I know I have posted this quote at least two or three times already, but for those of you who aren't sick of it yet, and those who are, here's Harold Bloom's take on "The American Religion."
The American finds God in herself or himself only after finding the freedom to know God by experiencing a total inward solitude. In this solitary freedom, the American is liberated both from other selves and from the created world. He comes to recognize that his spirit is itself uncreated. Knowing that he is the equal of God, the American Religionist can then achieve his true desideratum, mystical communion with his friend, the godhead.This was more than abundantly illustrated in the above referenced article on the Get Religion Blog. Citing Mario Cuomo's attempted reconciliation of his church's teaching and his responsibilities as Governor, and Gray Davis's blow off of the Catholic church, Get Religion's short post illustrates perfectly what Bloom is saying.
Cuomo makes the now famous political distinction between private and public morality - its the foundation for the old line "I'm personally opposed to abortion, but . . ." Cuomo tried to sound sympathetic to the position of his catholic leaders, Gray Davis didn't bother.
Davis, replaced by Schwarzenegger after his recall last year, skipped all of Cuomo's angst and the usual hand-wringing about not imposing his personal beliefs on a pluralistic society. He simply ignored what the church and his local bishop had to say, repeating over and over that he is "100 percent pro-choice and proud of it." He became the first major American Catholic politician to define his abortion stance by simply telling his church to take a hike. When the bishop of Sacramento suggested that Davis refrain from taking Communion, Davis put out a statement suggesting that the bishop refrain from "telling the faithful how to practice their faith."And of course now we have the man who would be president, the new JFK, trying to be affirming his good standing as a Catholic while standing against everything the Catholic church calls good.
The private vs. public morality debate is a smokescreen, and I won't go into that since its been beaten to death already. The fact is someone's private morality si going to be imposed on the public, and in the case of these so-called "Catholic" democrats, they are letting the private morality of pro-abortionists impose their morality on society, and oh yeah, over 40 million dead babies.
Now that I think about it, one of the most enlightening things that Bloom hit on, that I didn't hit on in my review, is that in America, one's experience as an American shapes their religious practice far more than the other way around. We are the land of the "Sovereign Individual," who bow to no sovereign, not even God. Private desires and public opinion have veto power over even God's Word.
God be merciful to us.