Friday, March 2, 2012

Daily Show Rant.

If you're a college student, this is where you most likely get your news. Why lie? So do I
Last night's Daily Show with Jon Stewart had M. Cathleen Kaveny, of Notre Dame as the guest. According to the Notre Dame website, she's a professor of law and a professor of theology at the Law School of Notre Dame.

Click on the link to see the interview. Take your time. Watch the first part of the show where he makes fun of Catholics and contraception. Moving on. Go on, watch. I'll wait.

Done? Good. I truly appreciate some of the comments of the professor and I thought, under the circumstances, she did a fine job of explaining the Catholic position. Now here's my take:

a. Viagra. Viagra is not contraception. Viagra, I guess, can be more of an enhancement to bringing forth human life. Stewart's comment that men can use Viagra, which is covered by the insurance policies of Catholic institutions, to have sex outside of marriage is valid but Viagra in and of itself is not against Catholic moral theology. But the argument that "guys get something and women don't" doesn't wash.

b. The Church and "culture wars." Stewart's question of whether or not Catholics end up getting in culture wars with the issues of gay marriage and contraception was put-off well by the professor. However, yes, we end up in the wars but we aren't interested in civil rights. Got it? Even though the CHURCH OF THE NEW PARADIGM that DRE's have been pushing for 30 years is all about social justice, we aren't. It's embarrassing to see our Faith reduced to protesting on streets or making bumper sticker statements. The Church is not about civil rights. We are about HUMAN RIGHTS. Slavery and the oppression of black people was not a civil issue to us. It was to the secular society but not to us. It was an issue of human dignity. That's why abortion and gay marriage are secularly civil rights issues but for us human rights issues. Those bishops, priests, nuns, and others who are lukewarm on these issues may not get the difference. It's actually in the Vatican II documents. Yeah, I said it.
Before tv, people made fun of the Church with handbills.
c. The professor was saying that our Church has tried to speak to a Protestant culture. She was kind enough to say that but I would follow the dictum from one of Burgess' novels: "Catholicism is becoming Protestantism and Protestantism is becoming Atheism."  The Church is speaking to a non-Christian culture or as the professor said, a world that no longer accepts "natural law."However, in emphasizing how bad our faith comes off to the world, Stewart insinuated that the Church is polarizing, apocalyptic and triumphal in the language we use. I agree. And to his point, bishops and Church leaders, even bloggers say stupid things sometime. Or overstate a point. But that doesn't mean we are on the wrong side of an issue. We have an interest in reproduction and family life because it builds up the Church and society. And we believe no one has the right to undermine the growth of society or the Faith. That was nearly triumphal wasn't it? THE DEVIL WILL EAT OUR FACES IF WE USE CONDOMS! And that was apocalyptic.

Just for  fun.

d. Capital Punishment is mentioned. Stewart asks why a Catholic who supports the death penalty isn't denied Communion; or why a many-times divorced Catholic political candidate shouldn't be forbidden to receive the Eucharist. Capital Punishment is wrong almost all the time. Contraception and abortion, however, are wrong all of the time. We have in our moral tradition some leeway (thin, mind you) for the death penalty. However, in our faith, there's never leeway for choosing to frustrate the design for procreation or for taking the innocent life of a fetus. The professor didn't touch this but should have. Or maybe she was best off not.

Now, your moment of zen: