't have X views", but that "progressive Christians are almost uniformly worshiping the State or the Right Side of History, not God, whether they realize it or not".

And on the whole, this is precisely right. Witness how the crie de cour of the Christian left is not theological, not concerned with helping God save them from their sin, but making a "better world" through progressive income taxes, nationalized healthcare, and gay marriage; accepting all sorts of alternate lifestyles as equally Christian as others; so far from accepting St Paul's injunction to not judge, and by extension not compel to act in a given way, people outside of the Church by the Church's own standards in terms of what behaviour they can and can't tolerate, trying to compel people to act more morally in as far-reaching and as intimately-intrusive a way as possible; and redistributing the wealth of everyone in precisely the way you think correct because "all who believed were together and had all things in common" or whatever.

It's what CS Lewis called "Christianity-And" trying to pass itself off as true Christianity. As St James has it, true religion is one that cares for the orphan and the widow and keeps itself clean from the world. The way in which the Christian left tries to do the former, assuming it is done in good faith, almost always commits them to not doing the latter, and in so commits them to worshiping the god of this world whether they realize it or not.

(And yes, this holds mutandis mutandis for people like John Kasich or Mike Huckabee. But that's not the topic of conversation right now, so don't try and derail it.)

Crude said...

Witness how the crie de cour of the Christian left is not theological, not concerned with helping God save them from their sin

I recall that one Christian progressive who flat out said that conversion and even belief in God wasn't all that important for the 'progressive'.

I also remark, in Bob's case particularly, while he argued with him extensively, he actually spoke kindly of none other than Papalinton, basically taking the attitude of 'we may disagree on religion but we're on the same page with politics, and thus we're friends of a sort!'

That memory was only just stoked now, and in context, it's amazing to me.

malcolmthecynic said...

Crude,

Thinking of John "medical Chaplain" Green?

Crude said...

Malcolm,

I don't recall that name. Who is it? I meant more in general.

When I talk about liberal Catholics, I primarily mean liberal in terms of cultural leftists. The cultural left has no use for Christians anymore, including leftist Christians, unless they have completely and blatantly submitted to the entire social liberal program - which turns their faith into a complete joke. They're used to being in something close to a lapdog position: the 'devout Christian' who's willing to attack orthodox Christians.

I remember when John Haught got attacked by Jerry Coyne, and later by Coyne's followers. See, Haught was one of those 'leftist lapdog' Christians, where his main claim to fame was being the Christian who would attack other Christians - in this case, Intelligent Design proponents. So he was used to getting patted on the head by atheists, getting "Friend of Darwin" awards, etc. Along comes Coyne, who didn't give a shit about this at all - ID was already dealt with, in his eyes - and proceeded to attack and belittle him at a public function. Haught was stunned, and in my view, it's because he thought 'Gosh, we're both liberals. I've attacked conservative Christians most of my academic career! Why are you doing this?'

You'll usually notice, by the way, that when this goes down the first thing Christians like this do is appeal to their political bonafides, frantically flashing their 'I'm a liberal' credentials in the hopes that the person attacking them will back off. Then they're stunned when this, in fact, doesn't work. At that point they may desperately look to the conservatives for help and 'join them in denouncing extremism', but even the conservatives are starting to wise up and tell the liberal they're on their own.

malcolmthecynic said...

Crude,

He's the author of the novel "The Fault in our Stars". Check these out. It's eerie just how much Green resembles your description. https://malcolmthecynic.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/well-i-pretty-much-nailed-john-green/

https://malcolmthecynic.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/people-like-green/

Crude said...

Ah, there we go. Alright, you jogged my memory.

Yeah. I think there's a spectrum to it, but even among the sincerely believing 'religious' cultural leftists, there's a fair share of bull in play. I'm always suspicious of the Christian Leftist whose Christianity never seems to surface, save for when they need to attack other Christians. (Something I don't accuse Bob of, by the way. He's just transparently and intensely political.)

That problem, I believe, is starting to bleed away due to the reasons I outlined in the post. A Christian of any sincere and orthodox belief no longer has the support and celebration of the cultural left. And the cultural right, in turn, seems to regard them with due contempt. I've seen the reactions of some very liberal Christians who go through pains to explain their credentials (I've been active in youth ministry! / I have a theology degree!) in shock when other, more orthodox Christians tell them to get loss. And then react in shock again when they're told that the credentials are meaningless, they have no authority, and to once again get lost.

It's a positive development.

Andrew W said...

Hooray, you're posting again. This also is a positive development. ;)

Crude said...

Andrew,

Hey there. Always a surprise know people are watching this - but yes. Thank you for the note of encouragement. :)

Andrew W said...

I like reading blogs of those whose opinions I am sympathetic towards but don't always agree with. It helps challenge and refine thinking. If there's no disagreement then it's just an echo chamber with no potential for growth.