Dissent Detectors

In Jennifer Fitz’s truly excellent reflection on Pope Francis’ recent series of interviews, she said something that made me laugh—because I recognized myself in it:

I’m sympathetic with those who’ve been poisoned by so much wishy-washy faithy-ism that their dissent-detectors are set to 1 part per billion.

Some day I might write more about my experiences in the Episcopal Church, a landscape of lush beautiful valleys cheek-by-jowl with arid chasms spray-painted green. And yes, I’ve acquired a dissent-detector, and yes, it’s got a hair trigger. It’s a defense mechanism of sorts, and it’s a problem: the false positives can make it difficult to deal with perfectly orthodox Catholics simply because they use words in a way I’ve learned to suspect.

Or, to put it another way, not everything that seems to breathe fire is a dragon.

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