Friday, November 14, 2008

Do Religious Conservatives Have Better Things To Do?

A comment from my last post got me wondering about activism. We've all been aware of the protests that usually are born out of some type of aggrieved group of people. The latest craziness from supporters of Proposition 8 in California is one such example.

Part of me would really like to do something, but what? And more importantly, perhaps - when? As I started to think about it, I thought about the tongue-in-cheek barbs that some conservatives had against liberal protestors. "Yeah, they travel all over to protest. We can't. We have these things called jobs..."

I'm beginning to think that most people have too much already to do in their life without adding protest marches on top of it. I've come to a tentative conclusion that many liberals who are unhappy (and this includes many of the older hippies), simply don't know how to be happy anymore. Life in the 60's was one big protest. They were always fighting against one thing or the other. Either it was the Vietnam War, or unfair working conditions for women, or abortion, or gay rights, or... or... or...

You know, I truly think that if the world was a perfect place, they'd be utterly miserable because there would be nothing left to protest.

Most people have families, kids to taxi to and from school and their other activities. There is work, and take-home work. There is church or synagogue or mosque and the various activities that represent one's faith. There are friends to meet, gyms to visit, and movies to watch. In essence, there is a whole big world out there that people are engaged in, and to try to take a moment away can cause all the spinning plates to come crashing down.

But another part of me is reflecting upon the words of our past President John Adams. When he was asked by the French court if he was interested in music, he replied, "I study war and diplomacy so that my sons can study commerce and agriculture…and so that my grandchildren can study the art, literature, music and the humanities."

Perhaps the time has come that we started to study war again.

6 comments:

Angela M. said...

I think it might have been Germaine Greer that said something along the same lines - even when the protestors get everything they want they will stir up trouble just to find more to protest against.

Gideon Ertner said...

Nothing to do with this particular post, but I just happened to come across your blog and I wanted to congratulate you on returning to the True Church - and not just that, but also to traditional Catholic practice as well.

I'm a former part high church, part charismatic Lutheran and only converted this spring. Initially I considered traditional Catholicism as slightly odd and old-fashioned, and I also had some reservations about certain aspects of Church teaching, but only a few months after my conversion I suddenly found myself to have turned into a quite fundamentalist Traditionalist almost on the verge of joining the SSPX (I think I'm finding some sensible middle ground now). So your story fills me with joy.

What you wrote about the mantilla has also helped me to understand this practice better. I fully appreciate that it must be extremely humbling for a modern woman to wear. In a Christian perspective, however, this is only a good thing. I sometimes wonder why men are not required to do something similar since we obviously need it more than women. But perhaps this is God's special gift to you women - by making you the silent and humble heroes of the Church (indeed, of humanity), He has prepared a special, wonderful place in the world to come for you. Even now, the awe and admiration I feel towards young, pious women who don the mantilla greatly exceeds that which I feel for almost any priest I know. Remember that Our Lord's crown was a bunch of thorn branches? The mantilla is your crown, more splendid and radiant than anything the world could ever dream up.

I don't mean to ruin your humility (I pray that God may preserve it), just wanted to confirm that you are on the right track...

Gideon Ertner said...

In relation to the above, I just want to mention that one volume of the Collected Works of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) is an anthology entitled "Woman". Haven't read it yet, but I think it's quite recommendable. St. Teresa Benedicta is without a doubt the most remarkable woman academic in history.

Mary Rose said...

Angela, isn't that the truth. Something isn't right within a person when all their passions are spent railing against the world.

Gideon, thank you for visiting and "welcome home!" I think your journey is more amazing than mine. I have a bit of history in my life to fall back upon. You're coming into it brand, spanking new!

The mantilla was something I wasn't sure about at first. However, after I had married, my husband and I had some very interesting comments about 1 Cor. 11. The more I read it and prayed about it, the more I realized it was a beautiful thing to cover my head, as a symbol of God's pattern of authority over me. Submission is required of both men and women, and God has different ways to humble us. It's a bit ironic that I came to this conclusion after my decision to return to Catholicism; while my husband (brought up Lutheran) remains "churchless."

Finally, I am not as young as many of my younger sisters in Christ. But I share your delight in seeing younger people adopt the older traditions. Amazing!

I've found great joy in re-discovering the faith of my childhood, but it would seem that it took the partial wisdom of middle age to do so. Still, I have, hopefully, the rest of my years now to catch up!

Many blessings to you. :-)

Rachel Gray said...

I also think that a protest march is a more natural thing for a liberal to resort to. Conservatives have logical argumentation; they can try to persuade others of the truth. Liberals go more for the personal attack: you're sexist, racist, homophobic, oppressive and mean if you don't agree with me, and we're so furious we're going to march until you're intimidated into submission!

I so rarely hear liberals answering the actual conservative arguments about gay marriage or abortion. In fact I'm not sure I've *ever* heard a liberal seriously try to engage the arguments! Except for one bisexual kid I knew in college who wanted to convince others to vote for gay marriage. He very politely and respectfully asked to hear my views so that he might formulate a more persuasive response to them. May God bless him; I'm going to pray for him right now. But he was the exception in his movement; mostly it's so much hate. For example I personally know of two people who lost friendships during this last election when the friends found out they didn't support gay marriage.

Lynne said...

Hate to be kind of a downer here but while we've been busy with our jobs, families, etc, our schools have been taken over. Our kids can't think, much less form coherent sentences. They are fed liberal Culture of Death stuff all day in school (pro-gay, pro-abortion). If you are able to navigate your children through high school without having them succumb to these 'principles', then you will most likely lose them (the kids) in college.

We're doing the exact same thing our parents did when all this crap started in the 60's and 70's, which is to say, nothing.