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Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Brian Schuettler

You said it so well, Carl, and especially in the context of your previous post title. Question authority. Argumentum ad captandum. Argumentum ad captandum vulgus...just not MINE. Why? Because you see, my dear, I am THE authority who determines what and what not can be questioned. Amen.

If that doesn't stop them then proceed to argumentum ad hominem. It's a last resort but usually does the trick. Usually...not always.

johnny vino

"You're quite hostile!"

"I've got a right to be hostile - my people been persecuted!"

(For the Public Enemy fans.)


Carl, Thank you for not being afraid of tackling this bologna in public. Somebody's gotta do it & you're a capable spokesman!


Carl I'm glad you keep writing these hilarious columns. Sister Rose aside (I really can't stand her reviews), most of the people who write the columns and reviews you respond to start from the wrong assumption. They assume that people don't like "The Golden Compass" because it says something bad about the Church and we are afraid of that.

I am not afraid of "The Golden Compass." I am angry that it says something bad about the Church (and God). I am angry that a certain sort of intellectual thinks that saying something bad about religion and Catholicism is good in itself, and is therefore good for children. And I am angry that a major film company made a movie of it and is marketing it to families at Christmas. Phillip Pullman and New Line Cinema have the right to do these things. But I am not obliged to read or see them, and I am allowed to come to the conclusion that doing so is not a good idea.

As Chesterton said, having an open mind is a good thing -- as long as you then put something in it. Questioning authority is only good if you come to a conclusion and then either agree or disagree. And endlessly open mind does no good to anyone. Using the HDM books as a springboard for discussion is a good idea if your kids have already found and read them. But that doesn't make it a recommended exercise for everyone.

I hope Phillip Pullman's next series of books is a children's fantasy based on an alternate Islam, in which Muhammed hears voices from an evil demiurge who takes over the world and is then, hundreds of years later, proven to be a fraud and accidentally killed by two sweet little children. When that one comes out, I'll be sure to keep an open mind.

Gail Finke


"I think the dwindling number of us who still call ourselves Catholic can handle it..."

What she meant was the dwindling number of heterodox Catholics like herself.

Little Gidding

I wonder if the martyrs refused to offer a pinch of incense to the statue of the Emperor because they were afraid to? No doubt there are many in the Church now who would not hesitate to do it, either to let the Emperor's minions know that they are entirely open-minded and ecumenical, or because--hey, what's a little incense and statue-worship among sophisticated, non-nitwit, thoroughly modern folks like us? We can "handle it"--It's all just pretense, anyway, just like our own teachings and liturgy, wink wink nudge nudge.

Little Gidding

This is in fact why Gnostics, who nevertheless called themselves "Christians," were almost entirely absent from the ranks of the martyrs--when push came to shove, they couldn't see why they should die for what they actually regarded as a "fairy tale"--"open-mindedness" and "a mature attitude toward their faith," third-century style.


If you wish to join the growing chorus of Catholics fed up with the secular reviews from the USCCB, you can voice your complaint by writing:

Ms. Helen Osman
Secretary of Communications
3211 4th Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20017

Phone: (202)541-3200

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