Sunday, May 4, 2008

"Liberal" Catholics and "Millennial" Catholics

Two points on this article from Time.

1) Maybe it is just me, but I am so tried of loose use of the word "liberal." The popular concepts of "liberals" as warmed-over socialists and "conservatives" as mini-Francos are false. Liberalism is a political philosophy that advocates the political primacy of the individual, the rule of law, the expansion of individual freedom/choice and a market-based economy. Both "liberals" and "conservatives" in the United States subscribe to this general philosophy. The differences revolve around a narrow set of practical decisions on how much and what kind of government influence should we have. "Liberals" do not advocate Communism and "conservatives" do not advocate Fascism! Too much of this discussion on Catholicism in America imports European political philosophies into our vocabulary that have NEVER been influential positions in the United States.

2) It seems to me those gray-haired activists from Call to Action have a hard time understanding us younger folk because we don't use the tool of protest. As a millennial myself, I think Tom Reese's analysis of us is correct. We generally are not a generation who wants to change the mind of authority figures, or are even really interested in telling the powers-that-be how we think and feel. We just do what we want, quickly and quietly. No big fuss to us. I notice among my peers that there is often no faster way to turn them off than to challenge their shallow precepts. It is pretty chilling actually - a generation with no real opinions and no real interest in having any.

Mason Slidell

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