Mark Bauerlein’s post on the rhetoric of anti-discrimination points clearly to the problem which traditionalists face: In a world where ethics is aesthetics, the language of victimhood has become a subjective concept which is a potent weapon in the hands of the powerful.
...This hope for common ground and co-existence is sadly misplaced. There is the fact noted above that the language of political correctness and the language of pastoral Christianity overlap only at the level of phonetics. Conceptually, they are built on different notions of virtue. It is also clear that this strategy underestimates the ambitions of the identity politicians. Common ground with an opponent is only of real interest to those who are on the losing side. The PC lobbyists are increasingly in control of the political and legal environment and will thus see the linguistic games of the Christian establishment for what they are: Signs of fatal weakness. Ultimately, they will present such institutions with a straightforward choice: Abandon the common language or adopt the common concepts.Common ground? Losers are always whining about dialogue and common ground. Winners go out and convert the heathens.
It's admittedly not as punchy as John Mason's line as delivered by Sir Sean Connery in "The Rock," but the sentiment is the same. Trueman makes a good point. Modern ecumenism and interreligious dialogue generally involves the Catholic Church approaching Protestants and non-Catholics, hat in hand, and asking if they could pretty please participate in a big confab where we'll all play nice, maybe sign a joint statement or two, and isn't it nice that we can put all of these petty disagreements about silly doctrines behind us to work together for the common good of mankind?
This is in stark contrast to how the Church used to play it before Vatican II. Strictly speaking, the Catholic Church needs absolutely nothing from non-Catholic religions. Nothing at all. They are the ones who need to reject their idols, heresies, and false doctrines in order to formally join the one true Church founded by Christ himself outside of which there is no salvation. People may rush to swim the Tiber, or they may angrily reject such stark terms, but they can't ignore such a strong message.
Seeking common ground is, almost by definition, what the weaker party wants when it is in danger of being conquered or already lies prostrate before a victorious opponent. Only God knows how many unnecessary acts of buffoonery and cowardice have been committed in the name of seeking common ground. I don't want to seek common ground with the things I deliberately turned my back on when I was received into the Catholic Church. I want the Church to be what she is supposed to be and to not give a damn what those outside of her think about it. The Church was far more influential and had far more converts, priests, and religious back when she took a more adversarial stance toward the world. All three measures have plummeted since she decided to play nice.