Words that get misused: DISCRIMINATION

Same-sex ‘marriage’ proponents usage

If you don’t let us get married then you’re DISCRIMINATING against us. This is basically the same as racism, and you’re treating us like second-class citizens, inferior human beings. This is one of The Worst Crimes.

To discriminate: make an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, sex, or age.

Marriage proponents usage

Yes, we are discriminating in this instance, what of it? Let’s revisit the definition:

To discriminate: to recognize a distinction; differentiate.

It is not in itself a negative thing, it simply means to treat different things differently. This is something we do all the time. I don’t prepare for a swim the same way that I prepare for a run, because they’re different things.

Somehow, the negative meaning of discrimination has become conflated with the neutral one. Somehow, even any reasonable distinctions can be classed as “unjust or prejudicial distinctions in the treatment of different categories of people”.

Now, it is certainly possible that there is no significant difference between heterosexual and homosexual relationships, and that treating them differently is therefore an example of an unjust distinction. However, those who shout “Discrimination!” are not just positing the possibility.

The mere fact that people are suggesting that there might be a difference between relationships between two people of the same sex and between a man and a woman is enough to warrant this cry of prejudice. 

Instead of seeing rational debate around whether this is a case of a just or an unjust distinction, we are seeing people outrage at the mere fact that a distinction is even being made. This is not a good place to be.

Advertisements

Being sanctified in the very ordinariness of life

Hellooooo, my dearest readers!!! I have missed the blogging world very much. We have just finished moving house, and moving eight people’s worth of stuff in two weeks is no mean feat, let me tell you. However, exhausted as I am, we are home, and I am once again at leisure to write down a thought or two.

First of all, I must share with you this gem from Neal Obstat. It is one of the most beautiful encapsulations of seeking holiness in everyday life, the very heart and soul of what Opus Dei is all about. Continue reading

The Advent of Advent

It’s true!! Advent IS nearly upon us, unbelievable though it may be. [That statement makes this very relevant:]

This does not mean, however, that Christmas has actually arrived. Advent is the time in which we anticipate the celebration of Christ’s first coming, by preparing ourselves appropriately, and in so doing we also anticipate Christ’s second coming.

It’s always a bit awkward to know exactly how best to prepare oneself though, isn’t it? It’s a penitential season, which we know because everything turns purple, but it’s somehow a bit different.

At any rate, everyone ought to be thinking of some way they can prepare themselves to receive Christ well this Christmas. My own gameplan: Morning and Evening Prayer, to immerse myself in the Scriptures that herald Our Lord’s coming.

What have been your most fruitful Advent commitments? Plans for this year?

+AMDG

A Self-Enclosed Circle

Apologies for the hiatus!! Still in the throes of end of semester. In the meantime, some Papa Ben for y’all:

1460965_1452622224964120_41971958_n

“The turning of the priest towards the people has turned the community into a self-enclosed circle. In its outward form, it no longer opens out on what lies ahead and above, but is closed in on itself. The common turning towards the East was not a “celebration towards the wall”; it did not mean that the priest “had his back to the people”: the priest himself was not regarded as so important. For just as the congregation in the synagogue looked together toward Jerusalem, so in the Christian liturgy the congregation looked together “towards the Lord.” As one of the Fathers of Vatican II’s Constitution on the Liturgy, J. A. Jungmann, put it, it was much more a question of priest and people facing in the same direction, knowing that together they were in a procession towards the Lord. They did not close themselves into a circle, they did not gaze at one another, but as the pilgrim People of God they set off for the Oriens, for the Christ who comes to meet us.

Pope Benedict, “The Spirit of the Liturgy”

+AMDG

BXVI: The Narrative of the Inclusive Kingdom

I thought I’d share this tidbit from Pope Benedict’s first volume of Jesus of Nazareth that I read this morning, regarding the secularist reinterpretation of the Kingdom (p. 53)(paraphrased). It tells the narrative of how the evolution of the notions of “tolerance”, “unity” and “inclusiveness”, given ever-wider definitions, have led to the climate of religious and political ideas that we see today amongst certain academic circles in Catholic Theology specifically, but that obviously coincides a great deal with ideas prevalent in wider society as well.

It was claimed that prior to Vatican II the dominant position was “Ecclesiocentrism“, where the Church was presented as the centre of Christianity, interpreted as being somehow in place of Christ, or Christ and His Church as being in competition. This kept us separate from other Christians, for as long as we claim to be the True Church, it implies others are not, and thus is divisive.

Then post-Vatican II there was a shift to “Christocentrism“, yet this did not solve the question of division, for Christ belongs exclusively to Christians.

‘Jesus of Nazareth’ by Pope Benedict XVI

Hence the next transition to “Theocentrism“, which allegedly brought us closer to other religions (which is apparently our goal). However, even God can be a cause of division between religions and people.

Therefore, the move was made (or is in the process of being made) to “Regnocentrism“, the centrality of the Kingdom. Apparently we have finally gotten to the heart of Christ’s message, and it is this position that will help us finally harness mankind’s positive energies and direct them toward the world’s future. Here the “Kingdom” simply means a world governed by peace, justice and the conservation of creation. Working together to attain such a world is the true goal of religions. They are free to live in their respective traditions, each bringing them to bear on the common task of building the “Kingdom”, where peace, justice and respect for creation are the dominant values.

This sounds good, but it leaves a number of questions: how do we figure out what justice actually means, and how we acheive it?

Furthermore, in this “Kingdom”, God has disappeared. “Man is the only actor left on stage.” Religion now matters only insofar as it can be directed towards to political goals of the organisation of the world.

Sound familiar?

+AMDG

Parish Shopping

Parish shopping is a pet peeve of mine. More on that another time, but for now, Fr Dwight Longnecker has a rant of his own:

“The church shopping has started to disintegrate. Not only do people church shop in order to find a church community to which they want to belong, but they church shop from week to week. I have an increasing number of people who say, “I belong to two parishes.” or “You may not see us every week Father, we divide our time between three different parishes.” or “We’re glad to belong to your parish, but we often like to go to the Latin Mass at —” or “I like this parish, but I also like Fr —’s homilies, and we go there sometimes too.” Even more disturbing are the people who cherry pick the different ministries from different churches. “We go to — for the Youth Group and really like —here in your parish for our Middle Schooler. Your parish school is great, but we like going to Fr — for Mass.”

How on earth is a pastor supposed to build any kind of community in a parish when people treat the church like a hamburger joint? You can’t even address this very easily because Americans are a nation of shoppers. They are used to having it their way. The customer is king and they are used to being royalty. They don’t like being told what to do. They will shop and choose what they want where they want it and you better deliver or they will go somewhere else.”

+AMDG