The headline will certainly be declared “offensive” (or other similar terms) by Leftwingers, but, as an individual who is Catholic and a Christian — I do not declare those identities as separate or conflicting in any way, and if anything, “Catholic” is a subservient term to “Christian” (though I am not Protestant, I refer to Christianity as Catholicism and theologically, vice-versa) — the whole “being Catholic” claim while misrepresenting Catholicism that I continue to encounter in Leftwing media and from Leftwing culture is of the utmost insult to me as a Christian.
The Church, by the Left who fancy themselves as “being Catholic” but revile Biblical statements, concepts and very important aspects of Catholic theology included, is used by liberals (by Democrats nearly all of them if not all of them because the Democratic Party encourages this demeanment of more profound principles in lieu of embracing accusing holiness of being “wrong”) to counter Christ and Christianity by wearing that “I’m a Catholic” face but advocating (and continuing to vote for) evil.
All of us as Christians can rely on the default position that if we believe in Jesus Christ as Savior, then, we’re covered. But then there are those among mostly the Left who amplify that perspective as such: ‘all that sin-stuff is secondary and inconvenient, is to be ridiculed’. I read this constantly from Democrats as they either declare it directly or allude to it by promoting that which places awareness of sin as secondary and silly, sorta’ like what is old-timey and to be ridiculed as uncool, all of that that one doesn’t need to be concerned about if even think about because it’s part of the frame of mind that’s not trendy; it’s not cool to be concerned about it, in other words, it’s the “crazy people” or “rightwinger” “fundamentalists” who think about “all that” and, it won’t make you popular with the cool people, or so their perceptions reveal.
If one minimizes or even dismisses the perception that sin affects our lives, or can, then one dismisses the awareness that we are all sinners and are frequently in need of forgiveness and departure from that which is sinful or causes us to sin. It’s much easier, then, to ignore “all that” and just move on, select out on political, cultural and expedient or even entertaining basis and remain apart from the spiritual lessons involved in looking deeper into activities, thoughts and our behaviors.
But recognizing sin is not a ticket to remain sinful, to engage in sin, to excuse it away. The challenge is to overcome that which is sinful, and in order to do that, sin has to be defined. If you don’t accept that sin exists, then, there’s no need not to engage in it, in other words, or to live by other means that avoid that which is sinful. Easy to live life when “it’s all good” in that sense, but it’s actually all bad in more specific details, like mold under a beautiful rug that no one looks under, or refuses to lift and clear.
Being a Liberal is not complimentary to being a Christian if for the one area of how Liberal culture changes one’s general outlook: being happy (cool, culturally popular, ‘accepted’ by some in-crowd culturalism) in a Liberal world is being irreverent to certain grave issues that aren’t fun to think about, be concerned about and certainly not easy to justify honoring when not honoring those things is so much easier to a “happy” life — it’s easier to not get involved with the theological with any specifics more complicated that attendance, doing regiments, performing the rote routines. For example, the word, “tolerance,” is often heard among that crowd, you are only as “happy” (and collectively “popular”) as you are “tolerant” and “tolerant” seems to be contiguous with denying that sin exists. If you tolerate sin, you’re not objecting to it, your comfort zone is not in doing alternative to it, your “choices” are to chose, by default, the sin and not the renewal without it.
Then there’s culture: Liberal culture will always reward ridiculing the concern about sin, and that includes ridiculing the knowledge that sin exists. You aren’t very popular among a Leftwing-majority-populated-culture if you’re Conservative, even if as a Conservative you may not be Christian. You define where your priorities are when your area of greatest concern (and greatest threat to one’s “happiness,” therefore) is one of how popular you are in a Leftwing culture, by Leftwing definitions of popularity; it places Christian theology beneath the feet, renders Christ, indeed, some sort of ghost or vapor or possibility or member of the group in ordinary terms, it removes the identity of Savior from Christ and in doing so, removes the culpability of sin from one’s awareness: you don’t need salvation, sin isn’t all that bad and Christ as Savior isn’t necessary.
The point being that to think as a Leftwinger, you come to accept ridiculing a great deal of serious issues as also ridicule those who believe they are serious issues, with the area of theology included but not necessary to the mix, because culture is king.
I’ve encountered more Leftwingers who love the idea of claiming to be Catholic who also declare that they are non-supportive in a genuine and life-affecting way among culture and among their daily lives of the very idea that sin even exists, who maintain that the Church’s theology that acknowledges sin (and defines it) (as does the Bible) is “antiquated” (or is thereby, generally, that which they reject, refuse to acknowledge and/or honor, which they cast aside or otherwise subjugate on their list of what’s important and what isn’t).
Ask any of these how it is they can continue to advocate for and support the Democratic Party — that advocates by Party platform very grave sins, indeed, when viewed through Christian (and Catholic) theology — and they’ll start telling you instead just how “ardent” they are as Catholics, IF they even respond at all (that cold-shoulder response is pretty common, too): they try to step aside their culpability for and with sin, they inevitably avoid the very thought of such an “idea” (that sin is a human construct or some such humanistic argument) and start promoting the self and culture, their self in that culture, as king, in other words. Their treasure lies in the worldly, humanistic, in the political, yet is cloaked in ceremony and falsehoods presented in acts of the theologically offensive.
About those acts, they do so love the ceremonies of the Catholic Church and all that “religiosity” of “being Catholic” and a great deal of shared culture among all that with others who also enjoy the “being Catholic” thing. But mention the area of “sin” and identify specific cultural areas and processes of sin they are supportive of — directly or indirectly — and they’ll walk away or start yelling.
So the Church does attract a great deal of ceremony-worldly folks who think they’re fine for another six days as long as they sit in a pew and hold a rosary or write a check but don’t want to be bothered by all that non-cool stuff.
You upset evil when you address it. It gets offended, or it gets huffy, or yells or even screams at you, it isn’t “happy” when it’s identified or held out for objection and condemnation. Evil gets upset when you see it if your view of it is objectionable, otherwise, it’s quite alluring and loves to purr, to “be Catholic” and all that, to declare it’s “a committed Catholic,” or, “a committed Christian” or “an ardent Catholic” or similar unnecessary dressings in order to continue to try to hide it’s true nature. One is either Catholic or not, Christian or not, but one isn’t either or both of those by culture or inheritance from someone else’s relationship with Christ (and with the Church), one is in a relationship with Jesus Christ or one isn’t, individually.
As a Catholic, I can’t say I’m judge and jury of all that is but I do apply a Biblical standard to behaviors and beliefs and I take those standards seriously. When I encounter people on the Left, among Democrats or otherwise, who are eager to promote themselves as “being Catholic” who then go on to proclaim support and advocate for behaviors, issues, beliefs that are non-Biblical, or, are identified in the Bible as evil, as sinful in nature or offensive to God, decried and denounced by Christ, well, then, as a Christian, as a Catholic, I don’t feel hate for those and them, but I do engage in personal judgement, an evaluative process by which I select for that which is supported by the Bible and I select against that which isn’t; the defining point is Christian theology and the recoiling from sin that I express as to what’s “in my house” spiritually and what I opt to close the door on or never open the door for in the first place.
And then I pray for people who present sin as holiness. I make a point of including them in my prayers whether or not I’m weary and fall asleep in the process or not. But I don’t then embrace their beliefs as my own for the simple reasons I’ve just identified: one can define sin, what is evil and what is not, by what God tells us He deems to be evil, sinful, and what He inspires in holiness. Which means each of us while in this world continue to encounter the bad and the good in every moment of our lives but God asks us to apply our faith in Him (with, say, the toolbox being Jesus Christ) as the Bible and God’s Holy Spirit reveal to us how it is and why God declares what He declares. Faith is a gift from God; and works without faith may still be used by God in His grand methodology (and often are, God can use evil for good and does so, many times over), but our works are meaningless in and of themselves when they lack charity, or, that love that God defines as charity, faith made manifest in how we act, what our choices and behaviors are and for what purpose.
Unfortunately, there are a range of people who love “being Catholic” who follow a culture but reject the Biblical, the theology of the Church. Their faith is in “being Catholic” and not in being Christian, not in the Biblical sense, if even being, actually, Catholic at all (rejecting the theology of the Church does place one outside the boundaries of who is Catholic and who is not, even if one’s doing the ceremonies involved). The Biblical sense, in my experience with persons of this sort, is inconvenient to them, and is rejected as being part of that “rightwing” culture they also reject.
In other words, they are culturally affixed to some sort of “being Catholic” aspect to human life that oftentimes has little to do with Christianity and everything to do with being a Leftwinger, politically activating a culture to pursue a political goal. There are numerous persons of this kind among Democrats, who also then support and rationalize evil (such as theft, lying, abortion, sexual and other physical behaviors such as exhibit the devaluation of human life — when at it’s most vulnerable and otherwise — and other corruptions in amorality such as Marxism, the forceful taking away of others’ property to redistribute as one wants and often for corrupt incentives) but are quick to point out how they are “ardent Catholics” — Nancy Pelosi, Sonia Sotomayor, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, Kathryn Sebelius, so many more like these, come to mind here, persons who actively support and lecture on why that-which-they-deny-is-sinful is somehow meritorious for those-who-deny-sin-exists. Since these and others like them present themselves as Catholics, make quite a public doing of such, then, they are evaluated on that basis as to the decisions and declarations they make.
Unfortunately, the Catholic Church has a large segment of those “cultural Catholics” from among the Leftwing and I hold the Church accountable for that, for poorly leading many in the U.S. as to the difference between culture and faith, between culture and theology. In the Church’s effort to try to inspire Catholics to organize culturally to implement principles of faith, it has diminished if not entirely left behind the more important education and that is the theological such that sin in action has replaced faith principles in many with a Leftwing political fervor, and sin wins when there’s that vacuum of belief in principles of faith. The Bible tells us this is so (Matthew 12: 43-45).
Persons such as these who are “being Catholic” enact the pretense of holiness by cultural works but not holiness in reality, as if organizing toward increased Socialism is what Jesus Christ is all about. He isn’t that, He is about personal salvation and a great deal of that on that individual level is about life by faith, salvation by faith, not by works, not by works alone. Works are great, Christ asks us to do a great deal of good works but only those works that reflect His ideals and not with the expectation that those works represent salvation.
“Faith without works is dead.” The Bible tells us that. And the Church isn’t about doing works to represent, or, worse, replace faith, replace salvation through faith — it’s not supposed to be by it’s theology — but the culture of Leftwing-ism has greatly replaced the Church’s theology by casting theology aside as inconvenient or “embarrassing” to Leftwing culture: if the culture is king, Christ isn’t.
However, the Bible also tells us that salvation is not found by works and works alone. Faith is primary and there’s a great cultural argument, unfortunately, by predominantly the Left as to the importance of works and works alone. Faith is the path to salvation — “without faith” one perishes.
A person fraught with works their entire life-long who lacks faith (in God, in Christ, in the theology that instructs toward faith in the Holy Trinity) lacks, in the New Testament definition of the process, lacks salvation at least as salvation through belief in Christ is defined. God’s limitless so there are limitless possibilities of God declaring eternal life upon he or she who may have worked outside the theological box, I do recognize, but that also I believe that God’s our judge and about that, He does give us a road map as to what He intends for us, either eternal life or not, and how He evalutes and why He does, and he does advise those with faith in Him as to how to judge and why. “Judge not lest ye be judged” is not a caution not to judge or evaluate or arrive at a decision, as the Left continues to opine, it is a caution that by our measure applied we will receive: by our standards applied, used, we will receive those same applied standards.
“Works” known only to God are not reduced in righteousness because they lack publicity in human culture. “Works” are how our faith is evidenced to God by our behaviors. No bad tree produces good fruit, in other words, and our fruit as people of faith is our “works” and vice-versa. If one is involved in advocating for and about evil — easy if you don’t think it exists and especially if it’s rewarding in a material and egotistical sense — and one proclaims oneself to be righteous by works, one isn’t righteous, one is a liar. In other words, non-redeemed, an advocate of sin, offensive to God.
The Left, instead, exemplifies a sort of “look at my great works, look at me, fund my works, give me applause (money, power and fame) for all my works, get on my Works Train or you’re a loser” concept of what Christian and Catholic theology is, but that’s not it, not at all, because that’s vanity, that’s humanism beating it’s chest, that’s the evil that God says we are to avoid. And that is very commonly what motivates and/or characterises Leftwing politics, particularly Socialism such as Marxism and Communism: a claim to some sort of righteousness by works alone (while the works are also, often, demeaning of Christian theology which addresses and is aimed at the individual, not the collective mass, and, if anything, cautions against the false message of the appeal of the collective mass and as I am also addressing in this post). There is a place for collectivism in Catholic theology, but the Church also, as recently as with Pope Benedict’s presence in the Papacy, remains quite decidedly outspoken in it’s opposition to Marxism.
The Church isn’t a government, it’s not a politic and the Pope is not a ruler in either sense. He’s a shepherd at Christ’s command for the souls of mankind. The Church, then, is that pasture in which Christ shepherds us. We can jump the fence, herd together against His call and otherwise follow someone or something else around, but, the issue of the Church is not one of advocating for evils nor calling sin something great just because it’s enthusiastically embraced by a majority of people. But such is the political process of late, unfortunately, by the Leftwing among whom can be found many of these “cultural Catholics” or “cafeteria Catholics” as they’re called — people who allege to be Catholic but who pick and chose what they will and won’t accept from among the Church’s theological beliefs.
About those hapless, beguiled or perhaps disturbed persons is Kathleen Kennedy Townsend who wrote this wretchedly evil article — an author dressed in evil-wears-a-happy-face attire — in Newsweek, exemplifying just how debased a soul can be and a mind be so terribly misinformed, as also those described in that article who advocate such evil-as-the-good when culture is the new religion and the Church is expected to follow along: when the culture is king, Christ isn’t.