Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Secular Behavior

From the high horse of The Sole Progressive World View (SPWV) today's Globey editorial page opines:
"WITH SOME bishops talking about denying Communion to Senator John Kerry, with the Massachusetts Catholic Conference alerting all 710 parishes to 'share their profound disappointment' with lawmakers who oppose the church position on gay marriage, and with President Bush, according to a church newspaper, trying to enlist Pope John Paul II to support his social positions during the presidential campaign, it is clear that the Catholic Church will be in the political spotlight for the next five months.

The church and its leaders have every right to join in political debate as long as they don't effectively endorse specific candidates, jeopardizing their tax-exempt status.

However, we hope that the church will recognize that elected officials, even those who belong to a particular church, represent all citizens in a pluralistic society. Church leaders cannot expect religious doctrine to govern secular behavior."
[emphasis mine]
Apparently according to the SPWV human behavior is divided between the secular and the religious. Possessed by such enlightenment, we need only determine in which sphere particular behaviors belong and thus whether or not our religious Faith should hold influence. Don’t you see? It’s so simple.

I recall an ancient Jewish Prophet who answered this question with an enigma saying “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, but unto God what is God’s”. He answered enigmatically because the question was posed as a trick which had no good answer. Answering yes or no to the question “Is it proper to pay taxes to Caesar?” would get you in trouble either with the Temple Priests or the Roman Empire.

This is still so today. Those among us not gifted with the ability to easily compartmentalize the secular from the sacred must make our own choices.

Nature within her inmost self divides
To trouble men with having to take sides.
-Frost

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