Is anyone else bothered by the anti-intellectual slant in the RCC these days? For instance, in the community on livejournal that everyone loves to hate, someone brought up the fact that the extraordinary rite was more theologically rich than the “novus ordo.” (Funny how they can’t bring themselves to use the term “ordinary rite.”) What they really mean by this is, “I’m more refined than you felt banner-loving savages.”

I guess what I’m bothered by is the anti-intellectual slant, unless it serves them. Then they bill themselves as intellectuals, when their reading is primarily of apologetics published before 1960 and Chesterton. They wouldn’t dream of reading anyone who offends their delicate Catholic sensibilities. They decry the political bias of the university system, yet don’t bother to see that they’re just as biased as any professor. (Come to think of it, but my chair–who’s one of those liberal professors from the 1970’s–is a hell of a lot more tolerant of others than I am.)

Do I search out deliberately anti-Catholic stuff? No, but I’ve taken plenty of philosophy and critical theory courses. I’ve read plenty of books that would be banned by Opus Dei. I don’t agree with everything I’ve read, and somewhere along the line people confuse appreciating an argument with agreeing with it.

I get the same thing with music all the time. For instance, I can’t stand Enya. I think it’s vapid trash. My opinions, however, shouldn’t matter because I’m sure people will find some music they think is horrible that I absolutely love. Yet somehow people think that just because I’m getting an advanced degree in music that my opinions may matter more than someone else’s. Sure, I may be able to articulate why I think Enya is garbage, but in the end I’m not out to convert anyone. I’m only trying to justify why I think the way I do and communicate what my experience is.

Likewise, I think people are disagreeing about aesthetics in liturgy. What our friend in that community is really saying is, “I don’t get a high off of the ordinary rite.” That’s a perfectly valid statement to make, but where he goes over the line is saying that we all should have that experience, if we want to be as theologically sophisticated as he is.

In The Garage (acoustic) – Weezer

Apologies to those who’ve seen this twice.


~ by Jen on August 26, 2008.

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