[quote=Island Oak]I had an interesting conversation with someone of a more mature generation than myself about current practice/observance of religion–particularly in public places/society. She noted that in previous generations, people participated actively (and more routinely) in their faith, but almost never discussed it outside of their own family or faith community–considering it to be rude and/or an inappropriate topic in social, much less professional settings. She went on to conclude that the current phenomenon of people “aggressively” and publicly declaring their beliefs and moral imperatives is just another indication of the decline of polite, civil society and the pervasive self-absorbed, self-centered culture in which we live.
It was a new perspective for me–particularly since it came from a very devout, life-long Catholic lady, but I think she may be on to something.
I have conflicting views. I have encountered on these boards a very absolute, almost militant strain among some posters. They justify their approach by declaring they are armed with “the truth” and routinely dismiss any disagreement as defensiveness or with some other assault on the character or faith life of dissenting posters.
[size=1]## This could be[/size] a manifestation of Fundamentalism. It
could equally well be an expression of unawareness that the intellectual life of the CC has allowed far more room for disagreement - among theological schools, for instance - than skimming through CAF fora might suggest. And after all, some people find diversity unwelcome, even threatening; especially if they have no reason to imagine it could ever be legitimate ##
Perhaps it’s merely an over-reaction to the in-your-face exposure of sexuality, materialism, self-gratification, etc. that has also permeated our society. Anyone have thoughts to offer on this issue?
Another possibility, complementing these, is that we’re talking about an expression of adolescent protest. I think it is a safe bet that once a lot of militants get a bit older, they will be much less militant - IMHO, adolescent immaturity is one cause of all this. It’s easy to be absolutely certain of everything, if one knows of no reasons not to be. This unqualified certainty about all things in heaven and earth is less easy to sustain when one is older, and, it is to be hoped, wiser. Youthful intolerance is less easy when one finds that life is rather too complicated to allow of sweeping away all the people, things, and ideas one finds offensive. Which is possibly why the idea of a Catholic state is so attractive - but that too would have no end of problems
I suspect some of this militancy can be put down to being from the US - people do seem pretty aggressive, on the whole.
The militancy may also be a reaction to the specific problems of being Christian in the US today. ##