The Swamp of Subjective Sentimentality

The sweet way seems to be all goodness and happiness, light and peace. It is full of “Awwww!” emotions just being kind and good and nice and tolerant to everyone.

The second way it surfaces is sour. Someone disagrees with the subjective sentimentalist and they condemn them. They scapegoat them. They hand them over and hang them out to dry. This sour subjective sentimentalism can be expressed by conservatives who have made their conservative moral choices without any agreed authority or by liberals who do the same. Both condemn the other side, blame the other side and hate the other side because both kinds can only respond with raw emotion–never with a sound argument, reason or logic.

Therefore, in the present debate over same sex marriage Americans simply cannot comprehend that Catholics operate according to a different set of systems. We believe that same sex activities and same sex marriage are wrong, not primarily because we think such things are “yucky” and not because we “hate gays” or because we want to tell them they are all going to hell.

We believe these things are wrong for clear and articulate reasons. We believe they are wrong for reasons that we can explain and outline clearly. Furthermore, we can believe they are wrong while still accepting gay people, not judging them and allowing them into our lives. We can believe they are wrong while also acknowledging that gay people have many gifts, are capable of great human achievement, human love and many other good things.

The subjective sentimentalist cannot work this out and will not believe it is possible.

He thinks were are pulling a fast one. He thinks we are lying because to disapprove of an action or lifestyle, for him, is to disapprove of the person and to condemn them.

The underlying problem and impasse is one, therefore, which has its roots in an essential philosophical problem.

How this has roots in the Protestant Revolution and the so called Enlightenment I’ll leave it to you to work out….

…or maybe write another post tomorrow.