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    Re: Addendum...
    Posted by BrianC on May 12, 2004, 4:13 pm
    141.168.118.148

Raphael,
I don't disagree with that. I would not deny that there are some people on the left who think in an excessively political framework. One of the features of so much of life in the contemporary Western world is that nearly everything is analysed in a political context.

Within the Church though I think the true liberals are largely a spent force. That is not the future. By "liberal" in this context, I mean people who are basically seeking to conform the Church to secular culture and who would seek an easing of any rules simply because the rules are too difficult to live out.

The points I was making need to be read in the context that I was speaking of the significant intellectual forces or paradigms that, it seems to me, are driving things within the Church at the moment. I am arguing that the major division is not conservative vs liberal – as it might have been in the 1970s and 1980s – but is now largely a dualism of people who want to analyse everything through a political lense (and they are predominantly conservative) and those who are fed up to the back teeth of everything being analysed in a political context. To them the more important question is not one of "what's my side's 'position' on this issue?" but "what's the real truth of this situation as reflected in people's hearts? What's the Spirit saying to humanity, or me, here (on whatever the particular question happens to be)?" That position is very threatening to those operating in a conservative political context. For evidence of that just read Maggie's many comments about her worry that people will go off following their own whims and feelings. They, I submit, tend to try and categorise all those who do not think like them as "liberals", even "nihilists" or "agents of the Devil". I would further submit, they largely do that simply because they cannot understand any other frame of reference other than an excessively political one. They cannot imagine being able to think other than in an "us and them" political context.

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