Thursday, November 11, 2010


Elections are well over in these parts and thank the good Lord. They were terrible. Very few candidates did not lower themselves to slinging mud all over place. It was very disheartening. Sadly, it does seem to help get people elected. But are we firing up our younger people to be excited about government? Do they feel like getting involved with a cause in which they can believe? Who wants to give up computer games, T.V. night, spending time with friends and family to choose between two people who point at each other, call the other a selfish, incompetent boob, and invite you to volunteer to work to send whichever you choose to head up that corrupt (whatever it is) government that they want to head up?

When it comes to politics, I’m not personally wed to any political party. I want someone who will go in there and work with whomever to do whatever it takes to make our city, state, and country better and I lose heart when it seems that the number one job among some elected officials when it seems they “stick to family above all else.” Sometimes I lose interest all together.

This takes place more than in politics. I was part of an organization that wanted to recognize significant figures from my family’s country of origin. There was a huge divide among the older people over who was recognized. Any person recognized was a political statement and declared that you were “siding” with someone. The younger folk scratched their heads and said, “Can’t we all just be united and recognize good works without assigning sides? Do we have to join a camp that means nothing to us and simply divides the community?”

Of course some would say yes for reasons that they find important, relevant, and visceral. Unfortunately when it is presented as, “You’re either with me or against me,” you start losing interest in people who do not have the same stake as you do and may cause them to lose interest.

So then we come to church. The days of liberal and conservative are quickly coming to an end. Chances are that if you get in much of a divisive conversation about such things with anybody under 35 (a somewhat arbitrary number, I actually think it higher) chances are that you will see a loss of interest. The argument itself will generate a certain apathy with accompanying roll of the eyes and loss of appetite for the faith. (Aren’t there more important things to debate that this?)

Taking over the liberal vs conservative debate is orthodoxy vs unorthodoxy. Is what is being debated on the Catholic playing field or not? Can we both get along and squarely call ourselves Catholic or not? That is the primary question. What is more deeply entrenched with the Tradition of the Church (not traditionalism – the deeper practices of the faith, the fundamentals) this is what starts sparking the imagination.

Do you want a young person to be excited about the faith, don’t do it by engaging in debates that divide the community. Invite them to experience the whole of the faith, be united even in our legitimate differences, do not water down the faith, give them the treasure of truth, show them the tradition, the raw earthiness of the faith and spark their interest.

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