Friday, October 24, 2014

Holy And Humble Chatter, In The Wake Of Wednesday

One of the churchier e-letters* in my in-box raised my ire, by proclaiming Wednesday’s madness (surely the activity of a “radicalized” Muslim) a clear signature of “The nihilism of contemporary secularism” decades in the making, and its concomitant inability to provide our nation's youth with a sense of mission or purpose.


A moment of pious introspection, before I take to the pulpit.
Well, were I to address this claim directly, I might decry the lazy, pejorative use of “secular,” then build an alternative case suggesting the failure is just as likely due to our ruling elites’ steady, Burkean dismantling of Canada’s vast liberal state apparatus, to the point where young fellas are faced with a future of under-employment if they don't migrate to the oil-fields of Alberta  a task begun somewhat inadvertently by Jean Chretien but carried out with particular vigour by our current PM, usually to nods of approval by the dudes** (still not too many women contributing to this “think tank”) who send me these e-letters.

And I might throw down the gauntlet and ask, how many churches*** can a young man recently graduated from high-school walk into and say, “I need a job, and a roof over my head,” and expect direct help on both those fronts? Since it’s my religion**** we’re discussing, lemme tell you: the percentages are pretty low. Kids get better help with these baseline concerns when they approach Mormons, Jews and Muslims.

Out here in the Wild West, “Christian community” is, by and large, ersatz community, with little beyond worship committees and Bible studies and the occasional “think tank” to distinguish it from bourgeois “secular” communities and their book clubs — that is what I might say, were I to build up a proper head of steam. Now, you might derive your life’s purpose from studying the Bible, provided you’ve got an adroit buttinsky in the room. But (I might add) if all you have when you wake up in the morning is a part-time job pushing carts across a parking lot, your sacred sense of purpose is going to erode at a dependably steady rate.

And I might also say . . . well, no. I’m done speculating on myself.


...gotta catch my breath....

Wednesday’s attack seems to me as likely the by-product of precarious mental health as it was of “radicalization.” Now, I've no doubt some earnest poindexter has penned a Christian theology of mental illness, but we’re still waiting for it to capture the attention, hearts and minds of the body at large. With or without such a theological construct, here in the West our beloved Bride of Christ foists the manifold challenges of dealing with the mentally ill on — surprise!The State.

Now, if you’re going to accuse our “secular” state of failing the mentally ill, that is a matter worth discussing and taking action on. But “lack of purpose”? Get your Burkean hooey outta my in-box. 

*I’m not going to point fingers, but the guy who wrote it is DUTCH!

**DUTCH, most of 'em.

***Of DUTCH origin, or otherwise.

****Which, in my case I will admit, does indeed have DUTCH roots, but of the shabby, Friesland variety.

2 comments:

Trent Reimer said...

It sounds like the one thing we can all agree on is that society's problems are inevitably caused by people whose belief systems are different from mine.

Darrell Reimer said...

But mostly by the DUTCH!