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rohr 15 dec.pdf

rohr 15 dec.pdf

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Published by John Sobert Sylvest
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Published by: John Sobert Sylvest on Jan 30, 2012
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10/09/2012

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George, I think you are spot on in recognizing the relationship between love and freedom asyou speak of choice and not using force. Also, you suggest that we should not be “toorough” on our “imperfect system” precisely because it does well nurture freedom. And thisis why there is certainly some truth in saying that God and politics do not mix because, evenwhen our political and religious goals coincide, political and religious means otherwise differinsofar as the former is inherently coercive and the latter is manifestly not.So, we could say that religion and politics do not mix “methodologically” vis a vis the meansor methods they employ. On the other hand, because we also recognize that their goals canvery much coincide, they very much do mix “axiologically” (values-related) vis a vis the goalsor values to which they aspire. So, I like to say that they are “methodologicallyautonomous” but “axiologically integral.”The nonestablishment and free exercise clauses of our 1st Amendment were intended toand actually do strengthen the influence of religion in the Public Square. In a pluralisticsociety, religions will inescapably face the challenge of translating their moral and practicalarguments into a language that is transparent to all human reason by employing a logic thatcan be understood even by nonbelievers and without appeals to explicitly religiousapologetics or authorities. This secularization process was one of the fruits of theEnlightenment, which, to some extent, went awry on the Continent and turned into aninsidious secularISM that marginalized religion in the Public Square.All that said, to me, it is sad that so many seem to view this particular aspect of religion —its moral and practical role — as its most important contribution, when this problem-solving, dualistic aspect, while not unimportant, is not at all what differentiatesChristianity’s brand in the marketplace of human ideas. Rather, it is Christianity’s nondualapproach that sets it apart vis a vis the value-added Good News that God is longing for anintimate relationship with each of us — as Abba, Daddy, Mother, Spouse, Lover, Emmanueland so on! And, as you say so well, George, there is no hint of force in this type of love!Finally, let me offer one more nuance. I place this particular blog post in the overall contextof decades of teaching by Fr. Richard. Often, like other legitimate authorities in the church,he has offered trans-partisan, meta-political critiques. This is to say that he offers us thelanguage, categories and norms for use in doing politics and not, rather, political strategiesand positions, themselves. This is a church discipline imposed on our clergy but it does notmean that the rest of us are to dualistically compartmentalize our religious and politicallives. Our catholic, both-and, nondual approach sees the opportunity for us to cooperatewith the Spirit in every realm of our existence, helping eternal values to break-out always
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