Coming Out Christian

I just couldn’t pass up that title. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput, delivered an address to the Path to Peace Foundation seminar “Catholic Students and the Common Good: Building a Better World” in New York today.  It has to be read in its entirety, but here are some highlights:

  • …much of American culture right now is built on an adolescent fiction. The fiction is that life is all about you as an individual—your ideas, your appetites, and your needs. Believe me: It isn’t.
  • Religious faith is always personal, but it’s never private. It always has social consequences, or it isn’t real.
  • …if we remove God from public discourse, we also remove the only authority higher than political authority, and the only authority that guarantees the sanctity of the individual.
  • think the word tolerance itself is a kind of problem. Tolerance comes from the Latin words tolerare, which means to bear or sustain, and tollere, which means to lift up. It implies bearing other people and their beliefs the way we bear a burden or a really nasty migraine headache. It’s a negative. And it’s not a Christian virtue.
  • …tolerating lies about the nature of the human person is a sin.
  • …using “tolerance” as an excuse for not living and witnessing Jesus Christ in our private lives and in our public actions is not an act of civility. It’s a form of cowardice.
  • If you want to serve the common good and build a better future, you’ll never do it by hiding your faith in the closet.

Now, I would argue, as would many, about his view of the Roman Catholic Church in the Church Universal, but his conviction of most (including myself) is truly universal.