Friday, March 11, 2005

Calling all young lefty Catholics

No, I don't mean left-handed.

If you read the newest books, the biggest blogs, the secular and religious newspapers--with a few exceptions--you would think Generations XY & Z are all rising up and demanding an immediate return to Latin Mass, chastity belts, and public excommunications. On my desk at work is a new book by a 20-something who needs to tell us (on the dustjacket no less) that he and his wife not only "waited" until marriage, but even abstained four days longer because of the possibility (danger?) of conception.

Bully for him, but why did we need to know this? Is that how one proves religious credentials? I'd be more impressed if he and his wife went spent their honeymoon on a service trip. Now that's countercultural!

Thing is, I know piles of folks my age, born in the '70s and '80s, committed Catholics all, socially engaged, many who spent two and three years after college in (usually Catholic-sponsored) volunteer work, who struggled with life in community, drank deeply of the church's social justice tradition, and are doing their best to stay Catholic despite clerical scandal and hypocrisy and the rest.

And yet they get no press. None. And why?

Because they're not newsworthy--they're the norm. This means, of course, that the ones with book deals are the exception, the outliers. These "new faithful" are in favor among some bishops, of course, because they push an agenda of return: "See," says Bishop A, "the young people want to go back to the good old days."

So, you lefties, why aren't we out there telling our stories? Too busy feeding the poor? Teaching in inner-city schools? Other general do-gooding?

Don't hide your light under a bushel basket!


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