Thursday 10/6/16

  1. Prayer and snubs
  2. Religio-Political sophistry
  3. Alternate realities
  4. What won’t they think of next!

1

The Church and its faithful are guided by the dictum “lex orandi, lex credendi”—the rule of prayer is the rule of faith—that is, the Church believes what it prays, and prays what it believes, and therefore, unity of faith is an obvious and necessary presupposition for unity in prayer.

The absence of unity of faith between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic confession is obvious, and so should be the absence of unity in prayer. Mutual respect is not enough to bind us together in Christ, for respect that disregards truth is no respect at all, and it certainly is not love.

(Jesse Dominick on the Georgian “snub” of Pope Francis)

Lex orandi, lex credendi is just as important as he says. It also stands as a rebuke to “worship teams” and other innovators who in the quest for marketable novelty screw with the forms of worship, fancying that the substance is undistorted.

2

Responding to Eric Sapp, writing at The Christian Post that “Hillary Clinton is the best choice for voters against abortion“:

It’s a bit rich to say Christians should reject Republicans for wanting to ban some abortions and not others, but should disregard the fact that Democrats don’t want to ban any abortions. This is a classic canard against pro-lifers: If they want to ban all abortions they’re extremists. But if they take a meliorist position, they’re hypocrites. The only response this deserves is a dramatic eye roll.

“I don’t think Christians should be single-issue voters since Christ’s ministry wasn’t single-issue,” Sapp writes. Sure, but Christ never voted in an election, either. And there’s a difference between not being “single-issue” and emptying an issue of its substance entirely.

(Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry)

I could excuse Sapp if he was addressing this year’s particularly distressing Presidential choice, but his argument would be applicable to any election in any year.

3

In the middle of the night in my second year of psychiatric residency, 13 years ago, I was awakened to see a prophet. The man, in his early 50s, had been living on the streets. He was a college graduate from a middle-class family. But on Christmas Eve three decades earlier, the Archangel Michael had come to him in a vision and demanded that he spread God’s word.

“He told me I would suffer great pain,” the man said. “His words are true. I suffer great pain.” He lifted his shirt and showed me his chest, covered in Kaposi sarcomas, the stigmata of full-blown AIDS.

He said he had come to the emergency room to preach. I encouraged him to check into the hospital for care. He refused, and I considered my options. I could allow him to leave, or I could admit him involuntarily. I knew, though, that if we gave him antipsychotic medication, he would realize that he was a homeless man with AIDS. Would he rather stay a prophet? Did he have the right to choose psychosis? Did I have the right to choose for him?

(Irene Hurford in the New York Times) This introduced a fascinating topic in terms of flawed “rights talk” and “someone else’s reality” dodges.

I can give clearer answers (and more defensible questions) legally, but I’m not sure the answers would be any more satisfactory in legalese than in psychologese.

Is this an occasion for the maxim “If there’s no solution, there’s no problem”?

4

Employer-compelled praying, chanting and participating in spiritual interpersonal “workshops,” discussions about God, spirituality, demons, Satan, divine destinies, the “Source,” purity, blessings, and miracles — held to be “religious!”

Imagine that! What won’t they think of next! [EEOC v. United Health Programs of America, (ED NY, Sept. 30, 2016) I’ve been unable to find the opinion in legible form other than on Lexis, which most definitely has a paywall.]

When employers think ersatz spirituality is a management tool and way of bonding, is it any wonder that Georgian Orthodox declining participation in a Georgian Catholic mass is widely called a “snub”?

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.