Meanwhile, Elsewhere on Patheos (Aug 7, 2016 Edition)

Meanwhile, Elsewhere on Patheos (Aug 7, 2016 Edition) August 7, 2016

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We here at Steel Magnificat are grateful for our readers and thank you for your time and support. Since it is easier to find and appreciate truth when we are able to rely on a diversity of voices and upon dialogue, this recurring feature invites our readers to look at some of the other voices here on Patheos Catholic Channel and the wider Patheos site. 

“Seek advice from every wise person and do not despise any useful counsel.” Tobit 4:18

First off, let me talk about two recent additions to Patheos Catholic, Sam Rocha and Justin Tse.

Sam is something of an old voice, having recently resumed his personal blog after having been away from it for more than a year. Sam is a good friend and a fine musician, but the work that most stood out to me since he resumed his blog are his two pieces on political correctness. In the first, he writes about how “identity politics no longer belongs to the left” – which I suppose everyone already knows, but not everyone (especially on the self-identified “right”) is quite ready to admit. Speaking truth to those who would rather believe otherwise may not always be as perilous as speaking truth to power, but it can be just as necessary. Good work, Sam. In the second, he speaks about instances in recent news where this identity politicking strays not merely into the risk of truth avoidance, but into valuing such avoidance as a good.

Sam’s critique is greatly complimented by following it up with Rebecca Bratten Weiss’ piece from yesterday. Rebecca is especially concerned that we don’t forget the need for dialogue even in the face of serious disagreement. This provides an excellent picture of the positive commitments to truth and to personal change that are the best replacement for the loose and lazy habits of thought Sam criticizes.

Justin may be the most naturally and sincerely exuberant person I have ever met. For his blog he hones that with serious thinking and the admission (which you might notice in his intro post linked above) that his thought there is a work in progress. It seems to me that, out of all our wonderful colleagues here on Patheos Catholic, Justin might be the one whose vision and sensibility is the closest cousin to those of Steel Magnificat. In that post he invites the dialogue that might occur if he ends up disagreeing with his new colleagues, so I will voice the following reservation- Justin might be just a little too excited about the distinctiveness of the Eastern Christian tradition. My own journey of late has been towards a deeper understanding of the ways it is true to say that there is one Christian tradition, however it might end up specified into legitimately diverse regions, be those regions geographical, intellectual or affective. My hope is that this means we will end up being able to speak effectively to each other’s peculiar myopias. His most powerful posts lately have been when he has taken up the serious topics of death and of inter-generational hatred and ignorance.

Outside the Catholic channel there are a couple posts that have stood out to me lately as well. While I expect I have any number of disagreements with Martin Hughes of Barrier Breaker on Patheos Atheist, his recent short post on marginalized people is something I can entirely agree with.

Another post that struck me was from D. G. Hart at Putting the Protest in Protestant on the Evangelical channel. He writes on recent efforts at “History as Seeing What You Want To” in his own ecclesiastical tradition. While he would be a better judge than I am of his own ecclesiastical tradition, we Catholics should realize that the scale and scope of this habit is much greater in our own tradition.

I look forward to doing these “Elsewhere” posts at least semi-regularly. Thanks again for reading and I hope you have time to check out some or all of the links. Next time I will be sure to include a few overt disagreements I have with other authors!





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