My wife and I are moving. A new parish, a new diocese, a new city, a new state. We’re moving from a decidedly conservative state (Nebraska) to a decidedly liberal state (Minnesota). “Why?” my conservative friends ask. My best answer is that Divine Providence has been in charge of my life and is in charge now. What He has in store for me now is not known, but the fact is, we are moving and I’d better be ready. The move will take place next week. A new home and a new adventure.
It got me thinking about change. It got me thinking about conservative vs liberal. It got me thinking about social issues, about all the changes taking place in modern society, and this path that we are going down. Gay marriage comes to mind. Feminism comes to mind. The current election cycle comes to mind. Okay, let’s jump in.
Whoever thought, back in the day, that one day a man would be able to legally “marry” another man, or a woman another woman. It seemed absurd to me at the time and it still does. Now I’m all for equal rights for all, but this seems so ridiculous, so dishonorable, so immoral. Modern society seems so bent on treating symptoms rather than disease. Instead of allowing gay marriage as the way to respond to same-sex attraction, it seems to me that we should put money into determining the causes of such attraction and then to prevent it from happening in the first place. Yes, I obviously believe that one is not born with this problem.
I mentioned feminism. I’m thinking of how, in some contexts, the word “man” or the word “mankind” refers to both men and women as human beings and does not specifically denote masculinity. Try looking up the definitions of these words. In Webster’s dictionary, the definition of “man” as a male human being doesn’t appear until definition #3. Definition #1 and #2 do not use the word “male” at all. The definitions of “mankind” are similar. I’m thinking of Christmas hymns, for example, in which the word “men” has been changed to “all.” So silly. So illogical. So petty.
And what of the current election cycle? Why are people so attracted to Donald Trump? I think it is because he is so “in your face” about the issues. Many people are looking for that kind of attitude, perhaps as a way to wake people up. Society has allowed the kind of change exemplified by my two examples above that a certain segment is now finally speaking out by supporting him. Myself, I do not support Trump because he is not what I would call “presidential.” But I would vote for him if he is the conservative candidate.
Okay, back to my move to Minnesota. I’m nervous about going to a more liberal Catholic diocese. I’ve noticed that parishes there refer to themselves as “welcoming.” To me, that is a bit of a red flag. It’s like they need to point this out as if to say that other parishes are not welcoming. But, as I told my wife, I will adapt. And my prayer? Short and sweet. Divine Providence, please show yourself. Amen.
The photo is of our new house in Rochester, Minnesota.