COLUMN: Losing our religion: Love is love, science is science | New
“Love is love.” “Science is science.” Homes and offices in Washington, DC must display all politically correct lawn signs that exist. Could it be that these signs convey a sense of belonging, the kind that was once provided by organized religion? And what do “Love is love” and “Science is science” really mean?
This is the gist of the remarks made by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, José Gomez, during a recent conference in Madrid. He was asked to talk about some of the movements that seem to play a role that religion might otherwise play – “social justice”, “enlightenment”, “identity politics”, “intersectionality” and so on.
They are “replacements and rivals for traditional religious beliefs,” Gomez says. Seeking to replace traditional religion, he postulates that this is the “story of salvation”: “We may not know where we came from, but we are aware that we have common interests with those who share our skin color or our position in society. We are also painfully aware that our group suffers and is alienated, through no fault of our own. The cause of our unhappiness is that we are victims of oppression by others groups of society. We are liberated and find redemption through our constant struggle against our oppressors, by waging a battle for political and cultural power in the name of creating a society of equity. “
It should be noted that Gomez, who is currently president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, was born in Mexico. He heads the largest and most diverse archdiocese in the United States, ministering in 40 languages. He does not speak from an ivory tower, oblivious to the human suffering he is talking about. A constant voice for unborn children and immigrants was not a screed against leftist causes, as some have suggested on the internet. He’s a pastor thinking about what’s going on in the world today and how to get involved.
“We all want to build a society that offers equality, freedom and dignity to every person. But we can only build a just society on the basis of the truth of God and human nature,” said Gomez. He considers the main theories and ideologies of the time to be “deeply atheistic. physical qualities – the color of our skin, our sex, our notions of gender, our ethnicity or our position in society. “These secular movements, he says,” are at the origin of new forms of social division, of discrimination, intolerance and injustice.
“I see all too clearly how bad people are,” Dorothy Day quotes, “I wish I didn’t see it that way. It’s my own sins that give me such clarity. But I can’t really see it that way. ‘worry about your sins and your miseries when I have so many of mine … My prayer from day to day is that God enlarge my heart so much that I will see you all and that I will live with you all, in his love. “
We don’t have all the answers – it takes strength to admit it, which goes against our culture. There is a confidence that comes with humility. While giving voice to “individual conscience and tolerance,” said Gomez, “we must promote greater humility and greater realism about the human condition. Recognizing our common humanity means recognizing our common fragility. The truth is, we are all sinners, people who want to do the right thing but often not. “
The Gomez conference is an opportunity to take a step back and renew our confidence in the values that nourish a robust civil society nourished by gratitude.
Kathryn Jean Lopez is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, editor-in-chief of National Review magazine.