Blogging takes you into the ever instant-present, and the world's rapidly changing scene can prompt shifts in your outlook you never truly expected and don't yet quite understand. I realize that my passionate dismay at the Freeman affair, for example, was surprising to some, and even to me. I'm a passionate believer in Israel's right to exist and care about her security. But the changing world requires adjusting to new realities and past experiences. And sometimes events bring ruptures to the surface that reflect tectonic shifts underneath. And that requires some context. By its nature this post is therefore somewhat solipsistic. Please skip this post if my own internal angst is of understandably minimal interest to you. But I'm a believer in expressing conflicts, not inhibiting them. I don't work on background.
In the last decade, I realize that many of my most cherished institutions have failed - and failed in ways that are not trivial. Perhaps the institution dearest to me, the Catholic church, greeted the emergence of gay people in a way that never truly reflected the compassion of Jesus or the good faith arguments many of us offered as a way forward. This was sad to me, but not life-changing. I know the Holy Spirit takes time, as James Allison reminds us. But then came the sex abuse crisis. Like many others, the truth about the evil in the heart of the church, and the cooptation and enabling of that evil, and the refusal to take real responsibility for the evil, simply left me gasping for air. I realize now that my Catholic identity never recovered, even if my faith endures in a far more modest and difficult way.