There was a time when people could show independence from convention by letting their hair grow and/or wearing jeans. There was more to it than that, of course.
These days, with the campus radicals being in tenured faculty positions, cultural conventions are different. The days of the gray flannel suit are over.
Can't say that I'm disappointed.
Which is fine by me. I grew up in a Western culture, I'm an American citizen, I speak American English, and I am, in some ways, "western." I'm not particularly ashamed of being an American - which makes me an odd bird in some circles. On the other hand, what I believe and how I live is not typically "western."
For starters, I believe that there are things that are true, and things that are not true; things that are real, and things that are not real.
I believe that good, and evil, exist.
I'm not talking about which side of the road you drive on, or which fork to use first. That's cultural stuff. effeminate and unnecessary. 'Why should a person need a fork when God had given him hands?' " Four centuries from now, everybody in the British Isles and North America may be eating with sporks and chopsticks.
What utensils, if any, a person uses to get through a meal is determined by culture. I go with the flow, and use knife, fork, and spoon the way most Americans do. I may be counter-cultural, but I don't go out of my way to buck the system.
This household does have chopsticks, by the way, and we use them now and again. They're great for any food that comes in chunks - like stew.
I'm getting off-topic.
While I'm thinking about it: If you think God is angry with you, I'd figure out why, and patch things up. Fast. Not to make you complacent, but my understanding is that it's what you're doing that's got Him ticked off. You, He loves.
Back to emotions.
Article 5 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a pretty good primer on "The Morality of the Passions." Passions, in this context, means emotions.
Despite the premium that the Catholic Church places on reason, we're not taught that emotions, or passions, are wrong.
"There are many passions. The most fundamental passion is love, aroused by the attraction of the good. Love causes a desire for the absent good and the hope of obtaining it; this movement finds completion in the pleasure and joy of the good possessed. The apprehension of evil causes hatred, aversion, and fear of the impending evil; this movement ends in sadness at some present evil, or in the anger that resists it."Think about it: God made us; emotions are part of us; so, God made emotions. And, the way I see it, God doesn't make junk - and He doesn't make evil. He allows us to choose evil, but that's another tangent that I'm not going to go off on. Not in this post, anyway. (see Heaven, Hell, and Free Will, in "Oh, Hell: You Mean That Place Really Exists?" (November 20, 2010))
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1765)
I said that anger, by itself, is a 'bad' emotion. There aren't any 'good' or 'bad' emotions. It's what we do with them that makes them good or bad. Not my opinion: I'm just re-stating what the Church teaches:
"In themselves passions are neither good nor evil. They are morally qualified only to the extent that they effectively engage reason and will. Passions are said to be voluntary, 'either because they are commanded by the will or because the will does not place obstacles in their way.' It belongs to the perfection of the moral or human good that the passions be governed by reason."
But that famous line, "trust your feelings, Luke" - that's just not good advice. "If it feels good, do it" may, well, feel good: but it's not what the Church teaches.
Quite a lot of things feel good in the short run, but aren't particularly good for you over time. If you've ever had a hangover, you know what I mean. And yes, I've had a hangover. Don't intend to repeat the experience. I'm Catholic. I don't follow priests out of blind, unthinking obedience: the Church encourages Catholics - or anyone else - to study what's we've learned over the last going-on-twenty centuries. Quite a lot is online by now. I've studied a tiny fraction of what's available, as part of my job of conforming my will to God's
By the way, I don't insist that you live the way I do, or believe what I do. My job, in terms of what the Church is passing along, is to present the facts. What you do with them is your business, not mine.
Another thing: In posts where I get into what the Church teaches, I provide linked references. That's partly for my convenience, partly so that you can follow the links and learn more. But if you'd rather not know: again, that's your business.
The way I see it, Oscars, Super Bowl Championships, and Constitutional Amendments come and go. They're part of the wonderful, ever-changing, evolving creation that we're blessed to be a part of.
But, a thousand years from now, I'd be astounded if the Oscars were still around. Never mind what's likely to happen over geological time scales.
On the other hand, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8) On the whole, I'd rather be part of an outfit that's going to last.