The Authority of the Priest

About: William F. Buckley Jr. on Chrisitianity & Homosexuality


Religion is not entirely a matter of what is natural. The Christian religion begins by affirming some unnatural propositions, among them the divinity of Christ. But it is to be expected that some men and women, driven by conscience and fidelity, should resist, day by day, the attenuation of the faith. There are churchmen who believe that to bring in new, secular crucibles in which to reshape religion does no strategic service, and ends by diluting creedal authority.
IOW, it is so, because the priests say it is so.  Slavery was ok, then the priests changed their mind and now slavery is taboo.  Homosexuality is still taboo.  The priests say so, accept it, and move on !

Tags

  1. buckley
  2. wfb
  3. religion
  4. authority
  5. homosexuality
  6. slavery

Comments


Mark de LA says
IMHO, you missed the point, entirely! You may be . My own personal Christianity does not depend upon the Earthly, political structure known as the church. Nor does it depend upon what a priest says.  That being said, WFB is simply pushing back at the erosion of the Christian faith in some churches by those who would turn it into a secular,  socio-democratic institution (updated by the latest modern ideas by the masses -shall they take a poll to firgure out what they stand for ?) - more devoid of it's origins than firm in it's basic tenets.  I think slavery & homosexuality are really secular issues that the church got embroiled in various ages. At least the Christian church can talk in public nowadays.  I don't think Islamists can do that & live very long.
 

Mark de LA says
seth 2007-02-28 10:55:02 6222 -snip-
But at least the secularists don't lie and imply that there is anything different going on ... but that latter is not WFB's point, it's mine.
Secularists lie all the time. Consider the new religion of global warming. Or google the other 6,830,000 references on the subject here. In fact one has to use faith in the dictums of science by concensus in order join that religion! Otherwise your common sense will give you a stomach ache!


Seth says
M 2007-02-28 09:16:28 6222
 My own personal Christianity does not depend upon the Earthly, political structure known as the church. Nor does it depend upon what a priest says. 
I'm not sure it makes much difference here ... either the priest interprets the scriptures, or you do ... or you make it up.  Still and all, faith based morality ends up  being what a person says it is.  A person makes a determination and that ethic flows to others by the process of the "say so" of the persons in authority.  But "say so" changes ... slavery was ok ... now it is bad ... homosexuality was bad ... now it is still bad ... that was WFB's point.  It's the same with secular morality.  But at least the secularists don't lie and imply that there is anything different going on ... but that latter is not WFB's point, it's mine.

Seth says
M 2007-02-28 11:47:10 6222
Secularists lie all the time.
Everybody lies ... that's not the point.  Priests almost always, ususally without stating it, imply that there is something behind their determinations and interpertations that goes beyond a mere mortals authority of "say so".  That is the nature of the beast.  That extra authority is the nature of faith based morality.  That is the social lever behind a religion. Take it away and you don't have religion at all.  You'r welcome to go ahead and try.  What you will end up with is just secular morality.

Mark de LA says
seth 2007-02-28 12:37:27 6222
M 2007-02-28 11:47:10 6222
Secularists lie all the time.
Everybody lies ... that's not the point.  Priests almost always, ususally without stating it, imply that there is something behind their determinations and interpertations that goes beyond a mere mortals authority of "say so".  That is the nature of the beast.  That extra authority is the nature of faith based morality.  That is the social lever behind a religion. Take it away and you don't have religion at all.  You'r welcome to go ahead and try.  What you will end up with is just secular morality.
I would probably make an exemption for something like Anthroposophy & some Eastern methodologies which hold that you can discover the sources for yourself without some authority figure telling you what to think.  In fact, if you follow the Golden Rule you will need no authority figure at all to tell you how to live your life.



Seth says
M 2007-02-28 13:55:26 6222
I would probably make an exemption ...
Everybody is entitled to their favorite exemption.  Even scientists get exemptions for their instruments and methodologies.  It's really very democratic ... just like the IRS.

Mark de LA says
I don't see the IRS, which effectively holds a gun to your head to take your money, as being democratic.


Seth says
M 2007-02-28 14:18:12 6222
democratic.
"democratic" in the sense that we are are equal in front of the law ... ie, no special exemptions just because you are you. Even a Muslim gets an exemption for the Koran.


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