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@mike Can you elaborate on this? Presumably you don't intend to deconstruct your views on things you firmly believe, say, the majority position on climate change or LGBTQIA+ rights. I understand your deconstruction as preparation for building up a whole new set of beliefs. Deconstruction can have an important place in one's journey, but isn't it more of a course correction than a destination?

Or am I construing something as serious that you meant only as a joke?

@RobertFrancis @mike

My point of view on this is that deconstruction is holding things up to a light and seeing what they truly are. Things like climate change and LGBTQIA+ rights stand the test of deconstruction, as do many other fundamental truths.

@Jeff @mike Thanks Jeff. It's a relief to hear acknowledgment that there are fundamental truths in a community that, as far as I can tell, is generally uncomfortable with admitting they exist even though 1)they are the subtext of everything that is talked about and 2)they give rise to careful safeguards that are enforced through social pressure, as is typical for any community.

@RobertFrancis @mike

If you listen to The Liturgist podcast you will find that there are truths. The main truth being to cause no harm to another human, or cause as little harm as possible given a circumstance. Things like denying climate change and denying fundamental rights to a group of people because they don't hold your particular belief's are obviously harming to other humans.

@Jeff @mike Well, certain things may be obvious to you that are not obvious to me, and vice-versa. To preach deconstruction of everything while reserving certain things in a protected status would be inconsistent. If one really supports deconstructing everything, there cannot be exceptions for what one personally considers fundamental truth. If on the other hand one claims some truths are universal, that is moving to a very different stance than “deconstruct everything”. 1/

@Jeff @mike Again maybe Mike was just joking but by not saying so, my impression is reinforced that the culture built here holds certain beliefs as universal dogmas while avoiding admitting they are such because it is felt that would kill the vibe. Chesterton said “There are two kinds of people in the world: the conscious dogmatists and the unconscious dogmatists. I have always found myself that the unconscious dogmatists were by far the most dogmatic.” 2/

@Jeff @mike I think therein lies danger for any of us when we don’t tend to that awareness. I know Mike has spoken about this kind of awareness in the epistemology episode, but it takes actively applying it to change the existing culture. I hope to see more of that. 3/3

@RobertFrancis @Jeff @mike Hmmm... I would just point out that deconstruction absolutely does not equal destruction. As I understand the term, deconstruction is the critical examination of a concept or phenomenon and of all the suppositions it requires.

@Pondering @Jeff @mike Good distinction. Now, since deconstructing requires examination through the lens of our own interior vision, it is never purely objective. The effect of our biased temperament and worldview was acknowledged on the epistemology episode, and thus holding forum for a diversity of views was presented as a useful means to better ascertain the truth of something. 1/3

@Pondering @Jeff @mike In theory the Liturgists community is meant to reflect this approach. But just as actual culture supplants theory unless guided otherwise, I sense the Liturgists community is now streamlined to a pretty consistent progressive profile. Tell me if I'm mistaken, but just try deconstructing the progessive views on climate change/gay marriage/transgender/gun control in the forums and see how much your deconstruction is supported by those who otherwise denounce dogmatism. 2/3

@Pondering @Jeff @mike I appreciate the attempts made in the past by Mike and @vishnu to avoid creating an echo chamber. I owe my continued presence here to those efforts, which I hope can be renewed, since I believe that issue advocacy has had the unintended effect of reversing those efforts. 3/3

@RobertFrancis @Jeff @mike I am forced to be pithy due to the platform: Honoring all persons with dignity and care is more important to me than intelectual purity. Justice and Love (unlike law and ethics) are undeconstructable in my view because they don’t actually exist, even as a construct, in our reality. But they call to us from beyond demanding our empathy.

@Pondering @Jeff @mike I appreciate the integrity that clearly motivates you. I also hold some things as being foundational--as I sense we all do, whether we admit it or not--hence my discomfort with sweeping statements that suggest deconstructing everything.

@RobertFrancis @Pondering @Jeff I think one of the most important ideas that Michael and I have explored in the arc of the podcast is that nothing is objective involving humans, and that all human knowledge is provisional.

@mike @Pondering @Jeff Couldn't we even say that our deconstruction is largely subjective because we can only see through subjective eyes (though that's not to say deconstruction isn't useful at times)...

But then who can correct the subjective errors we make in deconstruction? Since God is the only coherent answer, and God is not easy to pin down, it seems like a divine conspiracy to keep us humble. And it prompts us to seek confirmation from human community. 1/2

@mike @Pondering @Jeff But the cultural legacy of Protestantism predisposes us to go it alone. Starved by this repression of our human nature, we often fill that need through our political affiliation instead (progressive, conservative, etc), so that politics can easily functions as religion for us, with its own orthodoxies and heresies.

I greatly appreciate the times you guys as hosts have called attention to this tendency. For me, this is an important act of deconstruction. 2/2

@mike @Pondering @Jeff Mike, I now recall you saying on TAATR that you didn't care if the Liturgists is seen as an echo chamber because it's more important that the hurting have a place to feel safe in. This makes your suggestion to deconstruct everything (since you didn't say it was a joke) even more difficult to understand. An echo chamber/safe place indicates a reverence for shared beliefs, while deconstructing everything targets even cherished beliefs as fair game. Can you clarify?

@mike @Pondering @Jeff LOL... maybe your robot persona is a little too convincing!

But seriously, this is a good reminder for me that just because something I hear carries particular weight with me, it doesn't necessarily carry the same weight with the person who said it.

I recognize that the work of the Liturgists is often more about exploring than about laying down solid markers, and that this has its own advantages at times. Thanks.

@Jeff @mike Deconstruction has a role in the faith journey but if it becomes a dominant rallying cry, it can be easy to lose sight of its limits. We can make an idol out of anything, and we can become fundamentalist about being anti-fundamentalist. I know Mike knows this, but I believe occasional reminders are important. To use your eloquent image, we do well to hold things up to the light to see what they truly are, and that includes deconstruction itself.

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