"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Looking for a good synecdoche?

Thanks to Mark Shea, I just read a news story about Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of that
Pelosi. Here are a few tidbits, which only professional Catholics (as distinct from Catholics who are also professionals) would find juicy:

Pelosi was already in an introspective mood, re-examining her own spirituality as she approached parenthood. When she completed the documentary less than two weeks before giving birth, Pelosi says she had a "personal revelation: I have to take my son to church." A baptism is planned. "Because if I don't, he will be called 'unchurched' and (those are the people) most susceptible to some of the more extreme religions later in the life," Pelosi says. "You have to give your children something that they can reject if they want to."


"I was not trying to get into a political debate with the evangelicals about their belief," Pelosi says. "They interpret the Bible the way they want to." But Pelosi was quick to add, "I don't interpret it to say the things that they're saying it says. I don't believe that the Bible says we shall be gay-bashers."

Learning about that divide was a shock to the woman who spent her childhood in progressive Catholic schools. "We were taught just to accept people, that was just a given," Pelosi says. "I don't ever remember being told at Convent of the Sacred Heart that gay was wrong. They never even told us there was anything wrong with abortion. They were just choices.

So there we have it. Alexandra wants her son baptized so that there will be something for him to reject when he's old enough. And she was never taught that "gay" was wrong or even that "abortion" is wrong. They're just "choices." Her mother must be proud.

Alexandra Pelosi affords the perfect living synecdoche of AmChurch. If you didn't grow up Catholic during the last half of the twentieth century, all you have to do to know the nature, and the fruits, of "progressive Catholicism" is listen to her and her story. Are you evangelized by such an example? Of course you're not. If you're impressed all the same, is that because you care passionately about the truth?

This is not a religion anybody would die for. It is a religion destined to die. Its dilution of truth in a soup of relativism and individualism proceeds apace by the generation. For the most part, the Nancy Pelosis produce only the Alexandra Pelosis. Still, I am comforted by the fact that progs, be they lay people or clerics, are not good at reproducing themselves. Alexandra had her first child at 36; he may well end up being her only child. And he will not be evangelized by his parents' example or beliefs. As of now her name is legion, but it will cease to be within her son's lifetime. The Catholics left will be those who, unlike her, know and care about what it means to be Catholic.
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