By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Squeezing Out the Subversive Dimension

Reread the Gospels and the picture that emerges does not match what many, both believers and non-believers, conventionally assume about Christianity and Catholicism. We tend to assume, unconsciously, that our religion is fundamentally "boring" and bourgeois--and then we are foolish enough to wonder why people, both young and older, drift away. But the Man in the Gospels is certainly not that at all: itinerant, not tied to property, ironic, satirical, defiant, even, at times, angry and "fed up." The Man is the anti-bourgeois opposite of conventional assumptions because the Man is truly free and truly powerful.

So, how do we get so many Christians and Catholics who present a picture of dull conformity to what is socially acceptable? (That conformity can take a "conservative" guise among the self-described "orthodox" wing and also a "liberal" guise among the self-described "progressive" wing. But really what is so "orthodox" about people hostile to any vigorous, unseemly manifestations of the Holy Spirit and to issues of social justice? What really is so "progressive" about people who simply ratify or excuse the modern values of our consumerist, materialistic, narcissistic, and sexually chaotic culture?) The subversive dimension is essential to Christianity. To squeeze it out is to falsify it. The solution is not to read this or any other blogger's musings, but to go back to the Gospels and read them as if for the very first time and to find the real orthodoxy that is eternally progressive because always challenging to the shibboleths of the times and to our bourgeois mentality, whether "orthodox" or "progressive."