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« Can Catholics Be Evangelists? | Main | Archbishop Burke Takes the Lead »

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

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James Hymon

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:3-6

mark p

Wow! After all of the Pelosi nonsense, it's so refreshing to hear about a bishop actually taking a stand, and acting like he believes the Gospel that he's supposed to be proclaiming.

Rick

Crow's intentions, like her, are morally disoriented. By confusing what is truly good for evils like abortion her conscience becomes so convoluted that even the preservation of toilet paper becomes a moral imperative. I understand she and her high priest Al Gore are going to pen a monograph about this under the title "There's Not a Square to Spare!"

dan

Event organizer Allen Allred said he was disappointed with Burke's decision, but that Crow would appear Saturday as scheduled.

"This is not an event that's about ideology," Allred said. "This is about helping kids."

Does that remark qualify as irony?

The sad part about this is that the Archbishop's actions are viewed as extraordinary or debatable even within the body of the faithful. Can't God grant us a few more like him? Please?

Ed Peters

I see Bob Costas was busy adding his worthless opinion to the fest. If I ever need to know which left-handers pitched the most scoreless innings at night in the rain, I'd ask Bob Costas. If I want to know ANYTHING else, I'd ask ANYONE else first.

Mark Brumley

As one St. Louis boy to another: Well-said, Ed.

Maybe Bob Costas should offer his opinion on brain surgery, too. Would he support the involvement of someone who publicly and militantly opposed the Church's teaching about racism? How about a generous, well-known Nazi-sympathizer who also wants to stop children's cancer? Does his very-public morally objectionable stance matter?

I only hope these guys have been misquoted. Really.

The "best" is: "This is not an event that's about ideology," Allred said. "This is about helping kids." .

But having such a high-profile proabortion rights activist as Crow makes it also about giving credibility to the pro-abortion stance, which doesn't "help kids"; it kills them.

It also makes it about confusing Catholics when it comes to whether abortion is really all that important and whether the Church really thinks true what she purports to affirm about it. After all, how could the Church really hold what she claims to hold about abortion if Church leaders are all chummy with outspoken proabortion rights figures such as Sheryl Crow? If they support having them do fundraisers for a children's medical center? Maybe the Catholic Church doesn't really think abortion is the unjust taking of an innocent human life.

And it's not just anyone who happens to support abortion rights, mind you. It's someone who does so militantly and publicly, as Crow has. An activist. Surely even the people involved with this fundraiser and who are now trying to spin the story can see the difference here between just any Joe and Sheryl Crow.

Eric Lee

Dang. I'm against abortion too, but holy crap, you gotta feel the compassion from the comments section of this thread. Love those who persecute you? Or lay down the snark? All this grand-standing from blogs is so self-righteous, it seems. Everybody is comfortable sniping from their keyboards, but how many would actually hang out with Sheryl Crow (or Al Gore) and actually converse with them, face to face, to offer them the love of Christ that might convict them? Or was it the snark of Christ?

Mark Brumley

Dang, Eric. You're right. Gee thanks. Never thought of that. Thanks for your non-self-righteous response.

While I admit I probably could have spent more time over the last thirty years I have spent in prolife activities talking with people on the other side of the issue, I can't say I feel especially chastised by you about whether I would "actually hang out with Sheryl Crow (or Al Gore) and actually converse with them, face to face, to offer the love of Christ that might convict them".

I admit it: I haven't "hung out" with Sheryl or Al. They never return my calls and they don't seem to be in my neighborhood very often.

On the other hand, I have spoken to lots of other people who share Sheryl and Al's perspectives on abortion. When I was director of social ministries for the Diocese of San Diego I worked with many people across a wide range of social issues with all sorts of positions on abortion. I hope I showed the love of Christ to them as I conversed with them, face-to-face. Do they count?

I suspect there are probably lots of other prolifers who also deal with people on the other side of the issue every day. Strike that. I know there are. I've met plenty of them. Maybe they aren't always as loving as they could be. Who of us is? Then again they maybe are. Or maybe some of them are.

How in the world would you know they're not, anyway? Or were you just being snarky, yourself?

Jackson

Good point, Eric. While entertaining, the incessant sarcastic digs on these blogs do become tiresome and seem all too worldly. Of course, in the Brave New World, all things must be entertaining.

Eric Lee

Mark,

For the record, my comments weren't directed at you, so no need to get so defensive.

Also, just because you have engaged in the very things I was suggesting (in my recent hometown of SD, props to you :), it doesn't excuse the level of snark and sarcasm toward these people, no matter how distorted and misguided their views on abortion may be, and also no matter how 'public' and 'outspoken' these people may be. Two wrongs do not make a right.

Lastly, I have nothing to be self-righteous about, nor did I claim to be. I am the worst of sinners, as I am sure you would be happy to remind me.

Peace,

Eric

Carl Olson

Good point, Eric. While entertaining, the incessant sarcastic digs on these blogs do become tiresome and seem all too worldly. Of course, in the Brave New World, all things must be entertaining.

Jackson, you know that I appreciate your comments. But I think you are off base.

First of all, this blog can only be accountable for what appears on it, not on "those blogs."

Secondly, I tire of the bad rap given to sarcasm, a device that, when used properly, is both instructive and incisive. Sarcasm in and of itself is not a sin, although it can be used sinfully, just as there is a difference between righteous anger and hateful anger.

Finally, in re-reading my post and the subsequent comments, I can only conclude that you and Eric are overreacting. Perhaps one of you can provide an example of the "wordly digs" that you are referring to. And, for the record, I think that Ed's comment about Bob Costas is entirely correct. Costas is a brilliant sports announcer. But it's apparent that he's not thinking clearly about this issue.

Carl Olson

it doesn't excuse the level of snark and sarcasm toward these people,

I fear that I may have to pen an essay titled, "In Defense of Sarcasm." Heck, if it was good enough for Jesus, Paul, Augustine, and a not a few other notables, it's good enough for me——if, of course, it is used correctly. "Snarky", on the other hand, is a different animal, as it refers to a level of disrespect and snideness that is certainly unChristian. But, please, point out an exact example of "snark and sarcasm" so that those accused can actually respond.

Eric Lee

But, please, point out an exact example of "snark and sarcasm" so that those accused can actually respond.

Okay, here's one:

Crow's intentions, like her, are morally disoriented. By confusing what is truly good for evils like abortion her conscience becomes so convoluted that even the preservation of toilet paper becomes a moral imperative. I understand she and her high priest Al Gore are going to pen a monograph about this under the title "There's Not a Square to Spare!"

I would love to hear exactly how this is in the spirit of Jesus, Paul, Augustine, et. al., and exactly how "instructive" it is. How exactly does a comment like this --especially the bolded part-- display the love of God and neighbor?

Sarcasm literally means the "tearing of the flesh," and I think not in the sense that Paul asks us to deny things of the flesh. You're right, certain forms of sarcasm can be instructive, but I don't see how something like this helps anybody, let alone shows anything that is loving. I understand how morally reprehensible abortion is, but no matter how wrong something is, it doesn't excuse comments like these.

Carl, by the way, I absolutely love your apologetic work on the 'left behind' nonsense and the 'Da Vinci Code' crap. I gave my sister-in-law the Da Vinci Hoax DVD for Christmas, actually. Great stuff, thank you. Also, I somewhat knew you might be inclined to write a defense of sarcasm in light of my remarks, which I think is great. Everything has to be responded to, I love it :) (i'm quite serious about this, that is why I love the work of people who do apologetics, and am thankful for those who are willing to do the hard work)

Peace,

Eric

Ed Peters

It's pretty clear that Eric "holy crap" Lee (really, what a vile phrase) knows nothing about either Mark's work or mine in pro-life (me, specifically St. Louis pro-life) circles over decades. Oh well.

Carl Olson

I would love to hear exactly how this is in the spirit of Jesus, Paul, Augustine, et. al., and exactly how "instructive" it is. How exactly does a comment like this --especially the bolded part-- display the love of God and neighbor?

Eric:

To me, the statement, "I understand she and her high priest Al Gore are going to pen a monograph about this under the title 'There's Not a Square to Spare!'" is not only mild, I don't even find it to be altogether sarcastic, unless one takes the reference to "Squares" to mean Gore and Crow--and it's not clear Rick meant it that way. Or is it the reference to Gore as "high priest" that is offensive? Again, I don't know how it could be, especially since Gore (1) has set himself up to be an expert on global warming, (2) insists that global warming is the moral issue of our time, and (3) talks about the issue with a religious fervor that is in keeping with his apparently neo-pagan beliefs about the earth and the environment. I simply don't see how this could be construed as offensive, perhaps because I'm desensitized by the loads of horrible stuff I see when I visit liberal websites (where Christians and political conservatives are called names that simply cannot be repeated). Or perhaps because I think it is a bit of humor attached to a perfectly true statement: "By confusing what is truly good for evils like abortion her conscience becomes so convoluted that even the preservation of toilet paper becomes a moral imperative."

Personally, I think that sarcasm aimed at ideas, ideologies, and so forth is quite legitimate——within good reason and taste (which, of course, varies a bit from person to person), while sarcasm that involves malicious or vulgar name-calling and slander is to be strictly avoided.

Thank you for your kind words about The Da Vinci Hoax; I appreciate it! As I do your comments here.

Eric Lee

Ed, I apologize for use the phrase "holy crap". If I could strike that from the record (above), I would. And it is true, I don't know much about the specifics of your work or Mark's, because I haven't been there myself with you two. I am, however, familiar with those efforts through my own friends who work at pro-life institutions and the work that they do, so I imagine they are not that different. Whatever you do in your efforts to build one another up in your pro-life endeavors, I commend that, very highly.

Still, in the end, it doesn't justify the biting tone of what I often see around these parts, no matter what one's resume holds. Sarcasm is a tearing down, and if one wants to invoke Paul, one should note that we should take pleasure in building one another up (Romans 12:7-9; Romans 15:2; 1 Corinthians 8:1; Ephesians 4:29; 1 Thessalonians 5:11,14). Resumes can be wonderful things, and they show one's character, sure. I just want us (I'm including myself here) to be careful because if we don't have love in all these things, then we're just a clanging symbol.

And please, I'm not trying to play rhetoric police as much as I am just disappointed with some of the stuff that passes for apologetics, sometimes. I actually really like this blog and have been reading it rather devotedly for about a year now, and have spent many hours reading through Da Vinci Hoax archives and whatnot. Carl (I think it was) spoke very highly of my pastor once in a post about Hans Urs von Balthasar (on Barth)...I was really thankful for that.

Peace,

Eric

Ed Peters

Okay Eric.

I think it a good idea to judge what someone has written based on what that one person has actually written; and not on what, or how, a lot of other people have written on the same topic or in the same media.

Eric Lee

Carl,

Yes, it was the 'high priest' bit. It really seemed to demonize the guy. The term 'high priest', except for referring to Christ (in the order of Melchizedek a la the Espistle to the Hebrews), doesn't really have a human precedent within the Church. However, outside of the church, it is used a lot in pagan religions to refer to high leaders, etc. Gore is a Christian, however misguided the guy might be. However, as you said regarding sarcasm in name-calling, this was definitely along those lines.

[I'm neither liberal nor conservative (at least as far as the American political spectrum goes), so I have no interest in defending any 'party'.]

I agree that, following Chesterton's Orthodoxy (ch. 7), that it is pagan to refer to the earth/nature as one's 'mother' instead of among the created order (he grants it as 'sister'). I have no idea if Gore actually does this or not. I just don't think the name-calling is really that helpful, or even encouraging. I used to be a huge Rush Limbaugh fan in the 90's (still have my 4 Rush ties -- bold!), and then in the early 2000's, I was all into Al Franken, but now I can't stand either of them, because at the end of the day, they simply over-generalize and name-call to no end. Fast forward to the last few years, and I've been extremely influenced by my pastor (who eschews those kinds of politics), who has pointed me to the works of Stanley Hauerwas, David Burrell, George Lindbeck, Henri de Lubac, and others. I spent all of last summer reading de Lubac, and have been forever changed by what he witnesses to. Anyway, I'm sure this autobiography is thoroughly boring by now. I'm just trying to give some context because I am aware of some people's allergy to Gore and don't want people thinking I am defending his "cause"; only his person, which is dignified because he was created by the Triune God.

Back to your regularly-scheduled apologetics and reporting on Ignatius Press! ;)

Peace,

Eric

p.s. any idea when an American publisher is going to publish de Lubac's Corpus Mysticum? I know it is out in the UK...

Mark Brumley

Eric: Thanks. May I suggest that before you "let loose" opining on a specific blog and make generalizations, that you consider whether your experience and competence in the subject matter about which you would opine are sufficient to justify posting a message? Or if you decide to post a message, that you avoid indiscriminate characterizations?

You write to me, "For the record, my comments weren't directed at you, so no need to get so defensive."

For the record, I was not being "defensive" in the pejoratgive sense of the term, whether "so defensive" or just plain "defensive". I was stating a series of pertinent facts to illustrate the point that your indiscriminate criticism was off the mark. I used myself as an example because your comments materially implicated everyone posting here and I was included among everyone.

As for sarcasm, it can be used appropriately. It's risky business and therefore ought carefully to be employed, but it can be done in accord with charity. Examples from the Bible and the saints abound. If you don't agree or if you don't think youself capable of using sarcasm in a way that is compatible with charity, then I suggest that you avoid attempting to do so.

dan

For what it's worth, Eric, I think comments here sometimes slip into snarkiness out of sheer frustration. One can only absorb so many stories about this dying culture of ours without wanting to lash out at the people who are killing it. You are right, though, that we should resist that impulse. And I think most of us would jump at the chance to have a charitable and enlightening conversation with Sheryl Crow, et al. But, as Mr. Brumley pointed out, they don't hang out around this particular neighborhood. In defense of our beloved sarcasm -- yes, it is different creature than snark -- I would steer you toward St. Jerome, particularly his defense of Mary's perpetual virginity.

Rick

Eric,
1. First of all, not all posts on blogs are apologetic in nature, in 2-3 sentences I am trying to show the logical absurdity of positions like Miss Crow’s and Mr. Gore’s, I am not offering a defense of anything in terms faith. If I truly wanted to be sarcastic, I would respond to posts like yours with the likes of “Grow up and get over it and pull the plank out of your own eye!” Instead, I have spent the better part of an hour typing this response.
2. Since I seem to have offended your sensibilities, I offer an apology, not to you or for any immorality on my part, but as a defense to explain my comment. If you were offended by my comment, I recommend you not read St. Jerome. The mild sarcasm was meant to show the absurdities of the arguments/positions found in the likes of Gore and Crow, nothing more or less. Unless you have ability to judge and know the conscience of others, which I see you have done in relation to my comment on several occasions, you might ask before accusing others of “snarkiness,” lest you be accused of the same. Isn’t it ironic that as soon as you did that someone showed how you could be accused of the same thing?
3. There have been more than 40 million murdered by abortion in the U.S. and countless millions more world wide because irresponsible politicians like Al Gore chose to do more for the environment than for human beings. Sorry, but when you have seen families and lives destroyed by abortion as I have, it tends to provoke some righteous anger, especially when you have had to help others pick up the pieces of the lives that have been destroyed. This man was once pro-life and claims to be a Christian, but I honestly don’t see how one can call himself a Christian and be pro-choice. If life in the womb isn’t sacred, nothing is. And, since you state you are an apologist you most likely know that Christianity has opposed abortion since its earliest days. Perhaps I should have called him a viper or a hypocrite as Jesus does to the Pharisees in Matt 23 or even a heretic as Augustine does on countless occasions to others, or I could have gone “Jerome” on them, but I withheld acerbities. In any case, your “holy …” was more profane, in my opinion, than anything I stated.
4. Celebrities, such as Miss Crow who espouse a culture of death mentality and who think they can pontificate what they deem to be good merely because of their celebrity are dangerous mostly because of the cult of celebrity in our shallow materialistic culture. In this case, she chose to make a case for the preservation of toilet paper as a moral good, while in the past advocating and raising money for pro-death positions concerning stem cell research and abortion.
5. Both the words and deeds of Al Gore and Crow concerning abortion are objectively and morally evil, my post concerned those things. I said nothing about them being evil or the state of their soul, that is God’s domain not mine. Sorry, if one can espouse views where toilet paper or the environment has a higher priority than human life, your compass is not pointing North!. To espouse the conservation of TP in the form of a Kantian moral imperative when human life is being destroyed is rather ridiculous. But, what should we expect from Hollywood?
6. The part about the “high priest” is most fitting. Many religions have a high priest figure, not just Judaism and Christianity. So, if you want to study apologetics, you should learn something about other religions as well. Al Gore has set himself up as the spokesmen for the environmental movement and then turned out to be quite the consumer of energy himself. The “square to spare” was a Seinfeldian reference that seems to fit the moral relativism of Gore and Crow that espouses a “spare the tree but spoil the choice” philosophy. So, in good conscience I can state any sarcasm and humor was more than appropriate in relation to the culture of death mentality that we battle everyday!

Rick

Carl,
Per your response to Eric in regards to my original post, thank you! You said it more eloquently than I ever could. Had I paid more attention to it initially, I would have cut and pasted it for the blather which became my second post.

Cristina A. Montes

"I would love to hear exactly how this is in the spirit of Jesus, Paul, Augustine, et. al., and exactly how "instructive" it is."

Um, didn't Jesus call Herod "that fox"?

"I fear that I may have to pen an essay titled, "In Defense of Sarcasm."

Yes, please do! I'm serious.

mark

I noticed in the photo that Sheryl Crow is wearing and t-shirt saying "War is not the answer" and she appears to be holding a piece of hardware that indicates an award of some type. I think it is safe to assume that she has no problem with people expressing an opinion that has nothing to do with the related event. If that's the case, how do the organizers know that she won't use the fund raising event to push her view on abortion/stem cells. I also wonder if event goers show up with t-shirts saying: "Killing babies is not answer", would they be welcomed? It's just a guess on my part, but I bet the organizers would tell us it's inappropriate/divisive/whatever...

Clarence Knutsen

I only want the Archbishop to know that I am grateful, as a life Catholic and catechist, that his explanation of truth is the stuff of our needed renewal. God bless you.

Carl Olson

Yes, please do! I'm serious.

You're being sarcastic, aren't you? ;-)

Mark Brumley

I suppose the statement, "War is not the answer", makes you wonder what the question is to which war is not the answer. For example: "If the Nazis invade Poland and threaten the wellbeing of the rest of Europe, including the lives of millions of Jews, what should be done to stop them?" The answer: Resist them militarily, i.e., go to war. Is it correct to say in this case, "War is not the answer"?

David

Brothers,

Christ is Risen!

As a person just coming into this discussion here is my judgment and correction to Mark, Rick and any others. If the hat fits wear it. You owe Eric an apology.

Eric is good man and someone I am proud to call a friend. Give the guy a break. Eric made a valid criticism about the tone or unnecessary language on this site. I don't want to get into an argument on semantics. His multiple comments were both rational and reasonable. He even went to the extra mile to compliment the work of Carl on his personal work(s) and the good work you all do on this site. But how did you respond? You spit in his face. I am disappointed by your actions.

I made the same criticism of you guys back when you posted on Frank Schaeffer. We can and we must do better. Let us kneel in prayer to get right with God and our neighbors.

2001 UD IRPS Graduate

P.S. Do you know the answer to his question about "when an American publisher is going to publish de Lubac's Corpus Mysticum?"

Carl Olson

David: I appreciate your comments and concern, but saying, "You spit in his face" is simply ridiculous. The responses made to his comments were just or more are reasonable as his remarks. There is no apology needed, at least on my part.

I don't know the answer to the question about de Lubac's book.

David

Carl my friend,

My fraternal correction was not directed at you. It's directed at Mark and Rick. I was also disappointed with Dr. Ed's response among others.

Carl - you do have some responsibility though in managing or overseeing this site, specifically your participation in this post.

Have your wife or an independent person read this post and comments contained their-in and allow them to give you their judgment first without voicing your opinion in this matter. Allow this to be an educative moment for everyone.

Mark Brumley

David, I don't know what to say. As far as I am concerned we have discussed the matter enough here. If you think that Eric's approach was acceptable, then I can only say that we have such radically different perceptions of the exchanges here that I doubt we'll come to agree about it. I am sorry you think Eric was mistreated by me. I suppose you'll just have to pray that I see the light. Since I always appreciate it when people pray for me, I certainly will do so in this case.

Rick

David, Any apology to Eric on my part would be insincere, in good conscience I gave my "apologia." The statement about "spitting in his face" is ludicrous, and "your judgment and correction" carries no moral weight because one cannot be forced to act contrary to conscience (CCC 1782). Since there are such differing perceptions, perhaps we should follow Mark's suggestion and leave it in a spirit of prayer for one another.

Ed Peters

Well, I was gonna, I suppose, "disappoint" David with a reply (er, with more "semantics", since that's all that's at issue here apparently), but MB and Rick have more restraint depite greater provocation, so I'll follow their lead.

Carl Olson

David,

I've participated in hundreds, if not thousands, of online conversations and exchanges, and the remarks on this post are not only mild, I think they are entirely above board in both content and tone. (And, as for accountability, my pastor regularly reads my posts and many of my comments and gives me regular feedback.) But since the point of the post was to bring attention to the situation involving Archbishop Burke, I think it best to close comments and move on.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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