The Personalist Project

Accessed on September 21, 2023 - 4:39:24

The sudden moral inversion

Katie van Schaijik, Mar 07, 2013

Two small incidents yesterday brought starkly home the society-wide moral inversion that seems to have happened in the blink of an eye, though, in truth, it's the outcome of a decades-long, aggressive propaganda campaign.  

Our littlest was home from public school (for a teachers-in-service day, whatever that is), so Jules took him and a couple of friends bowling and then to lunch at Chik-fil-A.   One of the friends, a sweet boy from a lovely, dedicated family, was especially excited to be going to Chik-fil-A for the first time in ages.  His family never goes there anymore, he said, "because they're anti-gay."  It's a matter of principle.

I have cousin born just nine days before me.  We were very close growing up.  Now we live in different worlds.  She's a senior editor at a major fashion magazine in Manhatten.  But we still email each other affectionately on our birthdays.  Hers was yesterday, so I sent her the usual note, telling her I would have her and all her intentions in my heart at  Mass.  She wrote back and said she hoped to see me next month at our cousin's wedding.  He is marrying his boyfriend.  I think all the aunts and uncles and cousins will be there, except us.  They all went to the knot-tying ceremony of his sister and her lesbian lover last fall.

I am guessing that all these aunts and uncles and cousins feel that showing up and being supportive is obviously the morally right thing to do.  I suspect they look on our declining to go with disapprobation.  They think we are judgmental and bigoted and harsh and cold. 

How have things come to this pass?  How is it possible that a large family, raised Catholic, is evidentally convinced that they are doing something good and right by witnessing and treating a same-sex-marriage, as if it's no different from all the other weddings of the cousins over the years?

Even more, how has it happened that those who take a stand in defense of natural marriage are so widely repudiated as bigots and hate-mongers—no better than the racists of the Jim Crow era?  To distinguish between marriage and homosexual liaissons is understood to be not just unreasonable, but morally backward, even shameful.

This morning I came across this story, about a Pastor at a Catholic Parish, who removed a portrait of Pope Emeritus Benedict from his Church.  Here is how he explained himself in the the parish bulletin:

Two weeks ago, after Pope Benedict XVI had announced to the world that he would be resigning the office of Peter as of February 28th, I put the Pope’s picture, that usually hangs in the rectory, in the church. A handful of people told me that they would rather it not be there. They explained that the feeling was while he was Pope, as well as his time as a Cardinal, Pope Benedict had made hurtful and hateful statements regarding the LGBT Community and thus, his picture should not be placed on the altar of MHR. I was also warned, many parishioners would walk out of Sunday Mass if the picture was not removed. I spoke with a close priest friend of mine, and even though both of us were saddened by this, the wisest course, I felt, was to remove the Pope’s picture.

So, a picture of the Pope is banished from a Catholic Church, because some parishioners found his treatment of the LGBT Community too morally offensive to be borne.

The Pastor goes on to elaborate what he sees as the proper Christian response in situations like this:

I continued to think and pray about this and started to think about the bigger picture: How do we deal with the Pope, the Archbishop, Priests, Family and Friends that don’t understand or accept us as we are? Do we banish them from our lives, or do we pray as Jesus did while dying on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” I think in learning to forgive, and embrace the Pope and the Church, even when they don’t accept us, we learn to do the same for our own family and friends, and in the end, grow to be more accepting of our own failures and limitations. I find that forgiving people’s shortcomings, including the Pope’s, makes it easier for me to forgive my own shortcomings.

The failure to endorse homosexual behavior—to treat it as perfectly normal and wholesome—is here simply assumed to be a moral shortcoming on the part of the Pope and the Church.  By a priest.

It's not only that what is immoral is deemed acceptable, but that to call it immoral is deemed reprehensible.  In the mainstream.

We are rapidly de-composing from a Post-Christian society into an anti-Christian society.