I was perhaps overoptimistic here about the apparent radicalism emerging through Pope Francis. The text of Last and First Men is a step beyond what I would consider the still inadequate ‘Liberation Theology’.
We posted ad infinitum here over the last year and a half, topic: Xtian communism, in a series of almost outlandish posts designed to evoke near cognitive dissonance. We all know the Cath/Church could never ever become radical, right? But the message was clear: the Xtian church, catholic or otherwise, is going to slide into oblivion unless it can connect with a future, one of which is the embrace of radicalism. Pope Francis seems to sense this. I almost felt like someone was listening in the Cath/Church. But the issue is one I can take up, and as well set aside. Fifteen hundred years of Catholic Christianity does not show a very strong connection with even minimal democracy. Always the same fine words about the poor, and no real help whatever. Xtian civilization has been overwhelmingly categorized by class culture, to the point of fetishizing medieval caste worlds of lords and ladies, plus peasants. At no point before the Reformation was this otherwise. The Cath/Church opposed democracy, modernity, and the rest, to the bitter end. Now, belatedly, at the point of oblivion (and a North/South switch), we hear some more fine words in desperation. So how will Pope Francis operate in this context? As noted, something radical just might emerge from seeing that traditional Xtianity has reached the end of the line. The radicalization of Xtianity was a product of modernity, so why should we have to put up with the archaic Catholic Church going through the pretense of caring for the poor? Soup kitchens and day old donuts, that’s it. If Pope Francis tries to move beyond the tokenism involved in the attempt to realize something like the crypto-radicalism of the Gospels he will probably be murdered.
So in any case I have moved on from my discussion of radical Xtianity. What choice do I have? Xtians wouldn’t open a discussion or any line of communication with an outsider. So I am helpless.
This situation was in part the reason for the extreme embrace of scientism and atheism by the inheritors of the modern transition, which is not an atheist cult, or a pure framework of scientism. The result has been hopeless confusion on both sides, religious and secular. They knew the enemy, and it was class Xtianity.
I am not an Xtian, so I can’t solve this problem. My reference to Last and First Men was to a very general strategy to broaden the narrowness of the secular mindset of marxists who are stuck in a fragile scientism, and the obsessive anti-religion of secular atheism. The result is the strike out of both sides. A new view point from the left that transcends the sterile legacy of historical materialism might help to see the way that so-called secularists have distorted and frittered away the real depth of modernity. I can’t easily adapt that to the fantasies of change considered by frozen Catholicism. But there is a potential to do something new, create a new Reformation for an ancient church.