I'm So Pleased to See the Conversation

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That has resulted from engagement with Jcecil3's ideas. See this wonderful discussion at Disputations. Much of what Mr. Jcecil has to say is profoundly interesting. I find myself in agreement on many issues, but largely in disagreement with some of the more "controversial issues." I also tend to take exception, as I always to with the blanket labelling of "conservatives." Not all who may have a conservative bent think the same things in the same way. A great many would disagree with much of what I say in the political realm here. The same is true for liberals. But I suppose it is not so much a failing of Mr. Jcecil3 as it is with the method of engagement in political speech. Far too often we find ourselves wrestling not with ideas but with the people holding those ideas. As I will continue to say, charity extends to people, not necessarily to ideas. People must be treated with care, courtesy, kindness, and respect. Ideas need not be accorded these attentions. Hence, I find the notion of applying a label repugnant--even to the extent of labelling and idea because the tendency becomes to apply the lable to a person before dismissing them either as ill-informed or of deliberately bad will. (Although I do have to say that I am not nearly so adamant about this policy when it comes to groups whose sole purpose is to promulgate hatred and antipathy.)

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Jcecil was nice enough to link to both of us on his blog, but I also didn't like being labeled under "conservative." I want to be a prefix-free Catholic and maybe set theory can be used in this example. The set of Catholic beliefs overlaps sets that include both what are labeled conservative and liberal. I don't look toward the Republican platform for my beliefs, though I am glad that much of it overlaps into my Catholic beliefs especially pro-life. What the Church teaches and believes I hope that I also believe. I have had to modify or drop many of my more strident conservative viewpoints in favor of what the Church teaches. I hope that the Church has informed my conscience and not that my will has been overlaid onto the Church.

One thing I love about your blog Steven is the charity that you show toward others of differing opinions. This example helps me to try to do the same.


Tom - I'll amend the description of your site.

I don't intend to offend anyone. Heck, I wrote a long essay on name-calling about Mark Shea's use of nazis to describe gay activist.

I don't find the liberal or conservative label offensive (and I implied both of you were more moderate conservatives anyway).

A label is not calling a person a name, so much as trying to create an easy linguistic handle to say, I usually come from here, and you usually seem to be coming from there on the ideological level. And it never fits 100 percent on anyone.

There was a time I eschewed the label "progressive" or "liberal", and in many ways, I think there are so many Catholics who seem to agree with my positions in polls that I want to call myself "mainstream" or "moderate" sometimes.

However, I find that as I debate theology, I was labeled "progressive" or "liberal" by others who defined themselves as "conservatives", AND I found myself agreeing with those who labeled themselves "liberal" or "progressive" more often than not.

So I decided, if the label fits, wear it.

But, as you can see, I am conservative on abortion...and I pray in many traditional ways (i.e. - the Rosary, frequent Mass and Confession, etc...). I don't use contraception, and there are those who know me personally who see me really as a conservative in many ways.

The ideas I express though are clearly more on the liberal side compared to the rest of Catholic blogdom.

Is it so wrong to simply accept the label?

Peace and Blessings!



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on November 20, 2003 11:05 AM.

Adelphopoiesis--On Agendas and Faulty Scholarship was the previous entry in this blog.

Back from a Long Break is the next entry in this blog.

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