Monday, October 5, 2009

My Hopes for this Blog

My hopes for this blog?  To serve as a personal journal and a forum for discussion, a place to spell out ideas and open avenues for reflection.  Given Cristian's and my specific outlooks, conservative and Catholic, the blog promises to definitely have a marked point of view.  Nevertheless, though it's only natural that blogs will tend to reflect the perspectives of their authors, I think I speak for both of us when I say that we hope to involve and engage as diverse a set of opinions and ideas as possible, asking only that the exchange be kept on at least a minimally civil plane.

The title of the blog is meant to draw attention to the importance of faithfulness in an age of moral relativism and qualified commitments.  It alludes to a constancy, a steadfastness to values and traditions which, for many of us, inform a fundamental part of our lives, our real lives, in community, our family lives and our spiritual lives. The title alludes to fidelity as connectedness not only to those around us, but to those who came before us and those who will come after us, because in turn, it implies connectedness to a deeper and older faith that does not depend on the changing winds of intellectual fashion.  Not surprisingly, this is an essentially conservative impulse.  Conservatism at it's core, I've heard it said, is about an "epistemological modesty".  Perhaps this is why conservatives seem to have a natural propensity toward realism and away from utopian schemes or questionable idealism.  Perhaps this is also why they tend to be, more often than not, people of faith.  Doubtful of the ultimate perfectiblity of this world, many naturally gravitate toward a hope that transcends this world.  The burden of proof, in this instance, falls on those who would radically alter the basis of this age old fidelity, extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary proof. 

The subtitle uses the term "the naked public square", taken from Father John Richard Neuhaus' critique of today's prevailing view concerning the separation of church and state, which often has had implications well beyond the enforcement of an essentially good rule of governance.  The scrupulosity with which church and state are kept apart today has seemingly lead not so much to a state that is religiously neutral, but to one which treats religion like a contagious disease and which tends to stigmatize religion's rightful role in the public square.  The square is "naked" not because it lacks diversity, but because it consists of a sanitized diversity, where often the most real and significant differences among people are kept from finding public expression, relegated to an exclusively private sphere.   Instead of a separation of church and state, we end up with a separation of religion and public life, a secularism by default. Religion, the thing of most value for so many people, seems relegated to little more than a private eccentricity.

I do believe that people of faith, in order to participate in this public square, have a responsibility to present their arguments well and within the bounds of its secular discourse.  However, people of a more secular orientation also have a responsibility not to reject ideas out of turn, simply because they may have a religious origin.  In other words, may ideas rise or fall in the public arena based solely on the merits of their argument and not on the genus of their origins.  

This blog will paint its interests with a broad brush.  Current events, politics, religion, culture... everything that bears on the attempt to live faithfully, the adventures, the journey of particular persons of faith in a secular age.  In contrarian times, where rebellion, non-conformity, transgression, controversy and scandal are valued as ends in themselves, it is good, I think, to present truelly counter-cultural voices to shake up a little the often self-satisfied complacency of the age.  I believe it was Chesterton who once wrote that "in an age of heresy, the only real heresy is orthodoxy."  And so, let us begin.  Cheers!


  1. wonderful introduction! I look forward to reading future posts. I may not agree with everything, but I will tell you this, I will enjoy reading everything!