Some accuse us of weak human behavior. II Corinthians 10:2
Now that we have run off both sides of the road, it might be a good idea to find the sane center. What I am talking about is the move from the sacrifice of individual rights for the sake of the common good to the common good being sacrificed for the sake of individual rights.
We are free individuals, yes, but we are also communal people. Our behaviors affect others. Just because we are free to do certain things does not mean that we should actually do them, as if we lived in a vacuum.
Now I don’t imagine this column will change much, but it might inspire an individual or two to rethink some of their behaviors. Even if it doesn’t, I think I will feel better if I “vent” a bit about what appears to be a rapid, downhill slide toward more and more rude, crude and lewd behavior.
I don’t know one priest in the whole world who has not been verbally and emotionally punished if he has ever tried to address the issue of tacky dress in church. If we have attempted to address the issue, we ended up being held hostage emotionally by such defenses as, “Hey, I am doing you and God a favor here! If I can’t wear swim wear, flip flops, T-shirts with obscene messages, form-fitting leotards, jeans sagging over my butt cheeks and skirts the size of belts to church, then I won’t go!”
I am not suggesting that we go back to wearing suits, ties and white gloves, but what I am saying is that showing up at church like you just came from cutting the grass or the latest episode of “Buckwild,” is simply crude and disrespectful of what you will actually be doing and the people with whom you will be doing it.
If you assume this is just about church wear, think again. Have you been to a grocery store lately? You can see about anything — people in sleepwear and house slippers, skimpy clothes on obese people with more hanging out than should.
If you really want to see how low it goes, check out the website known as “the people of Wal-mart.” There you will find hundreds of actual photographs of people who ought to be restricted from public places for criminal visual abuse.
We could also add rude behavior, crude language and lewd conduct. Rude behavior can lead to road rage and even shootings. Crude language, especially from anonymous people on the internet, is so commonplace that it is expected. We live in such a sexualized culture that few seem to be bothered by constant gratuitous lewd conduct on so-called “reality” TV shows.
Others have rights, but so do we. If they want to be rude, crude and lewd, let them do it in private. We should not have to be constantly confronted by it.
OK, I feel better now!
Father J. Ronald Knott