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« The Pernicious Myth of the "Dark Ages" | Main | Rapping Sister's knuckles »

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Comments

Ed Peters

Might be the right place to mention my "Smearing the Pope: the BBC's clumsy attempt to connect Benedict XVI with the cover-up of child abuse..." Catholic World Report (December 2006) 40-43.

Carl Olson

A very fine and helpful piece it was, Ed. Compared to England, it would seem that the U.S. is vibrantly pro-Catholic.

clive

Yes, and Professor Grayling reminds us of what delight it is to 'debate' in the public square of humanistic enlightenment.

Here's a hoot; let the BBC air a drama in which an El Quaida member, has an affair with, lets say, a married teacher, her husband finds out, and the El Quaida operative takes 'em both out.

No, diodn't think it would fly.

Little Gidding

I suspect that Orwell would find plenty to be concerned about

Maybe Orwell, but not Cromwell.

El Perro

One simple question.... are you equally sympathetic to the American Muslims who are decrying their portrayal in the Fox show 24?

Carl Olson

One simple question.... are you equally sympathetic to the American Muslims who are decrying their portrayal in the Fox show 24?

From what I know (not having seen the show), the BBC depicts Opus Dei members as adulterous, manipulative, and murderous. "24," which I do watch, depicts some terrorists as being Muslim, while depicting other Muslims as being good, honest people. So, some questions worth asking are:

- Does the BBC show accurately depict Opus Dei members? Does anyone know of Opus Dei members who are murderous adulterers? Is Opus Dei, as a whole, a manipulative, shadowy organization? And does the show depict is as being such? (From what I know, it does suggest so).

- Is "24" accurate in depicting some terrorists as being Muslim (keeping in mind that past episodes have had several terrorist characters who are not Muslim)? Do we know of any terrorists who are Muslim? Is it a fact that many terrorists do profess to being Islamic? Yes, Yes, and Yes. But "24" never suggests that all Muslims are terrorists, or that Islam is a religion of terror.

Personally, I don't have a problem with a TV show that has, for example, a character who is a Catholic priest who is molesting children. But if the show suggests or states in some way that such a priest is the norm, or that the Catholic Church's teachings/practices produce such a man, I would be rightly upset.

Not that I expect you to see the difference, El Perro, but I know that the rest of our readers aren't as irrational or spiteful as you.

El Perro

Yes, I know. I'm irrational and spiteful because I believe that it is foolish and petty to spend so much time whining about entertainment products and have pointed that out repeatedly to a man who made a bit of name for himself in public by doing just that. But coincidently, irrational and spiteful are words that I would use to describe someone who obsessively attacks a book and author that he doesn't appreciate.

I asked you a very simple, direct and respectful question, and you had to conclude your answer with a personal attack, so it appears that you have confirmed my suspicions once again. Thanks

Carl Olson

I asked you a very simple, direct and respectful question, and you had to conclude your answer with a personal attack, so it appears that you have confirmed my suspicions once again. Thanks

As you well know, this exchange isn't taking place in a vacuum, or without a history. Your questions in the past always end up in the same way: calling me names and making nonsensical remarks about my motives, intelligence, etc. I do appreciate the fact that your question was simple and direct; it was a good question. But I'm going to have to reserve judgment on the respectful part for the time being.

El Perro

Yes, I have and will continue to call into question your motives, just as I do anyone who gains financially or politically by attacking something as benign as entertainment. But I don't believe that I've attacked you intelligence. It obvious from your writing style that you are a reasonably intelligent and learned person. But I don't mistake education for wisdom either. I can acknowledge your intelligence while calling into question both your motives and judgment in spending so much time an energy on what I consider to be a fool's errand.

You should read the kinds of things I reserve for politicians like Joe Lieberman, Hillary Clinton, Heather Wilson and Bill Frist. Then you'll know that I've treated you with kid gloves compared to them. While I think it’s somewhat foolish and disingenuous for someone to spend so much time obsessing of entertainment, I also believe that the worst you can accomplish is to preach to your like-minded choir and make a few bucks selling a book to those already predisposed to believe as you do.

But politicians I think can do real lasting harm to our society by using these silly distractions to keep us all fascinated and bickering while they plunder. The Weapons of Mass Distraction they use are silly non-issues like rap lyrics, video games, Janet Jackson’s breast, Terri Schiavo, while they do nothing about wage disparity, health-care, education, warfare and corporate malfeasance.

So my real bile is saved for the politicians. I think their attention to these kinds of issues is purposeful and evil in its intent. You’re just a guy with a peculiar obsession.

El Perro

Speaking of people foolishly obsessing on entertainment.... I see that Bill Donahue as managed to get his mug on TV again by attacking and drawing attention to the film Hound Dog. From what I understand, the movie stinks on ice and would have generated no buzz at all had it not been publicized by its critics. Now, despite being mediocre at best, I'll bet all the buzz that Donahue has created will make this film a moderate hit, by Independent standards.

MISSION ACOMPLISHED?

Cristina A. Montes

"I'm irrational and spiteful because I believe that it is foolish and petty to spend so much time whining about entertainment products and have pointed that out repeatedly to a man who made a bit of name for himself in public by doing just that."

What's wrong if we want to discuss and debate and whine about entertainment products? If we're obsessed with it, it's our problem, not yours. Our discussions do not stop you from enjoying your favorite books or T.V. shows. The entertainment industry is not going to suffer just because a a few people take it seriously enough to discuss it in this manner.

John Herreid

El Perro... the varied stuff that flies around the airwaves and bookstands becomes an unstoppable influence on the minds of many people who live in the culture. You may not take seriously the portrayal of Catholics on film or in books, but funnily enough, many Catholics do. Here in America where a scant century ago anti-Catholicism was spread by the popular media and influenced prejudice and persecution of Catholics, it’s quite reasonable to fear that it could happen again. Likewise for irrational and exploitative depictions of any religious or racial group. You have the anti-Semitism propogated by media in the Middle East... and here in the US, you have the lingering effect of racial bias put forth by Hollywood until 30 or 40 years ago.

People have a hard time escaping the cultural influence of the media, and to express worry about it isn’t a sign of obsessiveness or irrationality--it’s the only thing that can help counter falsehoods.

Ed Peters

Carl. I'm surpised at you. Feeding trolls.

Carl Olson

Yep. Another one of my thankless obsessions. When will I ever learn?

El Perro

"What's wrong if we want to discuss and debate and whine about entertainment products? If we're obsessed with it, it's our problem, not yours. Our discussions do not stop you from enjoying your favorite books or T.V. shows. The entertainment industry is not going to suffer just because a a few people take it seriously enough to discuss it in this manner."

What's wrong with it? Not much, other than the fact that it pulls time and attention away from tackling issues that really are harmful to society and the planet. And it tends to play into the hands of those who use these kinds of minor non-issues for their own political gain. But ultimately, its a small, amusing infraction, which is why I tend to address it in a lighhearted, amusing fashion.

But what I find the most amusing is that members of the world's most powerful group, Christianity, act as though they are victims. That's funny.

Cy Bolinger

Wonder why catholics are unwilling to admit their own well documented forms of human injustices. For example, just a few: Spanish inquisition, crooked popes having children, priests raping young boys, Holy Mother Church encouraging poor people to have children who run starving in the streets (Mexico and other Latin countries), no birth control so there can be bunches more of "little catholics" adding to the welfare rolls all over the world. Seems like Catholicism has progressed back into the dark ages.

El Perro

Speaking of the Equality Act... I find it quite sad that some so-called Christians would rather close down the adoption agencies that serve some of the planet's most innocent and unfortunate citizens rather than to give up their right to discriminate against those who have done them no harm. It's quite telling about where their true "ethics" lay. Discriminating against homosexuals is more important than helping orphans? WWJD?

Carl Olson

El and Cy: You two need to get together and entertain one another. El can provide the lighthearted humor and Cy can bring his "No More Little Catholics!" signs. Have fun!

El Perro

look who can't take the heat

Carl Olson

look who can't take the heat.

Sigh. Pearls before trolls, indeed.

Brian John Schuettler

El and Cy:
Go pedal it to the Islamo-Fascists...I'll get to see what the two of you looked like(at least your heads) on the 7 o'clock news.

Cristina A. Montes

"Seems like Catholicism has progressed back into the dark ages."

Oh, you mean the period when chivalry was practiced?

"Wonder why catholics are unwilling to admit their own well documented forms of human injustices."

To be unwilling to admit one's injustices is not an exclusively Catholic weakness. I mean, who among us wants to admit our injustices?

Furthermore, it's not an issue of whether or not there are scoundrels in the Catholic Church -- or any other institution for that matter. The issue is whether it's fair to judge the entire institution and her teachings based on the misdeeds of a few, and whether allegations of atrocities committed by members of the Catholic Church are in fact, facts. There's also the issue of whether these atrocities -- and I do not deny that they happen -- are being accurately reported or are being blown out of proportion or taken out of their context in a deliberate attempt to make the Catholic Church worse.

Cristina A. Montes

"Sigh. Pearls before trolls, indeed."

Or giving to the dogs ("los perros" in Spanish) what is holy :P

El Perro

So, now that the righteous have provided the smarm quotient for this thread, lets do a wrap up, shall w? Based on which comments were followed up on and which were ignored, we can conclude that among the "righteous," whining about the affects of entertainment is fine and well, but trying to stop bigotry and homophobia is not. Somehow the Church should be above the law (but I'm sure that the church members and leaders who benefit from such special treatment see no need to remain "above" the fray when it comes time to influence the passage of such laws). Furthermore, it is fine to make orphans suffer because the Church cannot let go of its discrimination against homosexuals. And finally, a "good Catholic" would like to see my head on the 7 o'clock news.

Nice people in here.

Brian John Schuettler

"And finally, a "good Catholic" would like to see my head on the 7 o'clock news"
There you go again...you missed the point completely. I was obviously and sarcastically reminding you, El Perro, that you presume upon the patience and charity of a Catholic blog that tolerates your irritating and nasty presence and yet this would not be the case if such comments were made within the context of a radical Islamic setting. You feel comfortable only within the very reality that you attack. Have you ever pondered that puzzle?

Rigo Vega

If you don't believe in an eternal soul you won't see the harm caused to the soul by an immoral media or sexually disordered adoptive parents.

Your spiritual miopia only allows you to see some social, economic injustices that ironically enough, the media have influenced you to believe are the only just causes left: minority rights, right to privacy, freedom to dissent from authority.

Seems like it is pointless to criticize the media when you accept all of the values they preach.

Sr. Mina

El Perro said "Wonder why catholics are unwilling to admit their own well documented forms of human injustices. For example, just a few: Spanish inquisition, crooked popes having children, priests raping young boys, Holy Mother Church encouraging poor people to have children who run starving in the streets (Mexico and other Latin countries), no birth control so there can be bunches more of "little catholics" adding to the welfare rolls all over the world. Seems like Catholicism has progressed back into the dark ages."

Catholics and human injustices are two words that do not mix.

The Spanish Inquisition had nothing to do with the Church because the rulers disobeyed the Church in every aspect of that inquisition. The Church has punished everyone responsible for the disobediences and injustices that happened. Your blame is better placed against those dead rulers and those that followed them.

What Popes having children? I'd like references please.

Priests that rape and molest chidlren should reconsider their vocation. They are not following Jesus when they do such acts. These priests will be punished, but the punishment they'll fear the most is from Jesus Himself.

The Church encourages poor people to have children, because God commands us "to be fruitful and multiply". We are simply obeying God's commands. We must count on God to help us keep our children fed. Birth control is a sin against life and God, and does cause abortion. Even masturbation is a sin against life, because the man's sperm has nowhere to go. Those little sperm just die. Natural Family Planning is a better way to go for all married couples.

Catholicism has gone back to the Dark Ages? They never existed. I think you are referring to the Middle Ages, which the Church did not create. Read this article. http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2007/01/the_pernicious_.html

Please get back to me at seremina@gmail.com

Cy Bolinger

Modern day Catholicism has its high-grade --socially plastic-- elixirs topped mainly by the Knights of Columbus. Anyone attending a "K of C" function will know that within their absolutely blind allegiance to The Church, a hearty cash donation is made to reach the pinnacle which is a Knight of St. Anthony. Therefore, Catholicism is for sale.
In the meantime, little Catholics are running around growing up to make more little Catholics. Is there an end to the
global problems of over-population, poverty and misery caused by even condemning the use of condoms to combat disease and making more poor little Catholics?
This kind of mean-ness to humanity, disregard for "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" and utterly senseless secretive politicing within the Vatican is hardly the Judeo/Christian way of life, from Moses to Jesus Christ.

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