Saturday, January 25, 2014
Sharing the good news
Do you remember Ken Ham's lament that most teenagers stop going to church when they leave the family nest? The Creation Museum highlights the datum that only one in three continue their participation in church activities once they are on their own. It's one of the most uplifting features of Ham's “museum.”
Similar good news comes to us now from Michael Voris, the unconscious self-parody who holds forth at ChurchMilitant.TV, routinely excoriating the insufficiently ardent faith of the current leadership of the Roman Catholic Church. Voris wrings his hands in frequent episodes of The Daily Vortex (“where lies and falsehoods are trapped and exposed” [the distinction between lies and falsehoods is never clarified]), decrying the lack of rigor in contemporary Catholic practice.
Despite himself, Voris recently found himself unhappily reporting good news from the annual “March for Life” in Washington, D.C. With microphone in hand, Voris accosted several young demonstrators who styled themselves “pro-life” and quizzed them on camera, subjecting them to a quick inquisition on the depth and breadth of their faith. To his horror, he discovered that approximately 30% of the young Catholics were unwilling to agree that contraception is always wrong: “Do you think a couple using birth control is always wrong in every situation?”
Voris was deeply shocked that many respondents did not agree with him that contraception is inherently a “diabolical evil.” The video ends with a lengthy and irritatingly repetitive diatribe against all forms of birth control (in stark black-and-white for enhanced drama). Exposing the laxity of young Catholics with respect to contraception was just the tip of the iceberg. Voris also quizzed the March for Life participants on the evils of homosexuality. Many of the young demonstrators disappointed Voris in their lack of anti-gay militancy. “Do you think it is okay for two guys to be in a romantic relationship?”
Some of the respondents are the same young people who indicated acceptance of contraception in the previous installment of The Vortex, but several new faces also popped up. A few of them wanted to qualify their position as “tolerance” rather than as “acceptance” of the right of people to engage in same-sex relationships, but Voris was still deeply dismayed that approximately 20% were essentially okay with gay partnerships.
Voris and his fellow Catholic militants fancy themselves as the faithful remnant that will be exalted at the second coming of Jesus Christ (any day now!), although they do not embrace the rapture concept of evangelical Protestant eschatology. Instead they are bracing themselves for the great apostasy that they believe is already rampant in what Voris dismissively describes as “the Church of Nice,” the insufficiently macho current incarnation of the One True Church. The bunker mentality is evident in each episode of The Vortex. But with Voris's every pronouncement of impending doom, the sensible viewer can take comfort in the dwindling influence of his point of view within the ranks of the next generation of Catholics. Not even the clergy embrace Voris's extreme ultramontanism.