Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

October 24, 2010

The Gospel of Tolerance

I would love to write an essay on this topic, but teaching and extracurricular activities preclude me from it right now. However, I can post, and so, here goes.

Any thoughtful Catholic is aware of the "gospel of tolerance" that is being preached by our brothers and sisters in the Church. It's the "good news" that all are invited to the table of the Lord, because we can no longer call anything a sin if it can be attributed to nature. Since God created us as we are, we should allow everyone to be as they are, and to respect their life choices, lifestyles, and life trajectories. Live and let (others) live.

Somewhere or another, people are saying that this is a central tenant of Jesus' own message and preaching.

This "gospel" is poisonous for the Christian, in that it takes something good (refraining from one person passing judgment on another person's soul) but mixes that up with evaluating and judging actions, which is in fact, a moral imperative. We are called to evaluate moral action, character, and sin so as to elevate each other and ourselves to perfection in Christ. I am hearing this "gospel" preached from the pulpit, discussed at meetings (even at reputable Catholic institutions), and of course, from my students who think that any statement on morality is a statement of intolerance, bigotry, or closemindedness.
I'm at a loss right now as to how to convey how the tolerance of Christ is not equated with moral relativism. The truth is, that Jesus does no condemn us but at the same time elevates us to perfection. It's right here, in the actual gospel. How else can we convey that "anything and everything goes" is not, in fact, what Christ says? How can we talk about nature and its proper end?

1 comment:

Mary said...

Great post!! The tolerance issue is SO hard to deal with. I feel it is not truly "tolerance" that they are advocating, but indifference. If I don't love someone, I am indifferent about what they choose or don't choose, because I ultimately don't care about them. But if I love someone, I will tolerate what they do, but I will not be indifferent to it. This is one of my favourite quotes about tolerance (Fr Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange OP): "The Church is intolerant in principle because she believes; she is tolerant in practice because she loves. The enemies of the Church are tolerant in principle because they do not believe; they are intolerant in practice because they do not love." Keep going Julian - you are such a gift to your students!!

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