Saturday 3 June 2023

St Charles Lwanga - and a reflection on ideological colonisation

 In 2015 I posted on St Charles Lwanga and his Companions, whose feast day is celebrated in the Catholic Church on 3rd June each year: St Charles Lwanga and Companions: an opportunity to comment on recent events

I was reminded of that post when I visited a local library during this last week, and encountered its display of LGBT books, set out to mark Pride month. I really did get a sense of a colonisation of a cultural space by a particular ideology. In using the term "ideology" it is worth reminding ourselves of how the working of the concept of ideology is explained by Luigi Guissani in his book The Religious Sense (p.129 in my Ignatius Press copy from 1990):

... it is a theoretical-practical construction based on an aspect of reality, a true aspect, but taken up in such a way that it becomes unilaterally and tendentiously made into an absolute; and this comes about through a philosophy or a political project.

Ideology is built up on some starting point offered by our experience; thus, experience itself is taken up as a pretext for an operation that is determined by extraneous or exorbitant preoccupations.

Faced with, for example, the existence of a "poor" person, one theorizes about the problem of this person's need, but the concrete person with his or her concrete need becomes a pretext; the individual in his concreteness is marginalised once he has provided the starting point for the intellectual and his or her opinions or has provided the starting point for the politician so that he can justify and publicise an operation of his. The view of the intellectuals, which the powers that be find convenient and take up as their own, become common mentality by means of mass media, schools and propaganda...

As we mark their feast day, we can remind ourselves of the witness to Catholic teaching on same sex relations offered by St Charles Lwanga and his companions as they resisted the desires of the Ugandan ruler of their time; and of the witness of Rocco Buttiglione which I also described in my post in 2015.

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