I am encouraged lately by Ron Rolheiseir’s article from the latest US Catholic called “Knock it Off”. I have been discouraged by how the Church appears to be follwing the rest of society in becoming increasingly polarized between “liberals” and “conservatives.”
Being an Adult Minister of my parish, I have my own leanings, my own preferences, but I am very careful to not let them come out. My job is to represent my Church and help people develop their faith, not lead them down my own path. So I try to stay away from the “partisan” debates about what parts of Jesus’ message we should emphasize and which “sins” are the ones we should crusade against. And when someone brings up this polarization — from either side — I feel a tension between my own natural desire to give my opinion and my need to represent all the Church and not just some points of view.
Until now, I have compromised by always trying to speak for the unrepresented viewpoint. But Rolheiser has given me another thing to say. Forget “liberal” or “conservative”, go deeper. The article is a must read for every Catholic who takes sides as “liberal” or “conservative.”
“So what youre seeing today inside of the church and inside of society is a fierce and a powerful conservatism. This conservatism actually feeds off an unbalanced liberalism. Excessive liberalism sparks excessive conservatism, then excessive conservatism sparks excessive liberalism, and so on….there has to be a grounding in faith. As Jim Wallis of Sojourners magazine says, ‘Don’t be a liberal, don’t be a conservative, be a man or woman of faith. Don’t turn right, dont turn left, go deeper.’ Its simple but its true: Dont act liberally or conservatively, just act out of faith, and that will take you where you should be. “
Everyone should read this article, especially the advice for both Liberals or Conservatives at the very bottom.
I can see that the parts of Christianity I disagree with come from a good place, a good basic idea, however tortured and distorted by polarizing agendas they may be. My job when I am confronted with stuff I disagree with is to find that good place it came from and embrace it. Find the good place. Go Deeper into Faith.