Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Eminently Sensible Stuff.

From Rod's blog, a comment that I hope does not get lost in the shuffle, from the decidedly uncrunchy sounding "SiliconValleySteve":
Beware of wearing rose colored glasses when looking backward. In the good old days, Dillinger was a celebrated folk hero for whom crowds turned out to see in small towns. This was while he was on the lamb.

I have no beef with raising a family with strong religious beliefs. It does not require however a dramatic withdrawl from the world. It just requires engaged parenting and reasonable priorities. It's really not that hard.

I keep reading about the joys of community from you Rod but you seem to hide from every community that you belong to. You segregate your children into home schooling with only families you approve of. In the huge tent that is the Roman Catholic church you can't find a congregation that you can get along with. Is it really community if you only accept the purest of the pure into it? One of my favorite homilists likes to say that the church isn't a home for saints but a hospital for sinners. Thats a good thing for me because I'm no saint.

My experience from building community as a community organizer and a parish (yes the one whose boundaries I live in) volunteer is that dealing with different people actually broadens my horizon and that of my children. I find that people are actually much more decent than you seem to believe and most parents have reasonable values. Maybe you live in a really scary place or maybe you're getting over invested into a kind of paranoia.



Blogger Pauli said...

Bubba said:
> Bingo.

Bingo? Don't you mean "Amen!"? You're not converting are you Bubba?

Yeah, that is a great comment from SiliconValleySteve destined to become known as the "Rose Colored Glasses" comment. To SVS I sing out clear a hearty "Amen" and belch out a beer-soaked blustering "Bingo".

6:20 PM  
Blogger Cubeland Mystic said...

I am taking moment from my current project to comment. My comment about SVS's comment, it is not that easy to build community. I am trying to hang at my parish. It's a good parish and big. So I am willing to stick it out. But come on, I have trouble speaking to my priest about, let's call it the mystical dimension. Nevertheless, after communion last Sunday, I stuck my fingers in my ears to get a bit of the silence I need. I am thinking about Bose noise reduction headphones every Sunday. We got great world class musicians, but come on it's like a party every Sunday. How long do you stick it out for the sake of community?

Come on Pauli you're Catholic you gotta know what it's like in some of these parishes. It is entirely possible that Rod may have never been in a position to regularly attend a good parish. It's hard to blame him. I want Mass to be a holy and sacred event too.

I am just about finished with the book less than 70 pages to go. Then I will comment. I am still not seeing the political connection. Also, I would have considered the targets of criticism as not conservative before tagging them as conservatives. Just because they call themselves cons doesn't mean they are cons. Also, I don't know that I don't think I can make a strong argument in support of a sacramental life as the ideal. Perhaps a weak argument at best. I don't think that I could be a full blown "bubbarian", because a lot of my crunchyness is a preference and then even more of it is informed by the writings of JPII. If bubba could cut us some slack on what a sacrament is we might find common ground. For example, is grace at meals a necessary part of Christian life? But you guys got some history with Rod, so you're seeing this in a different light. For me someone wrote about our lifestyle, and now I am trying to figure out what is going on.

I am rambling hard, cause I am tired. I close with this. It is difficult to have "community" when you don't share a lot of the beliefs with those in your group.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

Mystic, let me be clear that I don't have a problem with crunchiness as a preference. I think Birkenstocks are ugly, and I don't think organically grown food is significantly better tasting, but to each his own.

In my opinion, Rod's tried very hard to take these preferences and derive political meaning from them: hence, the manifesto and the talk about the Republican Party in the book's title.

If those things were gimmicks to sell books, shame on Rod.

Honestly, I do think saying grace before a meal is important -- probably not necessary for every meal, but certainly important. It's just that I think a life in submission to Christ's leadership has more of a focus on the relationship with God and your fellow man than it does with what you eat and where you live.

A moon-pie and RC Cola can be more spiritually meaningful than organically grown bread and locally grown wine, if it is taken in a spirit of humble recognition of He who provides our daily bread. Details about the food are, in comparison to that humility, trivial.

5:17 AM  
Blogger Cubeland Mystic said...

I understood a long time ago that you were not against the CCness. I can see that, but if you eat organic foods a lot one notices slight diffeence. It has more to do with the types of foods you grow. Like heirloom tomatoes really don't ship well, regardless of how you grow them. So the organic farmers may use the same hybrids as commercials do but use organic methods. What's the point then if you are after taste? Our preference was due to the pesticides and methods. But if you knock off the processed foods for awhile your taste buds become more sensitve. So in a sense if you live in city and your produce was picked from an organic farm five days earlier what have you gained? Nothing really.

Now, just picked from your own garden, there is an intensity of flavor. But the linkage between my organically grown onions and how I will vote for the next quarter cent tax increase is still unclear. I'll vote with chairman of Walmart for that one, and keep my $8 a year and he'll keep his $80 million.

If you read some of my posts I didn't even bother reading the godspy article because of the title. In my mind he was describing that some conservatives also did things like organic gardening and wear birks.

I am looking to form a good argument for strong sacramentalism, but I will settle for weak sacramentalism if it cannot be made.

This thinking is a result of being a parent. Kids change how you behave.

A lot of what Rod is writing about is standard Catholic stuff. That is why it is appealing to me. It's JPII. RIP. But what you say is valid about having the right frame of mind. There are Christians in prison right now and the abortion mills are still operational. To me that is more important than the food.

Rod did not say much about abortion and some of the other bad effects of materialism. I understand that providing a solution is more appealing than re-pointing out the problem. Nor this late in the book has he made a good argument for why my lifestyle is a political movement.

I know self proclaimed cons like those described in the book, and my conclusion was that they were not conservatives. Maybe that is what Rod really means, but he should say that. Gotta go in a rush still.

7:12 AM  
Blogger Cubeland Mystic said...

What is a moonbat?

7:26 AM  
Blogger Pauli said...

John wrote:

> Come on Pauli you're Catholic
> you gotta know what it's like
> in some of these parishes. It is
> entirely possible that Rod may have never
> been in a position to regularly attend a
> good parish. It's hard to blame him. I want
> Mass to be a holy and sacred event too.

I know what it's like in some parishes - I drive past 2 to get to a good one. But honestly, John, Dreher lives in Dallas and he lived in Manhattan. I've been to 4 different churches in different parts of Manhattan; I walked from my hotel to each one. Every mass I went to was reverent, Sunday or Weekday, including St. Pats. The University of Dallas is in that very Catholic city, along with the St. Joe fathers, there's an Opus Dei center in both cities. According to convert friend of mine they were part of a very vibrant, intellectual Catholic community in Dallas. I highly doubt he is/was "never in a good position to regularly attend a good parish" in either of these cities UNLESS he is absolutely impossible to cater to, as I increasingly suspect.

If in ancient times people came from the ends of the earth to hear the Wisdom of Solomon then you can jump in a car, turn the key and drive 20 minutes to worship Christ in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and if you want to complain about it then "you're crying with a loaf of bread under your arm" as my granddaddy used to say.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Cubeland Mystic said...

You got me. I knew about Dallas too with Opus Dei. Just trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. I love the Eastern rites too. This one isn't worth arguing over.

Crying with a loaf of bread under your arm? You's Italian ain't ya?

12:33 PM  
Blogger SiliconValleySteve said...

Hi Folks,

SVS here. Thanks for the attention. I'm flattered. I too am not opposed to CC per se. In fact, I'm probably one of the people it is aimed at. I used to be a liberal and have gone to farmers markets for years. Farmers, markets, craft beer, folk music, the whole nine yards. Just because I became a conservative doesn't mean I suddenly developed a taste for NASCAR, Budweiser and wonderbread. It was over things far more important.

When I heard there were CC's, I was excited because it is getting annoying having to put up with move-on.org and various liberal causes just to get my fresh vegetables at the farmers market. But you know what, I really don't care if anybody else does any of these things, it would just be nice to have a little conservative company.

The whole CC thing makes a fetish out of trivial life choices and when it isn't, it is celebrating its moral superiority over trivial things like making organic vegetable soup or ordering the correct hamburger. It all seems too much like the political correctness that I hated on the left.

When it comes to real issues of consequence, Rod goes flaky and supports pro-abortion candidates because they are competent or support environmental legistlation. Talk about a flimsy seamless garment.

And like I said in the original post, community means stretching yourself. Working for common purpose with different people is a challenge. You find out what you really believe and what is trivial.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Pauli said...

Steve, I think I'm pretty much where you're at -- I just got there via a different route. I was always fairly conservative and had a brief dalliance with libertarianism in college. My wife and I are both Catholic converts; we follow the church's teachings on marriage and sex, etc. We have home-births and we'll probably homeschool at least in grade-school. I'd be bored at a NASCAR race and I'd spend the next week making fun of everybody I saw there -- my wife would attest to that on a stack of Bibles.

So in a lot of ways I think my life resembles Rod's. We'll go driving in central Ohio and buy food at markets or right there on the farms sometimes -- screw the markets! I take the family to a nice place for brunch on Sunday and some of the restaurants are ones of which Rod would approve.

But, hey, life is hectic and that doesn't always happen, and it's not a sin to go to a grocery store or Burger King.

Even though eggs are nicer from a farmer's market or straight out of a free-range hen's butt than in the stores, that doesn't mean I'm going to elevate them, or any other food, to being sacramental. C. S. Lewis talked about how the word "gentleman" used to mean you owned land and had a coat of arms. Now it just means a "nice guy." So the meaning of the word has been lost. I think that's what is happening to a word like sacramental when Rod constantly abuses it -- it's getting watered down and distorted.

You're really good at phrasing your thoughts and I like it that you and cubeland mystic are around to keep us from getting carried away in our lampoons. We all come at things with a slightly different angle and your angles are insightful. I take the whole discussion of this stuff very seriously and the "real issues of consequence" being sacrificed in kind of a moral equivalency trade-off for the CC issues. Rod's pet peeves are the smoke not the fire and the quest for the perfect free-range chicken can be as avaricious as the quest for the newest flat-screen TV. Keep up the good work.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Cubeland Mystic said...

SVS, Too late once again to go into detail. I am not sure that this is fetish level. When I feed the kids it is a great time to discuss important things like God and kindergarten. Food plays a role in that. Good food for nutrition, there is a sense of fulfillment there, as a parent , that we are carrying out our vocation.

The abortion stuff worries me can you please site examples or quotes? Did I read that in the housing chapter?

Pauli, I am not sure that the home and family are not meant for the sacramental category?

What's a moonbat? :-) Good night

11:57 PM  
Blogger Pauli said...


5:32 PM  
Blogger Cubeland Mystic said...

In the CC book, page 207 very last paragraph and on to page 208 prove one of my hypotheses.

I said in a post way back on the CC blog, that I suspect that this whole CC thing has something to do with Eastern mysticism.

That might not explain much about the book, but it does mine for how I act. Thought that I'd pass that one along.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Cubeland Mystic said...

I finished the book.

11:35 PM  

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