The Choice Of Benedict

It seems that faith has two forms: the purist and ironic. Purists believe that everything in the world is an integral part of a harmonious whole. All questions ultimately have a single answer. If we guide our lives by this pure ideal and to get to do the same to others, we will gradually approach perfection.

Ironic people think that such harmony is possible in the afterlife, but, unfortunately, not the case. In our world, the pieces did not gel into a single picture, and virtues often conflict with each other: freedom conflicts with equality, justice with mercy, tolerance with the order. For lovers of irony the Supreme truth exists, but daily life is often a search for balance and compromise. A unified and comprehensive system of life right there. According to these scoffers of the type of Reinhold Niebuhr (Reinhold Niebuhr) and Isaiah Berlin (Isaiah Berlin), the purists were seeking to become above angels often descend below the animals.

History gives us many examples of purist beliefs, starting with the Spanish Inquisition and ending with contemporary Islamic radicals who believe in the one true lifestyle. Today you can also see a lot of non-religious purists. It is the students of Middlebury College, trying to muffle his cry of dissidents, and activists-lawyers, seeking to make Christian pastry chefs to work for homosexual weddings against their conscience and beliefs.

These movements convinced many Christians that they can become outcasts in their own country. One of them is my friend Rod Dreher (Rod Dreher), who wrote a recent book “the Choice of Benedict” (The Benedict Option), which became the most important and the most discussed book of the decade on the topic of religion.

The Family is pretty conservative. “There can be no peace between Christianity and the sexual revolution, because they are diametrically opposed,” he writes.

Dreher cites concrete examples: “LGBT Activists is spearhead pointed at our hearts in the culture war. The fight for gay rights threaten religious freedom, deprives the Christian traders work the risk of imposition of taxes and accreditation for Christian schools and colleges”.

The genus shares the fears that have spread everywhere in Orthodox Christian circles. Their concerns are that because of their perceptions of LGBT Orthodox Christians and soon Jews were forbidden to work in many professions and in many corporations. “Black lists it is quite possible, he says. — We come back in the dark ages. Living today people may see how our civilization is dying Christianity.”

Rod says that to continue the culture war is useless, since it has already ended. Instead, believers should follow the example of the monk from the sixth century St. Benedict, which was created by various religious communities, when all around him was crumbling Roman Empire.

The characters of the Genus, almost all the monks. Christians should withdraw and isolate themselves, to deepen, to clean and to preserve their faith, he said. They need to move away from the dominant culture, to take their children out of public schools and put down roots in the isolated communities.

If I had shared the views of the Kind to LGBT, I would have seen the threat and darkness that he sees. But I don’t see them. Throughout its history, American culture tolerated slavery, to sexual violence to the genocide of American Indians. So why should we assume 2017 the beginning of the era of obscurantism?

Ahead of time the kind of surrender where quite possible some practical compromises. Most Americans have no desire to destroy the religious institutions. If you want, they experience spiritual hunger and ready for conversation on religious themes. It is possible to find a reasonable compromise between LGBT rights and religious freedom, especially in connection with the fact that Orthodox Jews and Christians are trying to impose their views on others, but simply retain a place for a testimony of supernatural reality.

The problem kind of is that the secular purism he meets religious purism. Retreating to his comfortable and homogeneous monoculture, most of the separatists in the end roll to do samozaschity. They contribute to the strengthening of the constraints, prejudices and moral arrogance. Because of this, they will destroy the dynamic of living faith initiative.

In monastic service is excellent cohesion. But most people Willy-nilly find themselves in a secular life with all its contradictions and complexities. Many believers strengthened in their faith in the various communities, work, dilemmas, and problems. They believe in their faith. It gives them a way of existence within the realities of this senseless and impure world.

The correct response to this situation is not the choice of Benedict and Orthodox pluralism. To succumb to some kind of Orthodoxy — it’s like to lose a superficial obsession with yourself and to connect their life with the other ideal. But at the same time it means abandoning the notion that such an ideal can easily be turned into a clean uniform. This means that the deeper we plunge into the complexity, converging with believers and atheists, liberals and conservatives, people are different and dissimilar.

We Come from different points of view on LGBT issues. But it seems to me that we treat each other with sincere respect and care about each other. For me, this means that the real enemy is not the sexual revolution. This is a form of purism that does not tolerate differences, because it is not able to humbly accept the mystery of truth.