Saturday, June 30, 2007

Intolerance and Tolerance

Hello again folks,

There's been a lot of talk about tolerance and intolerance and what with me being impaled by a sword and brought back to life by the "devil" (ha ha ha ha ha, LOL, ROTFOL etc...) I thought perhaps it would be a neat idea to explore this concept.

As you know I taught contemporary theology and spirituality at Villanoce, a wonderful Midwestern college. We saw things change and if it was something I learned is that this idea of tolerance worked well for us in the more broad minded community for quite some time. It [tolerance] and academic freedom were the lever arms by which we were able to pry open the jaws of intransigent backwardness. Not that this effort was too difficult as we received increasingly favorable attention from the administration. Around the late nineties we had pretty well firmly established ourselves in the dominant position within academia.

Tolerance remains a very key value, a fundamental value of a University. But we have moved beyond that to inclusion. That means we can not simply put up with alternative viewpoints but we must actively work to bestow upon these the same recognition as traditional viewpoints where the traditional viewpoints are not actively antagonistic to either inclusiveness or tolerance itself. This shift in approach has "stirred the pot" and we see, bubbling up the expected knee-jerk reaction of the "traditionalists."

In the last few years at Villanoce, the "counter-revolution" became perhaps a little stronger than I expected. Somehow, the "orthodox" element managed to seep into the woodwork. Little weedy evangelical catholics were popping up here and there and every now and again some priest or professor showed a level of backward thinking which is positively Middle Ages in its outlook. How do we deal with this?

Well, let me say that tolerance even extends to these poor sad creatures. That is we can tolerate someone whose spirituality is on such a low level that he needs memorize certain prayers and hopes that through repetition he will somehow receive favors from "old man god." We can tolerate someone who feels the need to say the liturgy of the hours or give lip service to "pro-life" issues. In fact I would say there is a definite need to "go out like sheep among the wolves" and participate in some of their ceremonial activities if for no other reason than to educate them and help them see the "other side of the coin" as it were. And if we can subvert their activities and modernize them so much the better.

What can not be tolerated are those practices and ideas which serve to undermine our progress itself. Active resistance must be maintained, yet we can not get into a situation of direct confrontation. It is far better to combat traditionalism indirectly. That is why theology is such a crucial area to work in. Here we raise "thinkers" who think like us and understand the difference between a manualistic laborious faith and a free and open faith of adventure. The first is concerned with rules and regulations, the second with feeling and experience. The first is hollow, the second is living. Here there is also a role for like-minded priests to play. They must stand before the common people and protect them from the dangerous ideas.

Our most important method is the "pastoral approach." This approach, akin to humanism, basically consists of two things.

First we must consider, first and foremost, the health of our people. Pain and discomfort shall always be avoided. Was it not said of the Pharisees that they burdened the people with unnecessary loads. The flock must do the absolute minimum. One must always take the circumstances of a situation as of primary importance. We must reassure the people, pacify their consciences, and distract them from what they used to call "the final things."

Second we must consider the reorientation of the church and society to reflect this proper attitude. We must not become bogged down in considerations of "is this fair or not" on an individual or local level. Our concern is with whole and the entirety.

I have much more to say on this score but I think I have said enough. Let us understand that tolerance is indeed one of our most dearly held values but it can not extend without limits. Other values lie deeper still. The shattering of the old regime of absolutism is key. As long as a vestige remains, the horizon has not been leveled and until it is leveled it is not open and until it is open we are not truly free. No rule, no law, no thought must stand between me and the open horizon.

H Robert


Rob said...

If I give Father Leonard carfare, do you think he would come kill you again?

Che' Lovell said...

Okay, I'm with Rob on this one. I mean, I should probably agree with H Robert and stuff if I knew what he was talking about but he is annoying.


Sir Rev. Leonard Feeney, HKTTC said...

Verily, I admit I was greatly vexed when Robert proved to be that most singular of things, an immortal heretic. But upon reflection, I thank God Almighty for it. I was watching Star Trek in the truckers' lounge at the Wichita truck station and the Klingons have a pithy saying indeed: 'Pity the warrior who has no enemies left to kill.' By the grace of God, I will never be pittied, for even if I slay ever last one of you godforsaken apostate heathen hippie heretics, I will always have Robert left to kill again, and again, and again. MWWWHAAA!

Sir Rev. Leonard Feeney, HKTTC said...

Sorry, my connection cut out before I was finished penning that last post. I liberated an iPhone from a geek yesterday and it doesn't play well with the Starbucks wifi here at the Wichita truckstop.

Now let me comment on thine article, Robert (alas, that you were instead Robert the Bruce, a warrior worthy of the name.) It seems to be written in a most cunning and calculating way, much like the commercial contracts of those devious crafty-eyed Jew shopkeepers down in that little ghetto that I constructed for them (wasn't that very pastoral and open of me, setting up an separate ethnic enclave for the Christ-killers, where they could celebrate their 'community' and continue their own traditions, protected from the evil imperialistic,capitalistic, fascist, Western culture?)

I admit, I cannot make heads or tales of thy devious writings, as it seems to use lots of words to say very little. But I do detect that it has the arrogant air of the Arab, who thinks they are better than the God-blessed Christians of the Holy Roman Empire merely because they bathe monthly and have a life expectancy past 29.

I considered drawing up a cogent response and submitting if for thy perusal by carrier pigeon or mounted messenger, but then I had a better idea. (Sound of sword sliding from scabbard) THIS is the instrument I will use to write my rebuttal, and thy godless back shall be the parchment upon which I list thy manifest heresies and perfidies. Since thou be an immortal heretic, I know I shall be able to list them all before thou diest (which is actually a real problem when writing on the flesh of living apostates. You have to be quick about it). AFTER the picnic, verily not before or during, I shall give thee my written rebuttal. Though thou mightst have a hard-time reading it!

Rob, like most Crusades, mine is suffering from inadequate capitalization. Anyone who wishes to lend support to me in my worthy, pious cause of reaching Knoxville can wire gold to the T&A Truckstop in Wichita. Fr. Michael and Fr. Chadwick have no funds to spare--after all, the glorious cathedral of the Truly True Church must be constructed, so that you heretics will be instantly converted upon gazing at its beauty.

Craig, a Starbucks employee and one of the nicer apostates I have met, is allowing me to sleep in the booths during the night and I survive on crackers and ketchup packets from the Wendy's by day. I've had some hard bivouacs in the open desert of the Mohammedans, but this is proving to be the most onerous encampment yet.

Sir Rev. Leonard Feeney, HKTTC
'I love the smell of spilt heretic blood in the morning'

Adoro te Devote said...

Wow. It's "Screwtape letters" happening in real life.

H. Robert, your real name is "Wormwood" isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I will, despite myself, agree with sir rev leonard on one point, and quote it ... directing it TO HIM: "I admit, I cannot make heads or tales of thy devious writings, as it seems to use lots of words to say very little".... In other words, I don't understand a thing you say.

One note: calling ANYONE a Christ-killer is JUST WRONG. We ALL know Christ died willingly, and no one "killed" him.

In the future, Sir Rev: if you are going to comment, please use plain English, understandable by the masses. All this gibberish is just a waste of time to wade through.

I agree with H Robert. Tolerance is essential. Inclusion is the next step. However, we also have to be mindful of TRUTH and guide the misguided to TRUTH. That is why, hopefully later today, I will be publishing my guide to choosing a good college/university. I can tolerate a young idealistic misguded adult going to a latin-loving, manualistic, rigid campus if that is what they want. However, I'd rather lead them to the TRUE good college early in the process of choosing a college community.

Sir Rev. Leonard Feeney, HKTTC said...

Sr. Fairah--or should I call you by your title, O Queen of the Harpies? Why don't you crawl back to that condominium ye dwell in and watch some more lesbian romances on WE or Oxygen while slurping down your Peach Schnapps. Your Order is paying for it, might as well use it! one "killed" him.
Ah-ha! Foul heretic, I see thou dost agree with the Musselman that Christ did not die upon the cross. It's not enough that thou propagate the Modernist heresy, ye now dredge up Nestorianism! Prepare to pinned to the ground by my lance, ye bra-burning old fruitcake. Share the fate of yer UC-Berkely friends!!!

Ye are correct about one thing--the Modernists have so watered down the pariochial school system of the Apostate Church that no can understand the King's English anymore. I shall endeavor to speak in a manner befitting your intelligence level:

"You woman person, you die soon, me kill you with big stick with sharp point, you go bad place where red guy with horn and tail poke you with big fork."

Sir Rev. Leonard Feeney, HKTTC

Anonymous said...

You are sick, sir. Your penchant for violence is downright disturbing. You need help!

And yes, Christ DIED on the cross .. by his own choice. No one sent him there.

By the way, I, personally, am not a lesbian, nor do I enjoy lesbian romances, as you call them. Unless, of course, they are classics in and of themselves.

And your reference to the "bad place where red guy with horn..." obviously refers to hell, satan and suffering. Grow up and learn your faith. The evil that exists isn't about a red guy with a horn. Evil is real, reg guy with horn isn't.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Tim, Fr. Tim! Sr. Fairah said evil exists! Make her stop spreading outdated stereotypes! Shes being infected by the ideas of those SSLI dudes.

Next she'll be saying gender is based on physical attributes, and not what people feel they are inside. Or that abortion isn't just flushing biological clumps down the drain.

Anonymous said...

Isn't being intolerant of intolerance intolerant? Stop being such a dictator, Herr Williams (so is that what the H is for!)

H Robert Williams said...

Dear anonymous,

[i]Isn't being intolerant of intolerance intolerant?[/i]

What an excellent question, indeed that was the nub I was hoping to extract. The difficulty is not so much one of kind but of degree. There is tolerance and then there is Tolerance. In other words we Tolerance is essential but tolerance is merely a disposable comodity. I would like to talk more about this shortly.

H Robert

(P.S. The H is for "Hoover" I am just awfully sensitive about that. I wasn't named after the president but after my great uncle of the same name.)

Anonymous said...

Clarification: EVIL, in the sense of bad things happening to good people.

Hidden One said...

Oh no! Good exists! If good exists, then all things must be equally and supremely good, or evil must exist.