What the Vatican will allow us to say

A priest who works for something called ‘the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace’ doesn’t like the way secularists use the word ‘tolerance’. He says that ‘neutrality toward world views cannot be truly tolerant and respectful’ – which could be because he is inflating ‘tolerant’ to mean ‘respectful’ and ‘respectful’ to mean ‘obedient’ or ‘groveling’ or ‘slavish.’

When secularized citizens act in their role as citizens, they must [not] deny in principle that religious images of the world have the potential to express truth.

Ah yes – you’d like that, wouldn’t you. You’d like us to stop – when acting in our role as citizens, which presumably means doing anything at all public, such as writing for magazines or on blogs – pointing out that there is no reason to believe that ‘religious images of the world’ have anything to do with ‘expressing’ truth. You’d like us to pretend that the Catholic ‘image of the world’ is just as reasonable as any other ‘image of the world’ – despite its long-established refusal to check its world-image against the real thing and its long-established habit of building up its world image out of authority and tradition and selected bits of a very old book and its long-established contentment with just asserting things about the world and human beings and ‘God.’ Of course you would like that, because then you could go on asserting things and laying down the law without any interference from people who think you don’t know what you claim to know. But you don’t get to have that. You get to have a huge amount of power and influence and authority, and money as well; you don’t get to have universal submission. Suck it up.

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