Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why avoid the buffet?

Over the years I have been blogging I have done many posts about Cafeteria Catholicism. As a blog which more or less specializes in catechisis and catechists one might wonder why I spend so much time pointing out dissidence.
The answer is that truth matters. Even if it is inconvenient, difficult and carries personal costs, truth matters. One of the greatest problems with the modern world is the rejection of truth. This can most easily be seen by taking a look at classic literature of drama. Often in the best literature the story turns upon the personal conflict of the protagonist, not against an enemy, but against the truth, that is against the Right Thing. The protagonist knows what the Right Thing to do is, but the circumstances make doing the Right Thing inconvenient, difficult and full of personal cost. The dramatic tension comes from the fact that the protagonist knows what should be done, and the story revolves around the cost of either doing the Right Thing or failing to do the Right Thing.
One of the basic premises of such a story is that there is no question of what the Right Thing is. If the Right Thing did not exist, that is if there were no Truth, i.e. truth was relative, there would be no story. Indeed, one of the things that makes most modern movies and novels so forgettable and ultimately will prevent them from ever being classics is that they reject the concept of truth. That makes their stories at a deeper level uninteresting, and their characters undifferentiated.
Another aspect of this kind of story is the truth that there is not a world without consequence. That doesn't mean that doing the Right Thing is consequence free, it just means that doing something else has ultimate consequences which are even worse.
The consequence of death for standing up for the truth is a lesser consequence than eternal damnation for failing to stand up for the truth.
Cafeteria Catholics pretend they don't know the truth. They are not new or cutting edge or daring for challenging the Church. They are actually following one who is very old, doing something the first recalcitrant fallen angel did before mankind was even formed, rejecting the Truth, challenging the One who is Truth.