I was watching this conversation between Andrew Sullivan (a liberal Catholic) and Ross Douthat (a conservative Catholic) from 2012. I found myself taking a certain pleasure in its geniality and lack of point-scoring.
However, the predictability and shallowness of Sullvan's arguments grated on me. Jesus rarely mentions sex, so Christians must have exaggerated its importance. (It doesn't seem to occur to him that the Gospels are short documents, and that Jesus is very emphatic when he does mention it.) The Church used its teaching throughout the centuries to bolster its power. (Then why was it so keen to preserve its doctrine? It could have easily cut its cloth to fit the demands of power at any given time.)
It's when the conversation turns to the subect of religion and politics, and when Sullivan says that his model of Christianity in politics is the civil rights movement, that a sense of utter weariness descends upon me.
Genial discussion can be very pleasant. It's nice to be nice. It's nice to be liked. But does it actually achieve anything? Does honey really catch more flies than vinegar? I'm not so sure that it does.
But I might be wrong, so I'm not saying it's not worth trying.