29 July 2013


Every once in a while, I find something in print or on a blog that strikes me as particularly apt or that sparks some thought. This week, the following came from Pope Francis during his visit to Rio.
No one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world!. No amount of peace-building will be able to last, nor will harmony and happiness be attained in a society that ignores, pushes to the margins or excludes a part of itself. His Holiness Francis quoted in "How Christianity Became Cool Again" by Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush published by The Huffington Post at http://tinyurl.com/l22fa5h

Clearly the Pope has not been in touch with Paul Ryan! I think he might even be sympathetic to the views of the Nuns on a Bus! If, and I hope he has spared himself the experience, he read any of the books that dripped from the pen of Ayn Rand, he clearly was too Christian to buy the message. Congressman Ryan seems to me to have avoided being similarly afflicted.

This papacy may be very different than his predecessor's. Just in time for the press to begin asking Congressman (and would be president) Ryan about his favorite author, Ayn Rand, and his faith.

7 comments:

christal said...

I need a like button!

Malcolm+ said...

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year-old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." John Rogers

Jim said...

Thanks Christal!

Consider posting a link on your FB page!

FWIW
jimB

Jim said...

Fr. Malcolm, Exactly! Tolkien or Rand is the decision. Do we see ourselves as eternal victims, with grievances that permit us to ignore the suffering in the world (excepting our own,) permitting indeed requiring us to commit violence to truth (the "Ryan Budget,")and others? Or do we see ourselves as individuals infused with divine grace on a mystical journey?

It is a simple choice, and the Congressman and his co-conspirators I think made the wrong one.

FWIW
jimB

George Waite said...

"than his predecessor's"- what?
Or do you mean more than one predecessor and just forgot why there are apostrophes?

George Waite said...

I don't see myself as either a victim or as on a divine journey; I find both victim-hood and spirituality equally pathetic and self-limiting fantasies.
Try to avoid dualism-it's both boring and presumptuous.

Jim said...

George,

On your grammar note: I think I clearly was referring to Ratzinger's time in office. During that time, which we might style the Dark Days, free thought, liberation theology, or anything other than a constant mantra, "yes your holiness" was apt to be met with repression.

On the choice between Rand and Jesus, I agree that it is possible to make other choices including none. Some non-theistic folks are good, decent, and frequently charitable people whom I honor.

So, you do have a point. But, there is another side to it. I think one can decide to live what we dreamily call a, "Christian life" without ever becoming in some institutional way a Christian.

In our age, when a substantial number of right wing politicians and cheerleaders claim to be Christian while preaching Rand, I think things get a bit muddled.

Christianity is NOT theocratic, does not demand special privilege, does not seek hegemony, and does seek attention to the poor, the weak, and to peace.

Many people walk that road, and they are to be honored for it.

FWIW
jimB

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