Sunday, August 5, 2012

"Religion...has Social Implications"

Last month, someone wrote that "...religion is not just a matter of private conviction. It can't be reduced to personal prayer or Sunday worship. It has social implications...."

Social Implications: Avoiding Evil

He's right. Since I'm a practicing Catholic, I can't kill an innocent person. More accurately, if I decided to commit murder, I'd have to abandon my ideas about what's right and what's not. There might be legal complications, too: depending on who I killed.

That "social implications" quote is from a piece Archbishop Chaput wrote:
The "social implications" of my faith aren't limited to saying I shouldn't murder folks. For example, the Church also says I shouldn't lie, steal, or cheat on my wife. (Catechism of the Catholic Church: 2464; 2401; 2337, 2364-2365)

No wonder some folks assume the Catholic Church doesn't want us to have any fun: and that's another topic.

Social Implications: Doing Good

Catholic teaching isn't just a list of no-nos. A Catholic citizen is expected to take an active part in public life and be a good citizen. (Catechism, 1915, 2238-43, 2255) Among other things, we're expected to vote. (Catechism, 2240)

Then there's the whole "social justice" thing: which isn't new. (Catechism, 1928-1942) The Catholic Church has been pushing for social justice for two millennia now. (May 6, 2012)

Good Idea: But Not For Me

Like I've said before, the world's billion or so living Catholics aren't all alike: and we're not supposed to be. (August 26, 2010)

That's why I won't claim that everybody should do this:
"Sitting down with a mocha frappuccino or a chai tea latte? Ready to philosophize, hyopthesize, and theologize? Then pull out your copy of Faithful Citizenship and sit down with a friend or two to reflect on the statement's deep themes: How does your faith affect your views on issues facing your world? What is the relationship between your roles as a Catholic and as a citizen?..."
I almost certainly won't "sit down with a friend or two to reflect...."

My coffee breaks are just that - breaks from research, writing, and washing the dishes. I'll read, or doodle, or let my mind drift, while on break: but serious discussion of issues isn't my idea of rest and recreation.

Discussion-Starters: Good for Solo Work, Too

But the title, "Coffee Discussion Guide," got me interested. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has a 10-point list of discussion-starting questions in a pdf (Acrobat) format document called "Conversations Over Coffee."

Question #5 says: "The seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching ... Which of these themes help you to view issues in new ways? Which of these themes do you think are most often forgotten in public discourse?"

That 10-point discussion starter refers to another online booklet called "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship." I think they're useful, even if you don't want to turn a chat over coffee into a serious discussion:
I haven't done more than skim over the "Conversations..." thing, and plan to read it later. Maybe this afternoon.

Or maybe I'll take a long nap. It's been a slightly crazy week. And that is yet another topic.

(A tip of the hat to Donna L. Ingraham, on Linkedin, for the heads-up on Archbishop Chaput's piece.)

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

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.