Monday, June 2, 2008

A Cultural Christian

Cafeteria Catholics - Free - All You Can Eat - The Grace of God

I have spent many, many years in the pursuit of what might be called spirituality.

Along the journey I have examined my religious upbringing among other things. In this corner of the universe I wish to share my thoughts about many things sacred and or profane, where I have been, am and possibly going to.

We are entering a new world. Technology and culture are merging and sometimes clashing on a global level. The adage that all politics is local seems more true than ever.

Some of us have our feet in the old world of paper, pencils, manual typewriters and traditional western logic. The younger generation is playing with virtual and abstract ways of seeing things.

Perception is in many ways reality now more than ever before. I try to sort out the things of everyday life, work, play, leisure and without knowing it I am being transported along with the rest of humanity to the future.

This new land, this new global culture, is a strange and perhaps for some a mysterious place. I think about the European discovery of America in 1492. Some of us are explorers and some of us are left behind to read about the accounts of exploration.

As a practicing but non-church going Christian, I could be labeled as a Cultural Christian. Rather than fight pundit style journalism and Madison Avenue labels, I do not resist the title.

I was taken aback by the use of a similar term "Cultural Catholic" in the New York Times in connection with the recent visit of the Bishop of Rome to that fair city.

These days, labels besides being labels, connote what the speaker of labels want them to do - to put you down somehow.

Having started my life journey with twelve years of Roman Catholic education, I was mildly insulted by the term "Cultural Catholic" having seen it in black and white for the first time. This put me on the Internet to do further research.

Other put down labels from the church hierarchy are terms like "recovering Catholic" or "cafeteria Catholic" to label people who dare to disagree with management or who have merely fallen away or been swept away in the new global culture.

I might have found these Catholic labels insulting if I was still a full or partial, "lapsed" member of that particular Christian sect.

Jesus said to turn the other cheek. This I do here. Always Jesus. Always.

Because so much of me is rooted in the R.C. tradition, my present Christianity has not label. Rather than put wasted effort into establishing a new sect, I accept what I am - a Cultural Christian.