I honestly think Marshall McLuhan is one of the brightest people that ever lived and he was devout Catholic. I learned that he was agnostic and converted to Catholicism–and being agnostic myself–I was very curious why such a genius would become Catholic of all things. So I read “The Medium and the Light” and I found my answer. He wrote:
“Had I not encountered Chesterton I would have remained agnostic for many years at least. Chesterton did not convince me of religious truth, but he prevented my despair from becoming a habit or hardening into misanthropy. He opened my eyes to European culture and encouraged me to know it more closely. He taught me the reasons for all that in me was blind anger and misery.”
It seems by studying G. K. Chesterton, Thomas Aquinas, and James Joyce he inevitably converted. But it doesn’t say exactly what convinced him of that religious truth, just what opened him up to it… which brings me to my question.
How loosely can Catholicism be interpreted? Surely as a convert he struggled with some of what the Bible says and surely he didn’t interpret everything literally. But at the same time if you start questioning Catholic teaching too liberally, doesn’t that just make you a protestant? I though Catholicism was one of those things you swallowed the whole pill or not at all… no derivatives? Maybe I’m wrong.