Rocks In The River

Really nice column on what B16 didn't say about condoms --and about the role of the Church in the world generally-- from Jonah Goldberg. Citing his deceased father, who loved Vatican spectacle and loved the popes as what he called "rocks in the river," he writes:
I loved the literary quality of the expression "more rocks in the river," even though the imagery doesn't quite convey what my dad really believed. Dad was a conservative, properly understood. By that I mean he didn't think conservatism was merely an act of passive and futile defiance of what Shakespeare called "devouring time." Unlike human institutions, the rocks do not fight the devouring river of time. My dad believed that conservatism was an affirmative act, a choice of prudence and will. In the cacophonous din of perpetual change, the conservative selects the notes worth savoring and repeats them for others to hear and, hopefully, appreciate.
Then a perfectly lucid explanation of the entirely preposterous condom flap. See? It's not hard for people outside the faith to understand if they care to read for understanding as opposed to what The Curt Jester calls Ginger reading (after the Far Side cartoon about what we say versus what dogs hear). Also, a cogent defense against the absurd claim that Vatican (really, orthodox Christian) opposition to sex outside of marriage is responsible for deaths in Africa. Then this nice conclusion:
As for the church's preferred approach — abstinence until marriage — it may be impractical in most parts of the world, as the critics claim. But it would undeniably save more lives than condom use if put into practice. What seems to offend many isn't the efficacy of the solution but the suggestion that such values have any place in the modern world.
The church's position is that the truest notes are those that not only celebrate life and love but cut through the whitewater racket of devouring time. As those notes become harder to hear, the answer isn't to stop playing them but to turn up the volume.
Lovely, Mr. Goldberg. Thanks.