Friday, April 8, 2011

Culture & Heresy: Fr. Barron on the YouTube Heresies, Pt. 1

In the spirit of the great St. Irenaeus, Fr. Barron takes on some of the key heresies of our culture, as expressed in the viewer comments on his earlier YouTube postings. The cultural significance of these heresies lies in the way they function - in the new virtual Areopagus and irl - as automatic conversation-stoppers, a back-of-the-hand refusal of respectful conversation or dialog.

For example, scientism, a self-refuting vision of reality, functions in comboxes as a crude knockdown way of refusing to consider or even understand a religious argument or explanation. It is expressed in the embarrassing crudity and ignorance of the New Atheists like Hitchens and Dawkins - but not them alone. It comes out in the even cruder and more confident arrogance of the comments that appear whenever the question of atheism is raised on YouTube or the blogosphere.

Similarly, many people I read, and some I know, will respond to any argument from a catholic perspective with a litany of charges about the wrongdoings of Catholics past and present, as if that refuted Catholics' own understanding of the Church and ecclesiology. Fr. Barron calls this heresy 'Church angelism.'

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