Marty on raw power

You may have applauded the joint effort by Catholic bishops and evangelical Protestants in opposing the HHS mandate to provide birth control and abortifacients to hospital, university, and social agency employees, but to Martin Marty, it was a case of “radical embrace of raw political power by Evangelical pastors massed in militancy to join Catholics in reaction.”

This is the presumed detached observer talking (in “Sightings” for the day, “Protestant Accommodation”) and this is how he sees it.  Read what he says and see if he hasn’t tipped his hand with this colorful language.

Catholics conform

Sister tells of her conversion to religious life twenty years previously, has back of her hand for her then-fiance’s wanting 15 kids, depending on how many God decided they should have.  She chose religion for its structured prayer life and conferred ability to “love all,” not just one, failing to mention the other potential fifteen.

Parish school principal to parishioner gathering refers to “common core” curriculum and common report card eliminating A’s and B’s etc. in favor of something else, both “national,” omitting to explain who imposed the common core, etc.  U.S. dept. of education, it turns out.  He mentions the core only in passing, with no questions about what feds have to say about RC schools’ teaching and grading, except that the archdiocese has adopted this common core, etc.

Visiting scholar lectures at RC university to packed small-auditorium crowd of students, nuns, teachers, and others, elicits dismissive chuckles from students about rules for confessors in days of old as to how they were to deal with female penitents, all geared to protect chastity.  No one takes him up on this, which is at least mildly subversive of church as vehicle of grace and role of confession.

RC traditions about (a) family and role of Providence, (b) freedom of church schools from state interference, (c) academic respect for church practices prior to our own enlightened age — each ignored or dismissed by church representatives,  making three cases of bit-by-bit conforming to the age we live in.

Later:  The Common Core was adopted by 40 states including Illinois, whose board of ed explained itself in June of 2010.  The parish school principal assumed too much of his audience or at least of some parts of it.  The archdiocese sells the new report card in a letter to parents last June and explains it at length in a frequent-questions page here.  I can only trust that something similar was offered parish schools by their principals and staffs.