Wednesday, May 22, 2013
How Catholics Think Differently
It seems somewhat silly to quote someone who was quoted in a magazine which quoted his words from yet another magazine, however when something is said well, it deserves to be spread around.
In the latest edition of First Things magazine, it quoted Scottish philosopher John Haldane’s interview as printed in 3:AM Magazine. Haldane, speaking about how Catholics think differently (or at least differently than the liberals at 3:AM Magazine), said: “Catholics learn … to draw distinctions.” The distinctions, for example, “between the value of an office and the quality of its occupants; the content of the message and the character of the messengers; the dignity of persons and the wrongfulness of human actions; adherence to truth and tolerance of disagreement among truth-seekers; and between what is attainable naturally and what requires grace.”
I’ve never read a more precise, succinct description of true Catholic thinking.
On another matter, if you are a reader of quality thinking, you might also like another article at the beginning of the June edition of First Things. It speaks about the decline of Solidarity between the top 20% of American society and the bottom third, a growing gap on moral, cultural, and social issues. “Today’s cultural elites promote a nonjudgmental ethos that often makes ordinary people embarrassed to express strong moral views. The result is often tepid, tentative exchanges by people fearful of sinning against political correctness.” And then it states this: “The successful upper middle class now lives at a distance from everyone else. This distance cannot be overcome by increasing taxes on the rich, because it’s a social as much as an economic gap that separates us. In fact, it’s a dangerous temptation to imagine that redistributing wealth suffices.” What I think the author is saying is that what once was valued in this country (by those who worked their way to the top) as the “Protestant work ethic” has been replaced with a “work ethic,” in which religion (Protestant or otherwise) contributes to no meaning or value in one’s life. The article is correct in stating that passing money around will not solve that problem.