A Liberal, Cross-Cultural, Catholic Mind

Revisiting an old hymn from my Anglican days, “Be Thou My Vision”, I find it full of depth and meaning. But I realized that it uses some of the special language that grow from all religions, and that all cultures, tribes, and lovers develop, and it won’t mean much to a lot of people. I’m fine with that. It’s not for them, it’s for us. But as I go through the coffee shop today, I hear the continual refrain against religion, “church”, and “Christianity” from people whose trite insights indicate they don’t really know much about any of those things, not really – not with any depth. And the dialectic is out in full force – I like meditation therefore I do not like church – I like spirituality therefore I do not like religion – I like tolerance therefore I do not like Christianity. You could fit the point (these are all the same point – x defined as not y) on a postage stamp.  And I think a lot of those folk would be hard pressed to understand the meaning one finds in hymns like Bi Thusa mo Shuile (“Be Thou My Vision”). Again, fine – but dialectic walks awfully close to bigotry. And I’ve listened to people casually dismiss some of the mainstays of meaning for my people, with neither knowledge, nor recognition, nor understanding. It is, at that point, simple bigotry.