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Thursday, June 24, 2010



It is true that blasphemy cannot hurt God, and also true that it can hurt us. But then, if we flash back to the Damascus Road we hear Jesus asking Saul "why do you persecute me?"

As Scott Hahn says, Saul persecuted the Church but Christ took it very personally. Understood this way, insofar as blasphemy hurts us by attacking the center of our being, as Father Barron describes it, I expect Christ takes that attack on his body very personally.


He had me until he started with the Bob Dylan nonsense. (!)

Not that it isn't great that Bob Dylan produced a Christmas album that's "reverent"--if you can think of the caterwauling upon which Dylan built a career as "singing," I suppose that it can be "reverent" as well. But I get a nervous tic anyone starts connecting protests songs and "social justice" with "understanding the highest place of God in our lives" or the like. Too, TOO many people have substituted "social justice" FOR God, including too, TOO many so-called Catholics. We've got a heck of a mess to clean up from that skewed notion as it is...let's not encourage it to continue, however subtly or indirectly.

Overall, I LOVE Fr. Barron's thoughts/meditations on all these various subjects. I just think he fell off the edge a bit at the end of this one!


Fr. Robert Barron

If I might respond to Janny's remark. I'm afraid you're being unfair both to me and to Bob Dylan. From his earliest days as a performer, Dylan saw through the easy pieties of the leftist establishment, and he never "substituted" social justice for God. Like the Hebrew prophets, Dylan clearly sees every human endeavor as under the judgment of God.


I can remember heating up kitchen knives on the stove in a friends dorm in university and listening to "...everybody must get stoned." At the same time I still like that song "Knockin' On Heaven's Door", his version. He could sing more conventionally when he wanted to.

As a poet he tended toward the mystical by times and he did have a talent for sardonic lyrics. But I never would have thought he had a highly developed belief in God. But then, I'm no Bob Dylan expert.

Brian J. Schuettler

Dylan is actually a Jew named Zimmerman from, I think, the Midwest. I'm no expert, either, but I believe he converted to Christianity at some point. Perhaps Father Barron has the details.

Carl E. Olson

Dylan had some sort of conversion to Christianity in 1978; it's not clear what, exactly, Dylan now believes. This May 2001 article in Christianity Today has some helpful and interesting information.

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