Pluralism in religious matters is the doctrine of what I refer to as The Atomic Church of Me.
If all religions are equal, none more valid than any other, I can simply pick whichever one I like or make up my own: The Atomic Church of Me. It is an alien way of thinking which is becoming the majority view, thanks in part to High Priestess Oprah.
You don’t hear the Bible quoted much on TV in America today, but if you do, you can bet your life it will be this verse: “Judge not, lest ye be judged”. You can wear dental floss underwear to church in America today, but God forbid you “pass judgment” on someone doing so.
What to do about it?
Well, we can start by learning how to think and reason.
Since our schools no longer teach such things, we’ll have to take a different tack.
What I try to do is break down my arguments very simply, number them, and explain them as though talking to a small child. This is not because people on this forum are stupid—far from it. It is because many of us have never learned argumentation, logic, or even English composition. That is not our fault. We paid our taxes and received Political Correctness instead of Education in return.
Catholics have two advantages here. The first is that our schools are far superior to public schools, chiefly because they educate rather than babysit. The second is that the Catholic Church has been under assault since its inception and has had to develop its rhetorical and logical muscles. If you read any Catholic literature, you can absorb these skills by osmosis even if you’ve never had the pleasure of being tortured by a Jesuit schoolmaster.
We can model these argumentation and critical thinking skills for others. We can also demand that they respond in kind. Americans are naturally competitive and resent to the marrow the notion that they are average even if the Pluralists demand they be.
Once critical thinking skills exist and are exercised, a curious thing happens—one begins to separate the excellent from the mediocre. One begins to develop taste.
Taste is the Kryptonite of pluralism.
As my wife and I began to investigate Catholicism, we rediscovered high church music. It is hard to go back to bubblegum pop when you’ve heard Beethoven’s 9th Symphony or Bach’s Cantatas or Verdi’s operas. In a way, discernment ruins your ability to tolerate mediocrity.
It can be hard at first. It’s easy to simply believe someone who prefers Warhol to Michelangelo to be a fool. It is not a matter of preference, but one of taste. If someone’s incapable of differentiating between the transcendent art that is the Sistine Chapel and Day-Glo colored soup cans, it is very easy to dismiss them as madmen.
Instead, we need to expose them to the finest art of our civilization. Shakespeare. Dante. Da Vinci. Raphael. Rembrandt. Mozart. Augustine. Aquinas.
Every work of genius underscores the sublime potential of the human mind and erodes the mediocre. It hones judgment.
And judgment annihilates pluralism.