Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Katherine Kersten's religious hypocrisy

It was a real craw sticker, all right

There has been something sticking in my craw about Katherine Kersten’s Easter Day cudgel – other than Katie herself, of course – but I couldn’t put my finger on it. It came to me today, as if in a vision.

(I wrote, incidentally, about the Easter column here, here, and here.)

You will recall – unless you’ve been better at repressing the details that I have been – that Kersten took the occasion of celebrating Easter to moan and wail about, well, let’s let Katie tell it:

The left and much of our opinion making elite want to delegitimize and privatize religion for two reasons.

First, they don't like the idea of truth -- the idea that there is, in the nature of things, a blueprint for human flourishing. They don't like the notion of moral parameters that limit our actions on matters such as cloning, stem cell use, abortion or marriage. They believe that man can make himself: that there is no "floor" to the universe.

Second, our elite's fundamental political impulse is toward collectivism. They believe the state holds the solution to every problem, and that wise social engineers can be trusted to do what's best for the rest of us.

So have you got it? Religion should be right out there on the public square, loudly proclaiming its message.

Unless you don’t agree with that message.

Almost five years ago, Kersten wrote a column complaining about religion in the public square. There’s been a lot of drivel by Katie under the bridge since then; she may have even forgotten the column. But I didn’t.

The occasion for complaint about the very public nature of religion was the consideration by the United Methodists at a conference in St. Cloud of support for gays and lesbians:

In the past, Methodist leaders have often focused on racism and sexism. This year, however, gay issues jumped to center stage. The Minnesota Annual Conference outdid itself, passing nine petitions on various aspects of the topic. The conference went on record as supporting both gay marriage and the ordination of gay clergy.

Kersten used the column (which has bitten the electronic dust at the Strib long ago, but you can read several paragraphs of it at the link above) to bash the Methodists and other mainline Christian denominations for their social activism.

Katie believes in using your religion if you do so conservatively, but not if you use it liberally.

I concluded my post on Kersten’s Methodist bashing this way; these are still words I like:

Spot says to the Methodists, stick to your guns, so to speak. If the choice is living out the words of Jesus Christ in the world, or sinking into self-absorbed ascetic wankery, the Methodists have made the right choice.

No comments: