EPISODE 59

What happens if you think you have something to say but are worried about saying it?

I, for one, tend to want to stay quiet. There’s been so much ‘push-back’ in years past when it came to grace. Most of one’s co-religionists actively objected to it. You could barely open your mouth about grace — I mean, grace really: not “indian-giving” (i.e., grace but…) — before the walls would start tumbling down, with objections. What about “accountability”? What about discipline? What about the “last three chapters” of St. Paul’s letters? You name it.

On the other hand, if you talked in secular company about the limits of human freedom or possibility — that something the tradition had called “Original Sin” could actually be a factor in human choosings — that all the education and advice-giving in the world could not work if the unconscious were in play — and that more information, let alone instruction, was never going to change people that needed ‘changing’ (on any barometer of what that might mean):

If you talked in terms of human paralysis and downright self-damage, then all hell broke loose on the ideological left.

Moreover, now, if I lobby for a little less “attachment”, and a little less control and attempting to control, in connection with the people you love (i.e., especially your children), then all the hovering people start hovering… over me! The moms and the dads start trying to pull one down from one’s pulpit, or Love-Stand.

What I am saying is that it is probably better to stay quiet than to speak up, even when you feel confident of your ground.

Visionary Wylie — the angry man with the x-ray eyes — wrote in the year 1970 that “a tremendous and absolute shift in all dominating cultural concepts would be necessary for the mere hopeful beginning of … (the world’s) restoration and salvage.” (p. 25, The End of the Dream)

I think Philip Wylie was right. I just don’t want, personally, to be the one to dissent from the “dominating cultural concepts”. If I talk about Original Sin, if I talk about Mercy’s being superior to Indictment (I’d put some lawyers out of work.), and if I talk about pulling back on identifying with your children (as well as your career), I’m dead meat. “Have His Carcase” (Dorothy L. Sayers)

I’m reluctant to talk about these things. Even tho’ I think they’re true. What should I do? Should I stay or should I go? (The Clash)

Listen here.