We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Friday, February 19, 2016

"Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before"

From Mr. Kalb:

But what of the local culture? The Pope “also invite[s] the immigrants to recognize the duty to honor the countries which receive them and to respect the laws, culture, and traditions of the people who have welcomed them.” So it appears the net effect is to be a world without boundaries of any kind, in which each is equally present to all others and each respects and honors the particularities of all.

By calling for such a thing the Pope is saying nothing new but simply repeating with his usual intellectual and moral fervor the view all official moral teachers hold today. What he and other moral teachers leave unexplained, however, is how the particularities that are to be honored will be able to exist as anything but individual idiosycrasies in a world utterly without boundaries in which no culture is authoritative because each is equally present and equally honored.

The short answer is that they won’t. A culture is a particular complex of habits, understandings and loyalties that are normative although mostly unstated among a particular group of people. As such, it requires boundaries. A culture can exist as a culture only among a group of people who have grown into it together and feel that among themselves they can take it for granted. Such conditions cannot exist in a group that feels obligated to be utterly and continuously open to numerous new arrivals, avoiding even latent discrimination, and called to honor them in all their otherness.

Meanwhile ...

A blackened shroud
A hand-me-down gown
Of rags and silks, a costume
Fit for one who sits and cries
For all tomorrow's parties

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