Monday, December 23, 2013

Duck Dynasty And Protestants Small " c " Catholic Problem

I thought The Atlantic had a rather perceptive article on the whole Duck Dynasty thing . See The Genuine Conflict Being Ignored in the Duck Dynasty Debate . He says in part :

Missing in the controversy over A;E’s handling of its golden goose—or duck, rather—is the fact that the real conflict here is not between Robertson and A&E; it is between gay activists and a solid majority of Christians who believe homosexual acts are wrong. As indicated above, Robertson’s views are hardly anomalous. Christians may disagree on the details, but the Bible strongly condemns homosexuality in both the Old and New Testaments; the marriage model of one man and one woman is first given by God in Genesis 2 and reiterated by Jesus in Matthew 19; and in Romans 1 the Apostle Paul denounces homosexuality as a hallmark of a degenerate culture. 

The point here isn’t that you have to believe any of this, but many Christians do believe it and feel morally bound to believe it. Instead of acknowledging this tension, however, A&E, GLAAD, and their supporters have responded with disingenuous expressions of shock and horror. And it matters that it's disingenuous, because if they actually acknowledged that there is a genuine conflict between orthodox Christianity and homosexual sex (along with several forms of heterosexual sex) they would have to confront head-on the fact that calling for a boycott or pressuring for Robertson's suspension tells orthodox Christians that their religion is no longer acceptable, and that’s not a very politically correct thing to do. Right now, they are trying to weasel out of it by characterizing Robertson as a backwoods bigot who takes his moral cues from Deliverance rather than from a straightforward reading of the Bible and the historic teachings of the Christian religion.

At the end of his article he states :

 We stand at a crossroads. The country must decide. Is the endgame here to be that orthodox Christians will henceforth have no voice within their own culture? If so, does this mean we have become a nation of bullies, forcing conformity while calling it tolerance?


I think he is right about how many of us are kidding ourselves. We can argue over the details and tone of what the Duck guy said but that seems to be missing the larger point. I have some huge doubts that if he had dropped the word bestiality out of his remarks everything would have been roses.

However this episode brings up again a subject  I have observed over and over. When Americans  Christians discuss these issues that have a lot to do with core doctrines they do it with a great bit of American Privilege. There is no sense of consulting the worldwide Body of Christ the Church. That is to be more specific the small " c " Catholic all universal Church that many that recite  every sunday in the Apostles creed.

Now as Catholics outside the Orthodox we don't technically call these " Churches " but there is a Protestant and indeed Evangelical concept of the small " c " Church . It extends from West Monroe Louisiana to a hidden house Church in China..

So what happens when the conflict of wanting to be accepted in American society and the being in communion with a the world wide Church happens.

In many way this is playing out big time with recent  in the United Methodist Church. People forget that the United Methodist Church is a substantial WORLD WIDE formal body. There has been considerable push back against the American Mother Church by its members in African and Asia. They on certain matters that folks here call the " the culture war " really don't care if American Christians don't feel comfortable . They care about what they see as essential truths.

Yet in the news coverage about the Methodist minister that got defrocked over his doing  gay son's wedding they are no where to be seen in the news stories. It is all viewed as very American story. Again " American privilege " strikes again.

We can see this in other Protestant bodies where the real sin of " schism " seems to be talked about more and more.

SO what happens when American Christians have to make a choice between worldwide communion , and having a voice in American culture. Will Schism be seen as no big deal ?

1 comment:

Rick67 said...

Good post. I've wondered about this with respect to Anglican and evangelical Christianity.