28 April 2005

Reese: 'Love it or leave it'

In response to those "cafeteria" Catholics who dislike their new leader, syndicated columnist Charley Reese, in somewhat blunt fashion, argues that religion should not try to pander to the secular spirit of our age. It should defend the timeless truths. Writes Reese:

Many Americans — Protestants as well as Catholics — suffer from what I call the Spoiled Brat Syndrome. Seeing themselves as the center of the universe, they think the world and everything in it, including whatever church they attend, should conform to their wishes.

That is a childish attitude. There is no need for the church to "catch up with the 21st century," as one person put it. Christianity is not a 21st-century religion. If you are a Christian, your choice is to obey the teachings of Jesus and his apostles. You don't get to vote on them or pick some and reject others.

On the other hand, there are some Christians who, based on a belief in sola scriptura — or, better yet, prima scriptura — , genuinely believe that Rome's understanding of the truth is not without defect. Those of us falling into this category are, well, protestants, for whom the central issue is one of authority and not mere personal preference.

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