Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Non-Event That Never Happened

I got back from another freedom rosary a few minutes ago. There weren't quite as many as on some previous nights: but there wasn't all that much space left over in the garden between Our Lady of the Angels church and the rectory, either.

The evening wasn't nearly as warm as I expected, either: which was a welcome surprise.

What one of the men there said wasn't, sadly, a surprise.

The Score So Far: Zero and Zero

He's been trying to get a response from the local newspaper, and a television station. His idea was that the local news media might want to at least mention what's been going on.

I see his point. This freedom rosary involves a serious issue, and is being done by several dozen folks. That doesn't sound like much, but the total population of Sauk Centre is around 4,000: and this is a local project.

So far, the score is zero telephone calls returned, zero emails responded to.

My neighbor is peeved. My response is more like resignation.

When I became a Catholic, I knew that I was throwing away most opportunities for respectability. At least in the eyes of America's establishment. Like the fellow said:
"There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing."
(Bishop Fulton Sheen, Foreword to Radio Replies Vol. 1, page ix (1938), via Wikiquote)

"The Establishment?"

I think every society has a set of "who hold influential political positions, important posts in business or academia, and the many others who like things pretty much the way they are." (September 15, 2011) In my youth, "the establishment" in America was almost entirely male: and either WASP or trying desperately to seem sufficiently WASPish to get along.

Today's establishment looks different, and has a different preferred reality. But the old 'all the news we feel like printing' attitude is still there.

I can understand how a significant number of Catholics, gathering daily to pray about religious freedom, might be an event that 'establishment types' might like to ignore. We are, after all, threatening the status quo. Besides, there's always the danger that more Americans might catch on to what's actually happening.

Maybe I'm being unfair.

Or, not. It's like the fellow with the 'wrong' ancestry never finding the editor in his office: after a while, it stops looking like a coincidence. Still, it could be worse. After all, this freedom rosary is merely a 'non-event that never happened.'1

Related posts:

1 One of the 20th century's more noteworthy leaders is credited with having handled criticism of his administration by declaring the troublemakers "unpersons" who never existed. ("Joseph Stalin: An Annotated Bibliography of English-Language Periodical Literature to 2005," David R. Egan (2007) pages 227, 239, excerpted in Google Books)


JohnL said...

Dear "Catholic Citizen,

Exactly similar type of situation now exists in Australia as well. In fact it is the de-Christianisation of the West that we are witnessing in our life times, with the inevitable social problems that result from the loss of the values that have underpinned Western society. Not for the first time I might add but there is a danger this time where we may see the collapse of Western civilisation unless society can pick up the pieces. As you have noted there are signs that there is a renewal process amongst some of the younger generation which offers hope.

Brian Gill said...


Well said.

I am rather hopeful, though: partly because of the cracks we see in the established order. Also because I've seen something like this before. I spent my youth in the '60s, and was one of 'those crazy kids.'

The changes then didn't go as well as I'd hoped: and I think this time around we've got a much better chance of getting it right.

Particularly since 'those crazy kids' are learning from past mistakes.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

I've posted about my take on change, hope, and all that, before:

"Hope, Joy, and Working for a Better World"
(September 13, 2011)

"What's With 'the Establishment' in this Blog?"
(September 15, 2011)

"Rebellious Youth, Protests, and The Establishment: in 2010"
(January 26, 2010)

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From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.