Saturday, September 03, 2016

Calling leaders 'moderate' only abets the enemy's desire to sanitize evil and marginalize faithful Catholics

William Doino, Jr., "The Myth of the Moderate Catholic" (First Things, August 29, 2016:
If there is one word Christians should be wary of, in the political and religious spheres, it is “moderate.” Though it denotes a prudent, middle-of-the-road approach to contested issues, “moderation” is often ascribed to people who hold very immoderate views.

The mainstream media, for example, frequently describe politicians who endorse every aspect of the culture of death and ongoing sexual revolution as “moderates.” It’s not difficult to understand why: Doing so helps sanitize the enormous evil of abortion and promote a do-as-you-please morality—exactly what the media desire.

In the religious sphere, “moderate” is frequently applied—albeit inconsistently and for different reasons—to Catholic bishops who speak out for social justice, but who are also strongly pro-life and pro–traditional marriage. Again, the reasons are obvious: Championing the supposed “moderate” side of Catholicism will, as the media see it, delegitimize “conservatism” within the Church, and thus weaken the Church’s repressive and outdated moral teachings.
Together with Joseph's comment beneath the posted article:
Christian moderates of all stripes have forgotten Christ's own words.

For example, "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household."

Surely, Jesus desires that the whole world would be at peace and that all could share in God's glory, but he also understood that truth is radical. Truth is divisive and exclusionary by its nature. When he said that "nobody comes to the Father except through me," he meant it. The way, the truth, and the life is just one path - the only path.

When "moderates" attempt to soften what they perceive as the rough edges of Christianity, they are only eroding the truth to conform to human standards. Any heart changed by Christ knows that it works precisely the other way around.

What's worse is that this watering down of the message minimizes the sacrifice of the cross. One wonders if we aren't soon headed for a final evolution of Christianity that does away with all that icky "sin" stuff altogether.