Moving into a Bifurcated Society
An interesting link from Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Law, arguing that the middle class is vanishing away.
She's a very good, very clear lecturer.
Why is her thesis relevant? Well consider, for instance, one of her factoids: children this year, in fact since the late '90s, are morelikely to live in a household undergoing foreclosure than undergoing divorce. Is there a point to devloping an intentional pastoral response at the parish, diocesan, or provincial level? Is there any even implicitly relevant part of our liturgy?
I think there are many obviously relevant points of contact. To take just one example: dispute over what constitutes a genuine marriage is at least the occasion behind the current turmoil in the Anglican Communion. Behind the vitriol is a worry--among other worries--that marriage is weak and getting weaker, that the weakening of marriage weakens families and tends to damage their members, and that tolerating civil or ecclesial gay unions would add to a permissive social current, further weakening marriage: a downward spiral. At least that is one of the worries--I don't wish to take issue with it here, though I think the concern is misplaced.
Pace the question of whether there is some valid worry there, ask: which vectors contribute most to social chaos and the enervation of marriages and families? It seems to me we should be able to agree that economic stress and chaos do more damage than tolerating gay unions, and a communion genuinely concerned with marriage and the family should be able to manage a proper, proportional response.