February 12, 2008

Equal Opportunity Religious Asshattery

The other day I started a bit of a kerfluffle here when I linked to and commented on the Archbishop of Canterbury's recent auto-defenestrating statement that Sharia law was all but inevitable in Britain and that the Brits would just have to deal with it.

From the Protestant-Catholic battle lines that were immediately drawn up, it is evident that my suggestion that this was a symptom of a general cultural demise, not one specific to Reformation politics, was lost in the melee.

Well, just to reenforce that idea, I bring you (with horror) this item about Dutch Catholics swallowing the same koolaid:

Dutch Catholics have re-branded the Lent fast as the "Christian Ramadan" in an attempt to appeal to young people who are more likely to know about Islam than Christianity. The Catholic charity Vastenaktie, which collects for the Third World across the Netherlands during the Lent period, is concerned that the Christian festival has become less important for the Dutch over the last generation.

"The image of the Catholic Lent must be polished. The fact that we use a Muslim term is related to the fact that Ramadan is a better-known concept among young people than Lent," said Vastenaktie Director, Martin Van der Kuil.

Three decades ago the Catholic Church was as strict as many Muslims are about Ramadan with a total ban on meat and alcohol during the 40-day Lenten period between Ash Wednesday and Easter.

Most Dutch Catholics now focus on charitable work after the Vatican loosened fasting strictures for all but the first and last days of Lent back in 1967.

Four million Dutch describe themselves as Roman Catholics and 400,000 people attend Mass every week but only a few tens of thousands still mark Lent by fasting, said Mr Van der Kuil

Vastenaktie organisers hope that by linking the festival to Ramadan they can remind Christians who may be less observant than Muslims of the "spirituality and sobriety" of Lent.

"The agreements are more striking than the differences. Both for Muslims and Catholic faithful the values of frugality and spirituality play a central role in this tradition," said Mr Van der Kuil.

This short article is so full of heresies, misstatements and relevatistic crapola that I don't even know where to begin. Granted, it appears that the idea was hatched by a charity, not by the Church itself, but still.

I say again: a culture that no longer believes in itself dies.

Yips! to Steyn in the Corner.

ECUMENICAL YIPS from Steve-O: I blame the strong influence of yoga. And creeping Walloonism (which, I realize is in southern Belgium and not the Netherlands, but I just like the sound of it. Say it with me: creeping Walloonism. Mint julipery. Ecumenical asshattery. That's the ticket!)

Posted by Robert at February 12, 2008 08:50 AM | TrackBack

It's the spiritual component of Yoga that the exorcists worry about. Chakras, the kundalini, etc., are all pagan ideas, and the whole emptying the mind bit worries them. Exorcists worry about the religious component. They are not, as a group, very trusting people, the exorcists.

I also saw a while back an article about how the deeper trance states of Yoga adepts (actual yoga adepts, not the cute chick in leotards at the YMCA) can actually cause auditory hallucinations and other phenomenon bordering on the paranormal -- stuff that looks like symptoms of possession, or at least things reminiscent of a disassociative personality disorder.

I think they're probably just being careful.

Posted by: The Abbot at February 13, 2008 11:33 AM

Wait, that wasn't a joke? I read that and completely assumed it was a parody, a total freaking joke. But it was serious?

They are in deep trouble over there. Very, very deep trouble.

Posted by: rp at February 13, 2008 01:21 PM