Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Catholic Carnival Clash

Nathan at Fides, Spes, Caritas reacts to the negative reaction his Catholic Carnival entry critical of the Pope received. Apparently a few conservatives swore off the carnival thing until guidelines are put in place to prevent heretics from polluting the waters.

I understand where the conservatives are coming from, believe it or not. In my staunchly conservative days, it riled me to no end that liberals felt they had to butt into conservative territory. "Can't they just live us alone!!!" I think most liberals/progressives (not the same in my book but another discussion) like dialog and are accepting of varied viewpoints. For instance, I used to "frequent" approved tridentine masses a while back (about once a month), and so I'd follow what was going on in that Catholic slice of life. And the word on the street among these folks, who were very, very, very conservative, was that you had a better chance of getting an indult tridentine mass approved if you were dealing with a liberal Bishop than with a conservative Bishop. Why? Because liberals don't have a set way, "Your way is just fine," we say.

Now, I actually just found out about these Catholic carnivals (I know, what cyber planet have I been on). I think I found out a carnival or two ago and I was very surprised to see that Nathan had submitted entries. My surprise stems from the fact that it is not a secret that St blogs is very, very, very conservative. And I was worried that sooner or later, it'll turn ugly.

Here's my theory about these attempts at dialog reflected in the story of the scorpion and the duck.

The scorpion needed to cross the river but needed help. He asked the duck to take him across.

"Oh no, Mr Scorpion. If I carry you across on my back, you'll sting me and I'll drown."

"But," said the scorpion, "If I sting you, then we'd both drown. Now, why would I do that?"

Mr Duck thought for a minute and it made sense. And so they went, scorpion on duck's back. Half way through the journey the scorpion stung the duck and as they were both drowning the Duck with much difficulty and the pain of betrayal asked, "Why did you sting me? Now, we're both drowning."

The scorpion replied, "I'm a scorpion. That's what I do."

The moral of the story? Don't carry scorpions across the river, or if you do, get inflatable vests (for one and let the damn scorpion drown) and a strong antidote.

Anyway, back to the carnival thing. If a liberal ever wants to engage with conservatives, the bottom line is that the conservatives involved have to want it. It can't be forced. The conservative crowd is one mean spirited crowd and the less mean spirited ones are afraid of the vitriolic ones. Dissent is not tolerated as the vicious patrol the territory seeking out traitors.

Now, Nathan has "declared war" on conservatives. I feel his pain, but I hope he just leaves them alone and moves on. Or maybe the phrasing is too strong for what he actually intends. For instance, for years I have sworn to call a spade a spade and I do not mind saying nasty things about conservatives or the pro-life movement, if I believe they are true or correct. That maybe taking the gloves off, but "declaring war" signifies a desire to destroy the opposition. Nathan, Republicans do that kind of thing, liberals don't. As much as don't like the opposition, we, more than others, understand that the world is not monolithic, and diversity in idealogy is not a bad thing.

I think Nathan has done the moderate and progressive Catholic community a huge service by forming that Alliance of moderate and progressive blogger's ring. That's how you strike back, be positive, build yourself up, don't obsess with the opposition, they aren't worth it and it'll only ruin your soul. If you feel that carnivals are good and you want to be part of one, then start one. Actually, Nathan does not need a lesson in taking initiative, I think his efforts speak for themselves.

I hope Nathan doesn't get too riled up by this. St blogs is hornets nest and you will get stung if you wander around too much. The conservatives don't like the liberals and this liberal does not like conservatives and we are wonderful community just radiating the love and unity of Christ without reserve, a true testament to God's love in Christ (swelling music--forte). I think this is one of those things were it's like a city and everyone sticks to their part of town and you enter the other parts at your own risk.

To conclude, I am going to sing one of my favorite songs:

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me
Let there be peace on earth da da da (i forget the words)
to live each moment. . .(what the heck are you looking, haven't you ever seen someone get into a song before?)
to love each moment, . . something, something, each moment . . . eternally
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.


Blogger Nate said...

It's Fides, Spes, Caritas. :)

I'm not actually going to go to war with conservatives; I was just extremely angry.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Steve Bogner said...

I left the St Blogs parish a year or more ago, very disappointed with the tone of many of the blogs and conversations going on there. I just didn't want to be associated with all that. It works for some people, and that's great for them. But it doesn't work for me.

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Mark said...

Steve Bogner said it well. I left St. Blog's Parish in late October of last year and have not returned. The unpleasant and relentlessly accusatory tone of much of what I read there was appalling.

2:52 PM  
Blogger ~m2~ said...

i have only participated in two and am uncertain, after all the hooey of this past one (no offense, nathan, i don't know you nor do you know me --- i was embroiled in the emails because i was a participant) if i will ever do so again.

it's not only conservative, but it is also quite traditional and i am not so sure i fall under that guideline, either.

in any event, i enjoy finding others through blogs (like mr. bogner's) i post on and am happy to have found ono here.


10:46 AM  

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