Dorothy Day, Current Candidate For Sainthood
September 24, 2019 2:48 AM   Subscribe

"They also make up the opponents themselves, Reed is focused on rebutting imaginary liberals, quoting liberals piecemeal rather than engaging in actual ideology. To avoid acknowledging there is a centuries old movement that Socialism and Christianity are intertwined through years of scholarship and inquiry, well, he has to make stuff up." Christian Communist DESTROYS PragerU with FACTS AND LOGIC (YouTube) (36:67) (Yaz previously 'Does Alpha Centarui have an Ideology'?)
posted by The Whelk (14 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I'm having a hard time finding a source, but my recollection is that Day was defiantly opposed when people brought up the possibility during her lifetime.

She saw it as way of neutralizing the challenge to the mainstream of both US society and the Church that Catholic Worker represented: that she was not special, and that anyone who truly embraced the Gospel could live as she had.

So where I think I'm going with this WRT the FPP is that Day would have just said, "Read what Christ said, and then do that. It's hard, but not at all complicated."
posted by ryanshepard at 3:47 AM on September 24, 2019 [8 favorites]

Warning: turn autoplay off. 'Up next: Jordan Peterson'
posted by Cardinal Fang at 5:39 AM on September 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

Added warning: really poor sound mixing, there's (frankly unnecessary) joke segments bringing in sound effects and music that are absurdly loud if you tuned the volume to actually be able to hear his voice in the narration segments.
posted by tocts at 6:02 AM on September 24, 2019

I think Dorothy Day is awesome, and if she was alive today I would like to think that she would be partners with RBG to fight corruption and inequality and injustice.
“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”

“Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.”

“I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions.”

“The Gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor.”

“What we would like to do is change the world--make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, the poor, of the destitute--the rights of the worthy and the unworthy poor, in other words--we can, to a certain extent, change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world. We repeat, there is nothing we can do but love, and, dear God, please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as our friend.”

“You will know your vocation by the joy that it brings you. You will know. You will know when it's right.”
There's a recent book called "The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage" about four American, Catholic writers, including Day and Thomas Merton. It describes how their own religious convictions developed, and how their faith shaped their work. It's super interesting to read today, and makes me wish so hard that we still hard Day around to march and write and hand out soup and call out the bullshit false piety of callous politicians.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:32 AM on September 24, 2019 [4 favorites]

Christianity and socialism are like sodium and chlorine: explosive and poisonous alone, together they are, ahem, the salt of the Earth.
posted by No Robots at 7:57 AM on September 24, 2019 [5 favorites]

I’ll take my socialism without Christianity thank you, considering i’m, you know, not a fucking Christian.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:52 AM on September 24, 2019 [9 favorites]

I'll let TJ speak to this:
I am a Christian, in the only sense he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; & believing he never claimed any other.--Thomas Jefferson
Would that all Christians (and socialists) took this approach.
posted by No Robots at 10:10 AM on September 24, 2019 [4 favorites]

This feels more like a ploy to mollify the Catholic left than a full-on acceptance of what Dorothy Day stood for. To be honest, they would rather see her principles put into effect than see her made a saint and have nothing else change.
posted by tommasz at 10:56 AM on September 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

Jefferson's "I" is one of my favorite fictional characters.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:17 PM on September 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

Jefferson's "I" is one of my favorite fictional characters.

That seems a little puckish. Care to elaborate?
posted by No Robots at 3:39 PM on September 24, 2019

Never did a man achieve more fame for what he did not do. - Moncure Conway
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:54 PM on September 24, 2019

[A couple deleted. No need to comment here if you don't wish to discuss Dorothy Day; there are lots of other posts about other topics.]
posted by taz (staff) at 11:11 PM on September 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

My problem with Day (and I couldn't even get to her mention in the FPP link, as the looping backing music in the video was far too distracting) is similar to my problem with Jefferson, actually: the distance between the virtues espoused in their writings and the way they conducted themselves in the real world.

There are some inspiring Day quotes upthread; to continue in a 'puckish' vein, here's an excerpt from an open letter published in The Catholic Worker in 1972:
We had a mean pastor once long ago who was always blasting women in his sermons for sitting around gossiping, not cleaning their houses, and spending their husband-soldiers’ pay on beer and movies. It was during the Second World War. And there was a man in our house of hospitality arrested for indecent exposure. The parish neighbor who told me this called it “insulting a child,” and I had thought she said “assaulting” and nearly fainted with fear and trembling.

With no one else to turn to, I went to the pastor, the rigid and cranky one, and asked him to go to the jail, visiting the prisoner being one of the seven corporal works of mercy. With no comment at all but with the utmost kindness and the delicacy of few words, he did as I requested and interceded for this man off the road and got him a lighter sentence of sixty days. When this happened once again some years later, another priest, a saintly well-spoken one, was appealed to. He is reported to have responded, “Too bad they don’t give him a life sentence!”

You never can tell! [...]

I later learned from a famous psychiatrist, that these men (and what child has not seen them) who expose themselves, seldom are dangerous, and are often cured; and this man was, and died later in “a state of grace”–as our comforting Catholic phrase puts it.
[Emphasis mine.]

I'm aware that people are flawed, and complex, and often very much products of their time and place. It's still possible to know the difference between right and wrong, and act accordingly.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:25 AM on September 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

Cornel West delivered a homage to Dorothy Day. The video is available here. He states (part 1, 7:55):
Now, in her day, they called it “the masses.” But she corrected them, especially after her Christian conversion, after her time with our beloved secular leftist intellectuals and playwrights and artists and activists. She said, “No, they’re not masses, they’re people.” They’re temples of the Holy Spirit. They’re made in the image and likeness of God, which means each and every one of them, like you, like me, unique, distinctive, irreducible, irreproducible, no one like us and never will be any individual like us. That’s not masses, which is homogenous and monolithic, that allows you to take a detached disposition oftentimes, to view them as objects of manipulation rather than subjects that one has an I-Thou relation with, in the language of our dear brother Martin Buber.
posted by No Robots at 10:04 AM on September 25, 2019

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