Monday, August 15, 2005

Jesus wants you for a sunbeam . . .

This is not a post to skewer organized religion. Well, maybe a little. Our favorite communis rixatrix is at it again today (August 15th), telling us how soft we've become, how pleasure seeking, and that we all need a long walk in the hot sun to rekindle our spirits of tight-assed asceticism.

It is apparent to Spotty that Katy has spent altogether too much time in the hot sun. [If this blog had audio, the background music at this point would be Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen.]

Katy like to start her columns with a deep, profound, unanswerable question, and then of course, proceed to answer it. It's a slick rhetorical trick. Here's today's:
Why such an outpouring of religious interest among young people, at a time when popular culture emphasizes pleasure-seeking, and elites view religious belief with suspicion?
You can read the whole thing titled For youth, pilgrimage is a rite of passage. Katy goes on to describe World Youth Day XX (that's twenty, not double X rated) later this month in Germany and tell of some local youth (with extravagant chaperoning of course) who will attend.

Communis rixatrix like Katy have been telling us that the youth are going to hell in a handbasket since time immemorial. They just aren't happy - if you can call it happy - unless they are pointing out someone who has slipped from their own joyless path of grace and by spreading gloom dust over everything. Not satisfied to just go off and join Opus Dei or set up a little factory to make whips for self-flagellation, the communis rixatrix needs to be sure that we are all just as damn miserable as she is.

In some circles, the gloom dust is called evangelism, or telling the good news. Just how telling most of the people in the world they are headed for hell because they aren't part of the in crowd that has been saved is good news is a concept that has always eluded Spotty, but then Spotty is not an evangelical.

Katy says that elites (this is a social conservative's code word for liberals) are suspicious of religious belief. It's not belief that's the problem, it's the practice, stupid. Americans are the most pious non-practicing (meaning social behavior) Christians on earth. Spotty really wants you to read a Harper's article that Spotty has renamed Choking to Death on the Bread of Life.

Here's another nugget from the column:
Mornings will feature religious teaching, including the chance to explore mission opportunities and talk theology with the world's bishops. Young people will remember Christ's Passion, using a giant cross that youths have carried to Germany through 26 countries. Everywhere, there will be opportunities to attend mass and participate in the Catholic sacrament of penance.
Yeah, especially if some of those youth can evade those doggone chaperones!

Katherine quotes a priest as saying:
They [the youth attending the festivities] want more than endless computer games and music.
Okay, how about taking a youth group to inner-city Chicago, an impoverished Indian reservation, or to Appalachia for a week to work on sub-standard housing? Actually do something with one's religious faith, rather than sit around and talk about how cool it is?

Okay, that's probably a little unfair of Spotty, in that some of these kids undoubtedly do the social gospel stuff, too. But still.

Spotty isn't really interested in religion that has as a main goal the dividing of the world into US and THEM. Sort of like a gang.


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