Thursday, September 30, 2010

Where's the Catholic?

Some may have noticed that the subheading of my blog is Dave Griffey's CATHOLIC musings... Well, some may ask where the heck is the Catholic part of the musings. The answer is all around. It's in my answers. It's the canvas upon which I try to pain my worldview. The lens through which I understand reality. I am not an apologist. That's too dangerous for me. A wise professor in my Protestant seminary days challenged us to be great apologists, or don't be apologists. The temptation to exploit the faith to drive home preferences, to use it to browbeat others, or sometimes simply to misunderstand things (no one knows everything about every subject in the faith) is to great. So I simply go another direction.

That's not to say I don't feel I have any insights. I've studied theology from a Protestant POV for almost 20 years, and have been studying history for over 30. I've taught history, Bible, theology, and Church history. I've also been a pastor, and have approached the faith from a more pastoral side, seeing the faith not merely as some path to salvation through the logically superior adherence to philosophical algorithms. Rather, I see it as a journey toward an eternal relationship with the living God. I, like anyone, should be prepared to give an account for my hope in Christ Jesus. Naturally, I think there are times when a straight discussion of the Church, the Catholic Faith, or Christianity is in order. But as often as not, it is seeing the world and reflecting on the paths I believe we are going, born of a concern founded on the teachings of the Catholic Faith as well as I understand it, that shows up.

Personally, I could care less about homosexuality. I never thought it was the natural human way, because I never believed - even as an agnostic - that humans were merely glorified animals and could appeal to the animal kingdom to justify our desires. But I could personally care less. But as a Catholic who believes based on the Catholic Faith that morality is not open to my subjective opinions, I must therefore be concerned with the militant and fanatic zealotry to suppress the opinions and beliefs of those who do not conform to the dogmas of the gay rights movement.

Likewise, abortion rights. Even as an agnostic, I got squeamish thinking that human life could be so cheaply and lightly defined at a woman's personal whim. I also noted that most talk about abortion was about rape and incest, yet most of it happened in the realm of convenience. In addition, most kids I knew in college who supported it did so in order to get laid without fear of inconvenient babies interfering with the cocktail hour. Such a cheap and shameful manipulation of the definition of human life - abortion in order to have care free libido satisfaction - almost made Hitler's master race theory seem to be half way honorable, if that were ever possible.

And yet, I still didn't care. Let the world burn if it wants to, what a woman wants to do is her business, not mine. But as a Catholic I cannot so lightly toss aside inconvenient immorality. For it is not mine personally, but God's eternal Truth that is at stake. So I must have opinions, be involved, and do what I can for the least of these in the service of promoting the Good News of Christ Jesus.

So the things I post are Catholic musings, because I am Catholic. And because many of the things I write about and post about are from my Catholic beliefs, my Catholic life, and my commitment to try to live more and more based upon the teachings of the Catholic Church. And the things that catch my attention are those which threaten the Truth as I believe it, or threaten to place me or my children between conforming to some godless philosophy, or obeying the Truth of Christ as revealed through His Church.

So don't expect long apologetic treatises, though I will toss some out here and there. Expect more my observations on a culture dying, spinning out of control, and quickly on a path toward putting those who would be loyal Americans and faithful Christians on a collision course. Observations from years of pastoral care and decades of studying various historic, theological, and cultural issues. This is why I have this blog, to sort things out. Others are more than welcome to join in and comment as they see fit. I will no doubt learn from their insights and questions. But I must do all of this because I know it won't be me, or anyone old enough to read this blog who will be effected. It will be my children and their children who will pay the price of our contemporary crisis - as is always the case.

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