A (Possibly) Immodest Proposal
Anyone paying attention to American society today can’t help but notice that the public space afforded to religion has shrunk – and is continuing to shrink, day by day. The Supreme Court may issue decisions protecting the rights of churches and church schools to hire and fire whomever they want. And it may even, as in the most recent session, level the playing field a bit so that religious schools can receive the same state support as other non-public schools. But these are victories at the margins.
The main culture-forming institutions – colleges and universities, media, Hollywood, the arts, even corporations – sharply limit open expressions of religion, which is to say primarily traditional Christianity, anywhere they can. We can still worship privately, but we can do less publicly than ever before in our history.
And, sadly, many of our religious institutions have just passively gone along with it all.
So I want to make a possibly immodest proposal, partly inspired by the good summer weather: Let’s take it outside.
Today is the feast of St. James the Apostle, little-known even to most Catholics these days, but once – and in many places, still – a central figure in religious pilgrimages. Santiago de Compostela, the famous endpoint of the Camino, literally means Saint James of Compostela.