Unable to Live in the Present and Refusing to Accept the Challenges of Tomorrow
Our Bishops Today have Only Rear-View Mirrors in their Wagons
As they Backup Full-Speed into the Triumphalism, Legalism and Clericalism of a Nineteenth Century Catholic Ethos
A Reflection as the Vatican Provides In-Service Training to the College of Cardinals
How Authoritarian Followers Think: Rome Has Spoken so Shut Up and Obey
1. Uncritical Thinking
Without starting from objective evidence, authoritarian followers uncritically accept conclusions that support their religious and ethical beliefs and prejudices.
- Authoritarian followers do not have a very critical outlook on anything unless their authorities have condemned it for them. Then they can be extremely critical.
2. Compartmentalized Minds
- Authoritarian followers easily endorse inconsistent ideas.
- Just present slogans and appeals to traditional values, and then present slogans that invoke opposite values in the name of tradition…..Yes-saying authoritarian followers are likely to agree with all of them.
3. Double Standards
- When their ideas live independent lives from one another it is pretty easy for authoritarian followers to use double standards in their judgments. They simply call up the idea that will justify (afterwards) what they have decided to do.
- E.G. More black criminals in America are condemned to death than white.
- E.G. The conservative homophobic bishop who in secret has a boy-friend…….
5. Blindness To Self
- If you ask people how much integrity they personally have, guess who pat themselves most on the back by claiming they have more than anyone else.
6. Profound Ethnocentrism
- Ethnocentrism means dividing the world up into in-groups and out-groups, and it’s something people do quite automatically.
- Good guys and bad guys — the holy and the diabolic, the orthodox and the heretical.
7. Dogmatism: The Authoritarian’s Last Ditch Defense
- By dogmatism one means: relatively unchangeable, unjustified certainty.
(With appreciation to Bob Altemeyer and his book The Authoritarians.)