The following is a brief summary and response to a short paper delivered at the Sophia Institute Conference, December 7, at Union Theological Seminary, NY.
In this paper, Dcn. Drew Maxwell argued that an overly negative view of human sexuality is one unfortunate consequence of the modern turn to patristic sources. Theology is deeply informed by context. Most patristic and medieval theologians were monks and often wrote to celibates, which is why their writings often stressed celibacy over married intimacy. In some cases, there may have been genuine disdain for the married life; in others we are merely witnessing a kind of pastoral encouragement. If modern readers forget the importance of context, they can walk away from such resources with a distorted view of what their own marriages should be.
Warning, the following post contains an image that may trouble some readers. If it doesn’t, then there’s something wrong with you.
This video captures pretty much everything that is wrong with Christian politics today. The hammer of the blacksmith pounds out important issues, issues that are surely on the mind of the woman marching toward the voting both (in a very small polling station): jobs, taxes, and energy (gas prices?). But then, with about as much subtlety as a California forest fire, the blacksmith urges us to commit those concerns to the flames. For Catholics (the target audience of this video), and by extension all Christians, this election is about three things: gay marriage, abortion, and “freedom.” Continue reading →
According to the Pew Research Center fewer people are getting married, and they are waiting longer to “tie the knot.” Basically, what we think of as “traditional marriage” is on the decline. It clings desperately to life, somewhere in the hinterlands of suburbia, where scattered herds of Hummers and Tahoes still run free. But it is basically a dying institution.
Personally, I am not quite so worried. Our ideal marriage has more in common with 1950s sitcoms than the facts of history or the theology of the church, for that matter. That’s not to say I do not worry about marriage. Speaking for myself, there are lots of threats to my marriage, but I’m pretty sure none of them is gay.