Do I want a Christian culture?

The most pointed way to put the question is this: do I want anti-christian expressions and thoughts to be ruled out by the same taboos and groupthink that presently rule out racism and homophobia?

On the one hand, this seems horrible, or at least no improvement. Something seems forced and fake about pro-Christian taboos, and it’s an open question whether it would make more persons more devout. The Gospel – or the work of grace in general – demands a unique sort of personal or Father-child freedom. Taboos, arguably, belong more to the world’s way of doing things.

On the other hand, we have to have taboos about something, and presumably their purpose is to lead us towards the best things. Taboos are the human law at its most powerful – they are the most perfect and powerful tool for what St. Thomas calls the power of law to lead to virtue. Mere statutory laws bridle behavior; taboos actually restructure thought and form the will. But if this is so, is a taboo a fitting tool for evangelization, or is it too extreme and too extrinsic to faith?

1 Comment

  1. March 27, 2013 at 10:42 am

    So we can all agree that taboos work. But who of us would be willing to do what’s required to put a taboo in place?

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