Well, I'm back from visiting my 90+ year old parents for Passover in Fort Lauderdale. Where else?
I will be posting more fully in a few days and trying something a little different, taking a more personal direction for at least one of my posts. It will be a reflection on this Passover holiday. As some readers already know, I converted to Catholicism about ten years ago. Lately, I have been wrestling with my faith and my mixed emotions over the Church's recent actions. I've also been really looking at, and struggling with, the theology of Christianity and how its core beliefs may be at the center of some of the problems and scandals now occurring, especially in the Catholic Church.
But that's not what I'll be writing about in my next post. As I said, it will be a personal reflection on Passover, both in Fort Lauderdale and at a labor seder that I attended in Washington, DC. But I still have to sort out my thoughts and work through the writing process.
Until, then - and I promise I won't dawdle with it - here is a very thougtful series of blogs by another Catholic, a gay, former Republican, Cradle Catholic. Andrew Sullivan has written with precise logic as well as deeply felt emotion on his own struggles with the selection of Pope Benedict XVI. He also shares this dialogue with Ramesh Ponnuru on his blog. Although the two disagree, there is a degree of civility and mutual respect that is sadly lacking in so much modern discourse. And though I frequently disagree with him, I am deeply touched by Sullivan's own religious struggle.
One interesting concept that Sullivan posits is the ideal of "the conservative of doubt." That is a conservative who, although holding fast to his own beliefs and moral certainties, is willing to tolerate others' views for the sake of civil peace and stability. While rejecting moral relativism, Sullivan applauds simple moderation and mutual respect. The ability to say, I hold my truths with certainty but I recognize that there are others in this world whose views, though just as deeply felt, disagree with mine. So in order to establish liberty and civility, I will reign in my certainty, not because I believe less in truth, but because I oppose tyranny more.
It's a well reasoned position. I would like to propose an equivalency on the left. Although I disagree with much that Sullivan and other conservatives state, especially on economic issues and the war in Iraq, from now on, I will be a liberal of doubt. Because, like Sullivan, I am willing to sacrifice some insistence on truth in order to protect against tyranny. And we have those on the left who are every bit as absolutist and intemperate as the rightists that Sullivan has spoken out against with so much integrity.
Can liberals do less than Sullivan and maintain their own integity?