A few questions...
All right friends, let's be honest here. The recent development of a Roman Catholic vs. Protestant theme on this blog came about because my brother and I, Presbyterian pastors both of us, went to Pinellas Park to oppose the murder of Terri Schiavo.
While there we were happy--no, delighted--to make common cause with devout Roman Catholics, many of whom we regard then and still regard as brothers and sisters in faith.
Our time in Pinellas Park was characterized by real Protestant-Catholic harmony. On this blog harmony wasn't absolute only because on one occasion I write with annoyance of the impromptu nightly prayer vigils centering on the rosary which would grow in size until Protestant bystanders found themselves seated in the midst of a massive group of Roman Catholics praying audibly to Mary. Even as I wrote my lawn chair was surrounded by one such group.
Yet let me remind those who were there (and those who weren't) that our harmony on the ground was such that we gladly allowed our Protestant loudspeaker to power the Roman Catholic masses in Pinellas Park. We brought it for our own use, but ended up employing it only on Palm Sunday and Good Friday. We kept lugging it to the site daily for the benefit of the Roman Catholics who did need and use it.
Most would agree that both on the ground and in this blog love and respect prevailed during those days of co-belligerency.
Having said this, I want to ask our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters in faith who visit this blog, and especially any who were in Pinellas Park, two questions.
First, do you agree that there was a large Protestant contingent at Woodside Hospice? I think it was pretty evenly divided between Roman Catholics and Protestants. Perhaps there were a few more Roman Catholics on average, but I felt it was pretty close to a 50-50 or 55-45 split. Would you agree?
Second, do you think that, had Terri's family been lifelong Protestants, the Roman Catholic church would have been as well-represented at Woodside Hospice as the Protestant church was for her Roman Catholic family?
Recent Roman Catholic comments on this blog (and on other blogs about this blog) remind me of the Amish attitude toward the English. The Amish love using English cars, power tools, phones, income. But they're not English and they don't want the English thinking they're Amish.
So too Rome benefits from Evangelicalism in countless ways. It's gaining powerful converts from it. It's being aided in the moral battles of our day by it. Its children are being protected by Protestant ministers who were willing to face arrest for the sake of Terri when no Roman Catholic clergyman was willing to do so. But in the end, it seems there's precious little give and a lot of take from Rome on this blog.
You don't have to agree, but graciousness in admitting our aid in the midst of disagreement would be charitable.
So let me ask my question again, what kind of partnership do we have in our areas of co-belligerency: would Roman Catholic turnout have been as high as Protestant turnout had Terri's family been Protestant?