Friday, 3 April 2009

The difference between right wing and true traditionalism

Most of the time, dealing with the right wing leaves me wanting to either throw up or take a shower, depending on just how creepy the rightwinger in question is. Damian Thompson's thinly veiled ambition, desperation for a good story, lack of integrity and nastiness usually leaves me wanting to do both.

But he's not the only one pretending conservatism/orthodoxy because it allows him to be an intolerant, angry, self-absorbed wanker pointing his finger at everyone else.

Let's be honest here: being rightwing has nothing to do with integrity, no matter how often they clamour about returning to 'old-fashioned' values. I would ask you to note that it is most often on the right wing that you find the homophobe caught in a homosexual relationship, a man berating adultery cheating on his wife, those proclaiming the need for fiscal responsibility embezzling money, naked ambition, unalloyed greed (Thatcher and Reagan) and unbridled individualism.

Essentially, rightwingers want to impose rules on everyone else so that there are more resources/money available to them, b/c everyone else is hobbled by the 'traditional' rules. Almost NEVER do you see the right wing acting in a way that shows care for the downtrodden, society as a whole, those suffering injustice, equal opportunity no matter who you are. They don't CARE about anyone else.

At its core, the right is about pure selfishness born of insecurity.

So it's no surprise that the politics and power struggles in a right wing Vatican make a day at Enron look like a walk in the park.

The truly orthodox/traditional look very different. As one of my more orthodox friends once reminded me when I sneeringly conflated the two said, "Irim, ask a *truly* traditional priest - not one of the insecure neocons who is in it for his own reasons - about suicide as a mortal sin. The latter would crow in horror, 'Of course, of course!' The former would look at you thoughtfully and say: 'grave matter? Yes. Full knowledge? In that state of mind, I doubt it. Full consent? No. Not a mortal sin.' A truly traditional priest is secure, flexible within the rules and has compassion. Don't confuse the two." Wise words. I was strongly reminded of that during a discussion re: abortion with a truly traditional friend the other week.

Also, John Ferris, another real trad, is one of my favourite people in the world, and our conversations about God and the world are ones I'd love to tape and listen to over and over again, especially when he begins sentences with "Some of your views horrify me, but..."

Traditional/orthodox, I can do - even often agree with. But both traditional/orthodox and rightwing are found in the same places, and separating them out can be very hard.

Back to Damian Thompson, whose vitriol against every bishop in England and Wales during the leadup to the Westminster announcement has left this liberal - who supposedly hates the clergy - horrified.

Today, a true traditionalist called him to task:

Perhaps it is now time to reflect on our behaviour during the past few months.

First, your cooperation in the breaking of a Vatican embargo with regard to this announcement. Remember that it is in the name of the Holy Father that this announcement was to remain secret until formally announced; I should be surprised at you going against the wishes of Pope Benedict.

Second, the amount of uncharitable things written about those men who have been chosen by the Holy Father to be bishops. The innuendos, “rumours” and half truths broadcast on numerous blogs, including this one.

Third, the lack of understanding that a bishop tries his best and is often impeded by his priests, religious AND laity. All bishops need our prayers AND support and not constant criticism “from all sides”.

Finally, we all should examine our consciences surrounding this Episcopal feeding frenzy: have we strengthened or damaged the Church? Have we unjustly caused hurt to individuals, including bishops, by what we have said? Are the confessionals going to be busy this weekend? On a brighter note, we might give thanks to God that the Dominicans in this country have so many good friars worthy of consideration. --meaculpa

Amen. A score for true integrity, right or left.


LL,op said...

A good post; thanks.

Irim said...

You're welcome. And glad to see that we do occasionally find ourselves in agreement. xx