Thursday, March 03, 2005

Evangelism vs. Borgism

It seems to me that what often passes for evangelism these days is what I would, instead, like to call "Borgism." Now if you are a sci-fi geek like me, you're probably already getting the picture. But for the uninitiated, let me explain. In Star Trek, the Borg are a race that exist as a collective, and so while there are individual borgs, they all share the same mind. You might say, they all think the same thing. There modus operandi as a race is to give other races they encounter a choice of either being assimilated into the collective "hive mind" or be destroyed. So, too, with some segments of Catholicism these days. Groups of Catholics adopt identical sets of beliefs which represent only a portion of the Catholic tradition and become convinced that this is the only way to be Catholic, i.e. they become something of a collective. That in itself isn't so bad. What disturbs me is when they set about "evangelizing" not like the Body of Christ, but like the Borg. Other Catholics who don't share their mind are considered alien, and if they cannot be assimilated, then they are written off as casualties of war, not true Catholics like the holy Borg remnant. And the frightening thing is that it seems to me that the would rather be merely that communion of the assimilated, floating alone through space, rather than face the messy diversity of minds and levels of spiritual maturity that is the Body of Christ--this is the messiness that true evangelists see as integral to the Body of Christ, a body of sinners struggling to follow God's will for them in the Church in myriad ways. Christ shared his table with Humans, Borgs, Klingons, Vulcans and Romulans alike (I'm speaking metaphorically, as Christ never made an appearance on Star Trek)--shouldn't we?


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