Ah, Spring Break. It's nice to have time off. Well, that's what I've heard. I'll be spending the week catching up on errands, chores, studying, and a backlog of labs to grade. Yippee.
In the meantime, I do have some interesting things I've kept track of.
I listen to a radioshow podcast by the some of the guys at Powerline, and heard a rather interesting segment a week or so ago. They interviewed Father Neuhaus, author of a new book on the intersection of the Catholic Church and American politics, and also the editor of a Catholic magazine. It was fairly interesting, to say the least.
There were a few things that stood out to me during the interview. At one point, the host asked Father Neuhaus whether he agrees that the Catholic Church in America is going to move to a smaller but more dedicated body of believers. The priest answered that saying that people are out of your "club" if you don't subscribe to a certain list of requirements is "a very protestant way of looking at things." He went on to describe this pithy analogy about the Catholic Church being the "mother" church, but I thought his comment deserved notice.
I've heard it said that a man can curse God when his dog craps in the house and a pollster will call him a Christian. Silly anecdotes aside, it's pretty true that there are a lot of people in churches today, Catholic and Protestant, who call themselves by that label but barely hold to the teachings of that church if at all. I think Father Neuhaus' position isn't very fair, because there was a time when the Catholic Church excommunicated those who didn't tow the line. That's not too common anymore from what I understand, and it just goes into a "you've excommunicated yourself" kind of an argument, which makes no sense to me at all.
Anyhow, I didn't have much of importance to say about that, but I thought his answer was weak. Yeah, a person doesn't have to be perfect to be a Christian, and nobody expects it. There has to be a minimum standard of orthodoxy, or else there's no meaningful distinction between Christian and non-Christian, and therefore no compelling reason to be either.
There was something else that was brought up that made me think. It wasn't anything they directly said, but I have been thinking. If you remember my post on Mark Steyn's new book, you remember that the prediction is that Europe as we know it will be gone in the next 50 or so years. (Incidentally, Dafydd over at Big Lizards disagrees)
The idea I had was this: If Europe becomes Islamicized (Islamated? Muslimilated?), including Italy, what happens to the Catholic Church? I can't imagine that the Vatican will exist as we know it if Italy were to become a muslim country. What would happen, both to the institutional Catholic Church and to the faith of it's people around the globe? It's an interesting scenario to me.
Anyhow, there was one other thing I saw that was interesting this week. You should watch it in its entirety. Enjoy!