Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Being Above It All

There seems to be this idea, even among Catholics, that the moral high ground is that place you occupy when you don’t take a stand, when you are above the fray, when you look down from your mountain fastness upon the benighted combatants of both sides and apportion blame for the mess we are in equally to both sides.

Well...no.  Besides being annoying, this world view is misguided, unjust, and just plain wrong.  To not take a stand IS to take a stand.  And it’s a cop-out.  

To not take a stand is an overreaction to the anxiety of these turbulent times.  But it doesn’t make either the turbulence or the anxiety go away.  It is just running away, not pulling your weight, and leaving the fight, which cannot be avoided, to others.

To not take a stand saves you the trouble of examining the merits of each case, as if somehow they are not worth examining.  It is true that neither side is perfect, as each is made up of imperfect human beings.  But nevertheless, they are not morally equivalent, and it is outrageous to assume that they are.  One side does in fact conduce to the common good, and the other side does not.  It is important to know which is which.  You do an injustice to those who really are on the side of the common good by dismissing them as being no different from the other guys, and you harm the cause of the common good by not taking seriously enough those who are opposed to it.

To not take a stand is to succumb to human respect.  What is the point of making sure you are perceived as being above it all, if not to seem wiser and smarter than the average bear?  But in fact, you don’t seem wiser and smarter.  What you seem is smug and self-satisfied.  You only end up irritating the very people you are trying to impress.

Bottom line: you need to take a stand.  And you have a duty to make sure you’re taking the right stand.

These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, Who is the beginning of the creation of God: I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot.  I would thou wert cold, or hot.  But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.  Apocalypse 3:14-16.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, as usual, Anita! I sometimes struggle not to be a pukey lukey, especially when I’m not looking for a fight with a brother who throws out some quote and then moves on without wanting to spend even twenty minutes discussing it. Seems people’s attention span and appetite for discussion has been severely curtailed these days.