Sunday, October 9, 2016
Down the Rabbit Hole
Take our politics: Each side demands our outrage at the reprehensible words and actions of the other side while demanding we look away from their own reprehensible words and actions which mirror each other. The criteria for my sought after outrage? Not so much as what was done but who did it! I suppose something being venal isn't about the act itself as it is the person who does it. Makes sense, no? Well, no, it doesn't make sense. Candidate A demeans women and Candidate B, who also demeans women (just different women that candidate A) demands we castigate Candidate A. While this goes on, we are to ignore the horrible things done by the candidate we support. It gives me headache just writing this.
Truth is that a venal act is a venal act regardless of who does it. Sin doesn't become more sinful because someone I don't like or support is doing it. I know...logic. Who has time for that? However, if we just dabbled ever so lightly in the world of logic we would see the whole thing for what it is: a garish and immoral Mardi Gras float, filled with characters from a Dickens' novel. Or a Lewis Carroll novel were I to stay within the original example.
We are told that we cannot believe our eyes when it comes to gender. We are given a whole host of new pronouns to use so as to accommodate someone's self defined gender...which is not readily detectable to even a doctor giving a physical. Somehow I am to guess at which set of pronouns to use based on an ability to read minds. Sure that's possible! Oh let the taking offense begin! Why not? In a world of subjective truth, being offended is the default response. Your job is to placate me. Everybody's job is to placate me. My job is to be placated. Yeah, that will lead to a healthy society...the Cheshire Cat told me so. This leads to a world full of the Queen of Hearts screaming 'off with their head!' The deafening roar drowns out any and all signs of sanity.
The very same activities lauded on TV (sex and violence) are condemned when the wrong person does it. Actors who are anti-gun don't mind shooting dozens of people in their movies. Then again these are same people who warn us of global warming (or climate change or whatever the blazes they call it now) and will leave one of their many mansions, hop on private jets, and to go to conferences to let us know how seriously we need to take it. I guess there is no Skype in Wonderland. The same people upset with the vulgar talk of someone they don't like are the same people scooping up vulgar entertainment like 50 shades of Grey. The same people who don't think I have any business in their bedroom are the same people who want to hand me the bill for what happens there and what happens as a result of there. There is no such thing as responsibility or accountability in this place either.
There is nary a field not tainted by this subjective climate. Even within churches we see people screaming that we need to preach against sin, unless, of course, we touch on their sin. That is off limits and hurtful because, you know, we're like...judging them. My neighbors sin is more sinful than my sin. Yeah, that makes sense. Insanity reigns.
So where is sanity to be found? Where is the exit from this nightmarish wonderland? Truth. Objective truth. It is a sane place where the sin I need to correct is my own. It is a place where actions and words need to be in tandem. It is a place where narcissism is replaced with love. Love is a virtue, a theological virtue at that. Where truth is, virtue is. Where virtue is, truth is. Virtue raises us above the circus of subjectivity and sets us into a place that is steady and sure. If we want out of wonderland, it will come from cultivating faith, hope, love, fortitude, wisdom, justice, and temperance. These are the things authentic Christian faith calls us to grasp and live. God gives us the grace to do these things.
I am personally weary of wonderland. We all should be. We need to put our love of being offended aside. We have to admit that the world doesn't conform to my wishes. Reality has no duty to readjust based on the whims of my (or anybody's) personal fiats. Instead of entertaining ourselves with vice and getting drunk with our indignation of other people's vices, perhaps that time and energy would better spent pursuing virtue. I do believe most will be pleasantly surprised at the peace and unity such a stable world view brings.