A Different View

There is so much being said and debated in this Notre Dame controversy, and so I want to add one more perspective to the mix. I wrote an essay for my personal website and I don’t want to take up a lot of space with it here, so I will simply provide the link and discussion can take place below.

I know many of you will disagree, perhaps even take offense at what I am saying, though essentially I agree with what most of you have already said (no I will not be defending Obama, or abortion – I am 100% pro-life). I think we should all be mature enough to handle a different perspective. I’m aware of the potential for things to get quite ugly, but I think there is a painful truth that needs to be acknowledged.

If I am truly wrong, so be it – I can be wrong. But if I’m right, or partially right, then it does no good to kill the messenger.

http://geocities.com/joeahargrave/notredame.html

49 Responses to A Different View

  • e. says:

    Joe,

    “That being said, the amount of time, energy, and wrath being expended on this controversy is entirely disproportionate to its severity. What is truly at stake here? If Obama ascends the stage and delivers a speech, what will be the consequence, the result? The plain truth is that the answer is nothing. Nothing will change. Over a million babies will lose their lives this year, and the decline of the Catholic university system, in progress long before this invitation, will continue. ”

    Has it even occurred to you that it is actually the lack of outrage and even outright indifference on the part of several Catholics (e.g., “What’s the harm?”, “What’s the big deal?”, etc.) that has led up to the very decay (and even destruction) of our ‘Catholic’ universities?

    Indeed, it is that very attitude that has resulted in one too many compromises.

    Whereas you might find it outrageous that such ‘outrage’ is occurring amongst fervent Catholics, I, on the other hand, find it a definitively positive sign that, finally, Catholics are actually taking their Catholicism seriously!

    Like an old commercial slogan used to say:
    “It’s About Time”.

    Perhaps if people took the Catholic Faith as seriously as current Catholics do to this extent, there wouldn’t have been all those compromises (all due to that popularly espoused “What’s the big deal” attitude) that have ultimately led up to the dire situation we find ourselves today.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Actually, I don’t find it to be an outrage at all. Why do you assume that? Did I say that?

    What I am concerned about – not outraged about – is the intensity of the language being used, and the importance attached to this event, by a lot of Catholics in the com boxes all over the internet. I note that people here on this blog point out how violent the anti-Catholic sentiment is becoming on other websites.

    It isn’t a lack of outrage that causes the decline of Catholic culture, it is a lack of perspective and I daresay a misalignment of priorities. We have all bought into the American system and the American dream – each family in their suburban home, two cars in the garage, an accumulation of things and objects. Our motto was “to each his own” and we lived as everyone else lived.

    Had we truly sought to implement the advice of the Holy Fathers on a wide scale (I’m thinking especially of Mater et Magistra, which contained so many suggestions on social economics), instead of being limited to social experiments and local projects, we might have been in a position to render abortion, though officially legal, practically unnecessary in our communities.

    We have to be 100% sober and clear about the fact that we live in a democracy where the majority of voters are pagans or Christians who are deeply confused about the sanctity of life. The question on our minds MUST be, how do we inspire the faithless?

    People hated the early Christians because they were good at what they did – they turned people away from their false idols and towards the one true God. We must do the same! Now is not the time to close ranks but to expand them.

  • e. says:

    One of the major causes of the decline in our Catholic Universities is due to fellow Catholics who, in the past, did not take such matters seriously. at all.

    They tended to adopt such a supposedly ‘open-mind’ about such things, compromising the very fabric of the ‘Catholic’ character (or what remained of it) of such universities with all manner of secular enticements and such all due to what then was a lack of outrage (i.e., taking matters as these seriously), even to the point of indifference.

    Inspiring a faithless people does not mean accomodating their secular desires and leaving such matters as these unopposed; on the contrary, it means standing up to these no matter the costs — whether it costs us our popularity (just like in Scripture concerning doctrines which must be held either in good times or bad) or our own lives, for that matter — and pointing out the errors of their ways, just like the Saints & Martyrs of Christendom before us had done so in centuries past.

    Deflecting these issues with how abortion could have been rendered unnecessary if only we fashioned the nation in a manner consistent with the principles of the social doctrines as preached by our Church does nothing but impose some sort of fantasy unchained to current reality.

    In other words, to engage in such wishful thinking does nothing to save and even prevent the very deaths of those innocent children that are/will suffer at the hands of their mass murderers.

    On the contrary, it will only embolden the opposition who will try, as Julian the Apostate did in his days, to use such divisive thinking to destroy the unity and efficacy of the Pro-Life Movement rather than to serve it.

    Faithful Catholics bringing critical attention to matters such as these may seem like an inconsequential and even ridiculous move to you; however, if only previous Catholics devoted a similar level of seriousness to matters as these in the past, that kind of attitude may very well have prevented the series of compromises that have made our Catholics universities into the notoriously secular and even pagan facilities that they are today!

  • Mark DeFrancisis says:

    Joe,

    Welcome to the world in which outrage is the litmus test of conviction and scapegoating large segments of Catholica is the lynch pin of fidelity.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    E,

    I couldn’t disagree with you more, because the reality is that where Christians actually have taken up the call of the Church and met the evil of abortion with love and charity, there are real victories. We focus on the lives lost, but how many lives are saved by sidewalk counselors, crisis pregnancy centers, women’s shelters, charitable donations to organizations that help women out, etc.? Some families offer to let pregnant women stay with them, even “single moms” – and I think in a society where so many young men have such manifest disrespect and callousness towards women that in some cases we have to look at these abandoned moms as widows, whom God loves greatly and exhorts us to tirelessly seek justice for.

    My point is simply that these efforts would have been amplified 1000 times over in a whole society based on the teachings of the Holy Fathers, and they STILL can be. It is not too late, it is never too late, to turn it around. Rejecting the ways of the world doesn’t mean withdrawing from it, or doing so only as a matter of public protest. It means building alternatives to the inhuman structures in our midst – that is what will inspire people.

    What is really ridiculous to me is the defensiveness you are displaying here. You keep putting words in my mouth and thinking for me. I don’t think calling attention to this matter is ridiculous, I think calling attention to it without being prepared to throw away all the other things in our lives that contribute to the problem is ridiculous. Did the demand for abortions fall out of the sky? It sure is easy to blame it all on a few judges but there was a whole sexual revolution that lead up to it, and an official theory of consumerism and hedonism that preceded even that. The real “Roe” was pushed before the courts by an activist feminist movement which in turn got its fuel from a society that subordinated God to the almighty dollar.

    Without a historical understanding of abortion, there can be no genuine solutions, and without either of those, there can be only slogans and protests. They play the same role here they do on the left; they make people feel as if they are doing the right thing, speaking “truth to power” as they say. It isn’t their sincerity or yours I would ever question, just the rationality of it all.

  • Mark,

    It’s hardly a phenomenon restricted to the Catholic blog world. Perhaps you’ve seen the bumper stickers over the last eight years that read, “If you’re not totally outraged, you haven’t been paying attention.”

    Given that those bumper stickers usually went with campaign stickers for Democratic candidates, the original owners are perhaps now less outraged, but now the shoe is on the other foot.

    Having been somewhat frequently outraged yourself over the last eight years, perhaps you can have some sympathy who now find themselves in your own shoes.

  • Matt McDonald says:

    Joe,

    practically unnecessary

    It is and always has been. You have an erroneous understanding of abortion. We who stand outside the clinics praying and assisting the sidewalk counselors see plenty of top end SUV’s driving through. This is not problem of financial need it is of convenience.

    We focus on the lives lost, but how many lives are saved by sidewalk counselors, crisis pregnancy centers, women’s shelters, charitable donations to organizations that help women out, etc.? Some families offer to let pregnant women stay with them, even “single moms” – and I think in a society where so many young men have such manifest disrespect and callousness towards women that in some cases we have to look at these abandoned moms as widows, whom God loves greatly and exhorts us to tirelessly seek justice for.

    I think you should spend some time with pro-life groups like the ones I work with. You see, the people you are becoming consistently critical of for advocating strongly against the abortion regime are the very active in all of these activities that you suggest are an either or proposition.

    You really need to back off the constant condescension in suggesting that if we oppose your position it’s that we haven’t studied history or read the same books as you.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Matt,

    Maybe you shouldn’t interpret every disagreement as some sort of fight to the death, some kind of struggle to “overcome” the other position.

    This statement:

    “This is not problem of financial need it is of convenience.”

    Is only partially correct. Every study I have seen on abortion shows that a disproportionate number are performed on minorities and particularly African-American women. They are something like 13% of women but they get 35% of the abortions in the US. Combine that with the fact that nearly half of abortions are done on women who earn less than 30,000 dollars a year. There are financial issues here, I agree they aren’t the only issue but its still a pretty big part of the problem.

    But if you’ll notice, I’m not exclusively talking about financial need, here or anywhere else. I believe a far bigger problem, in fact, is a culture of consumerism in general, and that it has deep roots in this country.

    I’m not going to pretend that my position ISN’T based in an account of American history so you don’t have to feel insecure. I believe it is possible that you may know as much as me or anyone else about and still come to a different conclusion. We can study the same facts and have different perspectives.

    Finally, stop portraying me as being against people who are critical of abortion. I’m against the notion of going crazy over Notre Dame, against rhetoric that makes it seem as if more is at stake here than really is. I don’t think I made it any more general than that – you did that for me, because you “think you know” me. You don’t.

  • Matt McDonald says:

    Joe,

    Maybe you shouldn’t interpret every disagreement as some sort of fight to the death, some kind of struggle to “overcome” the other position.

    This statement is exactly why you’re finding some of us combative: so you don’t have to feel insecure. Don’t worry boy, insecurity is not one of my weaknesses.

    “This is not problem of financial need it is of convenience.”

    Is only partially correct. Every study I have seen on abortion shows that a disproportionate number are performed on minorities and particularly African-American women. They are something like 13% of women but they get 35% of the abortions in the US. Combine that with the fact that nearly half of abortions are done on women who earn less than 30,000 dollars a year. There are financial issues here, I agree they aren’t the only issue but its still a pretty big part of the problem.

    Which means more than half are performed on women who make more than 30,000. Is that individual income or family? Either way, with social programs so universally available a woman making $30k is not destitute raising a child. Even more so if she chooses adoption as was the STANDARD practice from the beginning.

    But if you’ll notice, I’m not exclusively talking about financial need, here or anywhere else. I believe a far bigger problem, in fact, is a culture of consumerism in general, and that it has deep roots in this country.

    It’s cultural, but I’m not sure it’s reasonable to conflate the problem with consumerism. It’s all pride, but one does not follow the other. While removing the desire for abortion is critical, the Church has made clear that we must also fight for banning abortion as it is the gravest of injustices.

    I’m not going to pretend that my position ISN’T based in an account of American history so you don’t have to feel insecure. I believe it is possible that you may know as much as me or anyone else about and still come to a different conclusion. We can study the same facts and have different perspectives.

    Then why have you repeatedly suggested that people who oppose you are poorly read?

    Finally, stop portraying me as being against people who are critical of abortion. I’m against the notion of going crazy over Notre Dame, against rhetoric that makes it seem as if more is at stake here than really is. I don’t think I made it any more general than that – you did that for me, because you “think you know” me. You don’t.

    I don’t know you, but, as I noted, you have been coming up against the strong advocates against abortion, including some of our re-invigorated bishops who DO think it’s a big deal. If they do, why don’t you? You also are exaggerating the opposition to it by saying we are going “crazy”? What is this world coming to where righteous anger is considered a psychological flaw? You seem awful angry about consumerism, aren’t dead babies enough to raise the dander, just a little bit?

    I know some who are comfortable with Obama being honored are outraged more about 3 terrorists being dunked in a bucket at Guantanamo Bay than a million abortions… am I the one who is crazy?

    Let’s be honest can ANYONE here say they have done everything possible to save the lives of these children, and keep their murderers from eternal damnation? I think we would be more up in arms if they were dragging our neighbors to the ovens….

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Ok…

    “Boy”? Are you serious?

    “Is that individual income or family?”

    The study didn’t specify, unfortunately. A good study would look at household and not personal income for a survey such as this, but I don’t know for sure.

    “Either way, with social programs so universally available a woman making $30k is not destitute raising a child.”

    Agreed, for “a” child, but a second or a third, if she is alone? I’m not saying this ever excuses abortion. But it could be addressed by a wider promotion of the whole social teaching of the Church, which already notes – repeatedly – the tendency of our economy (call it what you like, no one cares what the name is) to break up families and drive women into the workplace, and calls for SOCIETY to address the problem through policy. With or without legal abortion women being in this situation would be unjust according to the Church.

    “the Church has made clear that we must also fight for banning abortion as it is the gravest of injustices.”

    No argument from me there! But is that going to happen any time soon? I don’t think so. What could happen tomorrow if we so choose is a more thorough study of our social teaching and the social economic principles it puts forward, and a rapid implementation of some of those principles in real structures. This is what I want my life to be about; changing the things I can, and enduring those I cannot.

    “Then why have you repeatedly suggested that people who oppose you are poorly read?”

    Because its often true. My apologies if you are indeed well read.

    “Let’s be honest can ANYONE here say they have done everything possible to save the lives of these children, and keep their murderers from eternal damnation?”

    No, I don’t think they can – but some of us here display a level of rage that would only make sense for someone who actually was doing that. Righteous anger is not a psychological flaw, but what would you say about a person who was enraged about a terrible thing taking place right in front of him but did nothing to stop it? He just kept screaming and screaming but standing in place, or making a token gesture of defiance. I think we’d say that man had some problems.

    Let me put it another way: The people in the pro-life movement I have met and spoken with – those who present media, those who work with crisis pregnancies, those who do sidewalk counseling, are all the coolest, calmest people I’ve met in politics. They don’t display this sort of rage. They absorb it from the pro-aborts and don’t let it get them down. It is quite admirable. And they are the doers. The more we DO, the less rage we seem to feel, at least in general, so forgive me if I associate high levels of rage with low levels of action. I see rage as an escape and a release, not evidence of actual goodness.

    And stop saying that I am coming out against “strong advocates against abortion”, as if “abortion” were completely interchangeable with “Notre Dame’s invitation to Obama”. I am a strong advocate against abortion.

  • Elaine Krewer says:

    Let’s be very clear about this: NOBODY who is a regular commenter on AC disputes the evil of abortion or questions the duty of the Church and of all Catholics to oppose it. That is a matter of faith, morals, and natural law. It is wrong to kill the unborn.

    However… everyone is NOT obligated to have the same temperament, the same talents or the same speaking skills. Everyone is not called to do the same things or express themselves in the same way. Nor is everyone obliged to have exactly the same ideas about HOW to defend the unborn most effectively.

    As long as we are agreed that abortion itself is an evil that can never be justified, endorsed or excused in any way, there is room for disagreement on the most effective means to stop it as well as room for a variety of approaches — political (supporting pro-life candidates or laws and opposing pro-abortion ones), social (crisis pregnancy aid, adoption promotion, chastity education), and spiritual (prayer, fasting, vigils outside clinics).

  • Elaine Krewer says:

    How about this: Obama moves his speech to the day BEFORE graduation, and delivers it an an off-campus or “neutral” site, with ND graduates and their families offered priority seating if they want to attend (not all will). He also does not get an honorary degree (he could decline it if he wants to be nice, or ND could publicly revoke its decision).

    If I were graduating from ND this year, no matter how I felt about the issue/matter/mess/outrage/scandal, I would prefer an arrangement like that purely for the reason that I would rather my actual graduation not be turned into a media circus and a security nightmare.

    I attended Eureka College while Reagan was president. He didn’t come to my graduation, but he did come to one a couple of years before (the occasion at which he announced the START talks). The entire town was crawling with Secret Service agents a week ahead of time, and the security precautions in place severely limited seating and other activities at the graduation.

    In Notre Dame’s case the situation will be even worse due to 1) the greater number of graduates involved, 2) the fact that in a post-9/11 world security precautions are even tighter than they were 25 + years ago, and 3) the expectation of protests and possible disruption of the event. Separating the speech from the actual graduation, moving it off campus, and removing the honorary degree would not only address at least some of the moral objections but also insure that the graduates get to enjoy THEIR graduation day without being overshadowed by controversy.

  • Gabriel Austin says:

    “Either way, with social programs so universally available a woman making $30k is not destitute raising a child.”
    Agreed, for “a” child, but a second or a third, if she is alone?

    How did she get a second or third child if she is alone? The baby killing is the fruit of the first sin – serial copulation. Babies are not delivered by storks.

    By a relaxed, or forgiving attitude to abortion, one undermines all the efforts of churches [I think especially of black churches] to reduce serial copulation. Its promotion is – as is noted in African countries – a value of well-off Western countries.

    It is the moral value of country club Republicans, now assumed by envious Democratics. And the Sangerian eugenics efforts are echoed by Mrs. Pelosi.

  • Gabriel Austin says:

    To my previous, I add another comment. It is many years since Notre Dame – joining many schools in the Jesuit tradition – ceased being a reputable Catholic school. It exemplifies Bishop Sheen’s warning to Catholic parents: “Send your children to secular colleges where they will have to defend their faith. Do not send them to Catholic colleges where they will lose it”.

    One has but to consider that the head of the theology department at ND is Fr. Richard McBrien.

  • Matt McDonald says:

    Joe,

    Ok…

    You said: you don’t have to feel insecure.

    I said Don’t worry boy, insecurity is not one of my weaknesses.

    THen yo said: “Boy”? Are you serious?

    Are you insulted by my condescending response to your condescension? I guess it’s different when the shoe’s on the other foot. Stick to arguing the points and I will too, you make snide remarks, don’t cry fowl when they are echoed back to you.

    “Either way, with social programs so universally available a woman making $30k is not destitute raising a child.”

    Agreed, for “a” child, but a second or a third, if she is alone? I’m not saying this ever excuses abortion. But it could be addressed by a wider promotion of the whole social teaching of the Church, which already notes – repeatedly – the tendency of our economy (call it what you like, no one cares what the name is) to break up families and drive women into the workplace,

    Really, the economy makes women sleep with multiple men and not marry them? Ah… It certainly is a societal problem but it’s not an economic one. Everything does not reduce to economics.

    and calls for SOCIETY to address the problem through policy. With or without legal abortion women being in this situation would be unjust according to the Church.

    What injustice put her in the situation of multiple out-of-wedlock births? What “policy” does the Church recommend to resolve this injustice?

    “the Church has made clear that we must also fight for banning abortion as it is the gravest of injustices.”

    No argument from me there! But is that going to happen any time soon? I don’t think so. What could happen tomorrow if we so choose is a more thorough study of our social teaching and the social economic principles it puts forward, and a rapid implementation of some of those principles in real structures. This is what I want my life to be about; changing the things I can, and enduring those I cannot.

    You think remaking the entire economic system of the US is easier than banning abortion????

    Joe said: believe it is possible that you may know as much as me or anyone else about and still come to a different conclusion. We can study the same facts and have different perspectives.

    Matt said: “Then why have you repeatedly suggested that people who oppose you are poorly read?”

    Joe said: Because its often true. My apologies if you are indeed well read.

    So you’ve completely reversed yourself in 2 posts. And then you wonder why people are responding combatively? It’s ok to suggest people are unread because they oppose your idea, becuase so may of them are?

    “Let’s be honest can ANYONE here say they have done everything possible to save the lives of these children, and keep their murderers from eternal damnation?”

    No, I don’t think they can – but some of us here display a level of rage that would only make sense for someone who actually was doing that. Righteous anger is not a psychological flaw, but what would you say about a person who was enraged about a terrible thing taking place right in front of him but did nothing to stop it? He just kept screaming and screaming but standing in place, or making a token gesture of defiance. I think we’d say that man had some problems.

    I agree.

    Let me put it another way: The people in the pro-life movement I have met and spoken with – those who present media, those who work with crisis pregnancies, those who do sidewalk counseling, are all the coolest, calmest people I’ve met in politics. They don’t display this sort of rage. They absorb it from the pro-aborts and don’t let it get them down. It is quite admirable. And they are the doers. The more we DO, the less rage we seem to feel, at least in general, so forgive me if I associate high levels of rage with low levels of action. I see rage as an escape and a release, not evidence of actual goodness.

    Believe me those people have a great degree of passion and righteous anger, if you started attacking their approach personally, you might see their dander up a little. What is the rage you are talking about? Cite it.

    And stop saying that I am coming out against “strong advocates against abortion”, as if “abortion” were completely interchangeable with “Notre Dame’s invitation to Obama”. I am a strong advocate against abortion.

    No, because it is.

  • It’s hardly a phenomenon restricted to the Catholic blog world. Perhaps you’ve seen the bumper stickers over the last eight years that read, “If you’re not totally outraged, you haven’t been paying attention.”

    Given that those bumper stickers usually went with campaign stickers for Democratic candidates, the original owners are perhaps now less outraged, but now the shoe is on the other foot.

    That sticker, and the slogan, pre-date the Bush administration.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    “Are you insulted by my condescending response to your condescension?”

    Actually, it was a mixture of amusement and confusion. Between the “boy” and “dander” I feel as if I’m arguing with one of the Dukes of Hazard. No offense.

    “Really, the economy makes women sleep with multiple men and not marry them? Ah… It certainly is a societal problem but it’s not an economic one. Everything does not reduce to economics.”

    I didn’t say that – but look at the way you blame the women here. Men are just as if not more responsible for this problem than women. When a woman is really seeking to get pregnant, she’s doing so in order to keep a man. Few unmarried men are trying to get a woman pregnant, few are willing to do the right thing if they do. I think more pregnant women are willing to be married than single men. But the men leave and the women are alone.

    It isn’t as if pre-martial sex didn’t exist before the 1960s. Then, though, we didn’t have abortion, and probably one the practical reasons is that men were expected to “do the right thing”. They are not really expected to do that anymore, because now the abortion clinic is there. It is tragic.

    But the answer isn’t insist that, overnight, human behavior become perfect. Lets look at the realistic possibility – we once had a society where men were shamed into doing the right thing, and that seems to be something we can get back. We’ve NEVER had a society where all the young men and women kept their virtue until marriage, not even the Middle Ages when the Church reigned.

    So as you see, it isn’t all about economics for me either. I would rather bring back that shame to young men. But – and this is important too – the men have to be able to earn enough to support their wife and child, and our economy doesn’t provide that.

    And I’m sorry, “son”, but you read the social documents of the Church and this problem is seen as a grave and serious evil by all of the Holy Fathers, a problem that is directly related to the break up of families. JP II in Evangelium Vitae also notes the seriousness of the economic problem and our obligation to address it.

    “You think remaking the entire economic system of the US is easier than banning abortion????”

    I think it would be easier for every Catholic family to change their lifestyle and band together in community to find solutions to their problems, and those of their neighbors, than it would be to convince the Obama administration to change its views on abortion in the next 4-8 years, yes I do.

    “Believe me those people have a great degree of passion and righteous anger, if you started attacking their approach personally, you might see their dander up a little. What is the rage you are talking about? Cite it.”

    Are you kidding? Alright, if you really need an example, go to the article I referenced in my blog on Inside Catholic: “the right is mean, and the left is foul”. There the author speaks of this as a persistent and internet-wide problem, and plenty of people bear out the analysis in the boxes below.

    Passion is not the same thing as wrath. I have a great deal of passion, and when it moves us to do good things, it itself is a good thing. My priest gave an excellent sermon on anger not too long ago – there is righteous, productive anger. But it is only moral on the condition that it is proportionate to the evil taking place, and that it actually results in us DOING something – otherwise it becomes a self-indulgence and has more to do with us than with the problem. There is a reason wrath is one of the seven deadly sins!

  • Matt McDonald says:

    Actually, it was a mixture of amusement and confusion. Between the “boy” and “dander” I feel as if I’m arguing with one of the Dukes of Hazard. No offense.

    No offense? Please.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Its clear that what we have here is a personality clash. For some reason neither of us are probably able to articulate, we don’t like each other.

    We’re going to have to declare a truce and start over once again.

    I apologize, truly, for the offensive things I have said and ask your pardon in turn. We both believe in Jesus Christ, we are both Catholics, and we are both pro-life! It seems ridiculous for us to argue like this. Let’s agree to disagree about this “anger” issue; you feel the level is appropriate, I don’t. We’ve got our digs at one another, lets call it a day and move on.

    It isn’t right to go on and on it a state of war, least of all with a fellow Christian. So what do we do to make this right?

  • Of course! It also predates the Council of Trent!

    So true! I’m not sure that many claim Trent was a total about phase which created a new order in the Church, though. And some do seem to have that illusion about Vatican II.

    That sticker, and the slogan, pre-date the Bush administration.

    Yes, and?

    The fact that it goes back farther than that doesn’t really have much to do with the fact it’s often been a symptom of Bush derangement syndrome of the last eight years.

    Being in opposition tends to rile people up. Of course, we sadly can’t have any “Charlton Heston is my president” bumper stickers this time around. Though there’s always the old standby, “Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for him.”

    Personally, though, I tend to avoid bumper stickers. I don’t want people laughing at my back end more than they would otherwise. :-)

  • So true! I’m not sure that many claim Trent was a total about phase which created a new order in the Church, though. And some do seem to have that illusion about Vatican II.

    Well, I wasn’t talking to you, but since you want to continue the conversation…

    VII represents BOTH continuity and a radical break with the past. Anyone (including Pope Benedict) who does not do justice to that FACT is distorting the truth of what happened at Vatican II.

  • Don’t think it’s accurate to say that Matt has expressed hatred for Muslims, and I was going to remove it in order to prevent you from kicking off yet another combox fight full of false accusations.

    However, I realized after I did so that it was Joe’s thread and thus administrating it is his call. My bad. I believe your comment is restored to its original splendor. If I got any words wrong, let me know and I’ll fix it.

  • It should read “comes as a surprise to you.”

    Thanks for restoring my comment. It was not meant as a personal insult, but as a legitimate response to his repeated comments about Muslims. I was frustrated with what I felt was an attempt to protect Matt from critique when he should bear responsibility for the words that he uses. I appreciate you allowing the comment to stand, and giving him the opportunity to stand up for himself.

  • As I said, I think your characterization of Matt is wrong, so it’s not out of any merit in your critique I restored it. But I shouldn’t have taken such an aggressive action on someone else’s thread.

    On the substance, I’m also not sure I’d agree with that statement that Vatican II represented a radical change in the Church’s position on interreligious dialogue, unless one both overstates what Vatican II said and what the Church’s words over the previous 2000 years.

  • If you recall that thread, I argued that it was not true and had been the Church’s position neither before nor after Vatican II.

    Indeed, one of the reasons I disagree with your suggestion there was a radical change in the Church’s position on interreligious dialogue is that I don’t think that the Church’s position on Islam (or any other religion) changed substantially with Vatican II, though there was certainly a change in tone and emphasis in some cases.

  • Matt McDonald says:

    Michael,

    if you’re going to accuse me of hating Muslims, then cite me. One can be at war and not hate. In fact it is morally required.

    I love Muslims so much I want them all to be saved… by becoming Catholic… do you love them that much?

    This really is off topic, apologies to Joe, but I felt such a direct attack needs a response.

  • …don’t think that the Church’s position on Islam (or any other religion) changed substantially with Vatican II, though there was certainly a change in tone and emphasis in some cases.

    This is a strange suggestion, I think.

  • I love Muslims so much I want them all to be saved… by becoming Catholic… do you love them that much?

    I’d like Muslims to be saved however God wants to save them. Are you willing to let God be God? Or do you think the Catholic Church (or yourself!) is God?

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Also, I have to say, I’m new at the whole administrating thing. I really don’t mind “off topic” discussion because Lord knows, I go off topic enough.

  • e. says:

    Mark DeFrancis,

    “Welcome to the world in which outrage is the litmus test of conviction and scapegoating large segments of Catholica is the lynch pin of fidelity.”

    Thank you for demonizing me and mischaracterizing my comments to such a blatantly malicious extent.

    DO you even know how our Catholic universities have become so secular, so pagan in the first place?

    It’s because of bloody indifferent folks like yourselves who in the past took matters as these so trivially, engaging merely in such sarcastic dismissals as “What’s the big deal?”.

    Several years later, those events that were once thought as not a “big deal” at all had led up to a series of compromises that has transformed our Catholic universities into little more than a pagan institution of hardly any Catholic character at all!

    Girls getting an abortion?

    Having been once a member of such institutions, a not uncommon instance would find a student of such a university more likely to guide such a troubled individuals to an abortion clinic rather than counseling them to do otherwise.

    Catholic ideals tarnished or repudiated altogether?

    Well, you can hardly find a crucifix these days in any of the classrooms unlike former days.

    Why?

    Because secularism is capital in such formerly religious institutions rather than its once hailed Catholicism!

    Muslims are dreadful in their reactions to certain matters like the cartooning of their religious figures; however, the fact that they do get outraged at such things is a testimony of how they take things seriously.

    Now, anybody with a reasonable mind reading my former comments would know for a fact that I do not call for similar reations but what I have called attention to is the need to take matters seriously, which obviously several American Catholics are hardly wont to do.

    Such instances where the Catholic Faith is mocked by the media or any other source, you would hardly find any Catholic who would give a damn.

    Of course, it’s no wonder given individuals such as yourselves who couldn’t care less. at all.

  • Mark DeFrancisis says:

    e.,

    Actually, years ago I was more like you, caught up in the so called culture wars, considering myself a zealous defender of all things distinctively Catholic and deeming many, many Catholic institutions of falling radically short of living up to their Catholic identity and mission.

    I know believe I was rather shortsighted in my take on what it is to be Catholic in the modern world and how Catholic instituations are to assert themselves in their dealings-engaging with a highly complex, multifaceted world.

    Many of my ex-ideal institutions I see know as bastions in fearful retreat, afraid of living vulnerably with only Christ’s self-kenotic love as their life source, and all too self-satified in the stallness of their ghetto triumphalism.

    I will not name names, as I believe no good can come from such.

  • e. says:

    So Catholics who guard and stand for the Truth are nothing but closed-minded dolts?

    Where have I heard that before if not from the anti-Catholics, athiests and all those secularists and the like who just can’t stand the Church’s moral teachings.

    Well, I guess I’ll just have to continue to subscribe to those oh so unpopular views that rejects from society in times past had done and even sacrificed their entire lives upholding — you know, ‘dem social rejects known as martyrs and saints.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    E,

    I grow tired of your melodrama. No one ever suggested that

    “Catholics who guard and stand for the Truth are nothing but closed-minded dolts”

    This is no more true than saying Catholics who reject one particular approach in favor of another are automatically abortion advocates.

    We are all Catholics here, we are all pro-life, and we all defend the truth. The early Christians never approached the disgusting paganism of the Roman Empire in the way you say we must approach abortion in order to be Catholic enough in your eyes.

    They were considered a threat not when they shouted and wailed at pagan practices, but when they fed the pagan poor and inspired the slaves and others to join them by way of example. They weren’t able to be lost in some fantasy that they lived in a “Christian country” that they were trying to save, but rather were keeping in mind what Christ said to the Apostles – that they were being sent out among wolves, and to be as peaceful as doves, and as shrewd as serpents. There is nothing shrewd or peaceful about your approach.

    We cannot have the mentality of crusading knights trying to save Christendom from an enemy, but rather of early Christian martyrs who lived in the belly of a rotting beast. That’s where we are, thats where we begin from.

    Now, if you really disagree, that’s fine. Continue doing what you think will work. But stop whining and accusing people who disagree with you of not being authentically Catholic or concerned with the truth. The truth doesn’t need to be screamed and it doesn’t need to be packaged with aggressive and nasty rhetoric to be spoken clearly to all. To people who have never lived or understood what it means to be a Christian, your “truth” sounds like madness.

    Do you want the evil to stop, do you want to convert the sinner? Or do you want to do only what makes you feel right and good? What is it that you ultimately want out of all this?

  • Matt McDonald says:

    Joe,

    But stop whining and accusing people who disagree with you of not being authentically Catholic or concerned with the truth…Do you want the evil to stop, do you want to convert the sinner? Or do you want to do only what makes you feel right and good? What is it that you ultimately want out of all this?

    Why don’t YOU stop whining and accusing people who disagree with you of being in error in their approach? Do you want the evil to stop, do you want to convert the sinner? Or do you want to do only what makes you feel right and good? What is it that you ultimately want out of all this?

  • Mark DeFrancisis says:

    Grace works through nature.

    Perhaps a certain interlocutor’s high frequency of interpersonal brush-ups could by dealt with, with God’s help and encouragement, by a simple resort to the wonders of modern medication.

    Many I know have had their affective lives take on a healthy, affective peace via such a remedy.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Matt,

    I know you think you’re being clever, but you’re really just lost here.

    First of all, any reasonable person would know that there is a difference between pointing out an error/suggesting a different approach on the one hand, and actually calling into question a person’s sincerity and their foundational beliefs on the other. Myself and others have done the former, while E and yourself have done the latter.

    Secondly, I do want the evil to stop and the sinner to be converted – that is why I approach the matter the way that I do. But when I’m addressing fellow Catholics who are already pro-life, I’m not addressing the sinner, am I? I’m addressing those whose fundamental beliefs I share, but whose style and tactics I call into question.

    To react to our criticism by questioning whether or not we are as opposed to abortion as you are is entirely unjustified. You want the truth? The truth is that you and E and others like you are entirely in the wrong in how you deal with your Catholic brothers who haven’t insulted you, questioned your faith, or your commitment, but merely your approach. You are in the wrong to identify your particular approach with a general opposition to abortion.

    If you can’t handle criticism of your positions without resorting to these sort of holier-than-thou accusations, how in Heaven’s name do you handle belonging to a universal Church with over 1 billion members world wide? The Church is more than you and your pals and co-thinkers.

  • Matt McDonald says:

    Joe,
    First of all, any reasonable person would know that there is a difference between pointing out an error/suggesting a different approach on the one hand, and actually calling into question a person’s sincerity and their foundational beliefs on the other. Myself and others have done the former, while E and yourself have done the latter.

    Well when you suggest that e. works to further the cause of the unborn it is out of a desire to do only what makes you feel right and good, that is not calling into question the person’s sincerity???

    I do want the evil to stop and the sinner to be converted

    I don’t doubt it for a second, about you or e. perhaps you should stop questioning other posters sincerity then?

    that is why I approach the matter the way that I do. But when I’m addressing fellow Catholics who are already pro-life, I’m not addressing the sinner, am I? I’m addressing those whose fundamental beliefs I share, but whose style and tactics I call into question.

    You can do it without questioning their sincerity, can’t you?

    The truth is that you and E and others like you are entirely in the wrong in how you deal with your Catholic brothers who haven’t insulted you, questioned your faith, or your commitment, but merely your approach. You are in the wrong to identify your particular approach with a general opposition to abortion.

    And you are entirely wrong in your approach of criticizing people for working so hard to oppose injustices such as honoring a pro-abortion politician at a Catholic college. You would not have received a response if you had not gone on the attack and mischaracterized those like e. myself justified anger.

    If you can’t handle criticism of your positions without resorting to these sort of holier-than-thou accusations, how in Heaven’s name do you handle belonging to a universal Church with over 1 billion members world wide? The Church is more than you and your pals and co-thinkers.

    The true Church may be a lot smaller than you and your pals and co-thinkers believe. As the Holy Father mused once… “it may be time for a smaller purer Church”. Sadly the liberal/modernist agenda has done deep damage to the cause of saving souls.

    I can handle criticism fine, but when people like you resort to holier-than-thou accusations against interlocutors I find a need to try and expose the hypocrisy of such claims.

Follow TAC by Clicking on the Buttons Below
Bookmark and Share
Subscribe by eMail

Enter your email:

Recent Comments
Archives
Our Visitors. . .
Our Subscribers. . .