I do not know whether this is an American thing, but I read around here and there, particularly in those that I would call the “sensitive” Catholic blogs, commenters complaining that they are insulted on Facebook or Twitter for upholding Christian values.
It is, I think, as if they would seek some sort of validation. “Sniff, sob, someone called me a bigot, and someone else even a … hater! Please, please Mr Blogger and dear commenters, tell me again this is not the case!”
Now, as Catholic I understand there are two sexes, and they are wired in a very different way. The more sensitive, more delicate and more emotional feminine mind may well be more easily upset from derogatory or outright insulting remarks; but when I read that grown men have the same reaction and seek the same emotional reassurance from the “sensitive support troops” I begin to be seriously alarmed at the damages the omnipresent culture of sensitivity and permanent emotional reinforcement has done to us.
It seems to me that some men all too often forget that God made them able to fight wars, to kill and be killed. I wonder how a man whose emotional stability is compromised, and perhaps the entire day ruined, by insults from people he doesn't even know would perform under enemy fire. What I can tell you for certain is that in my culture and generation merely to whine with third parties about what someone else has said about one's moral qualities would have attracted some not entirely unjustified remarks about one's manliness. Speaking of my blogging experience, I find my load of rubbish in the comment bin, and when it passes my spam wall I simply take care in future it doesn't; and the situation is still far more peaceful than at “Homo Smoke”, where the offences and insults were a daily occurrence (don't worry, I wasn't a pansy either). In the present day, Catholic men should, if you ask me, invite controversy, because in this day and age Christianity itself is controversial; far more so than it was the case in the West even during the Cold War, or the flippin' Seventies. Yes, it will cost some friendships; yes, it will cost confrontation, even with people we love, even within our own family. So be it, more deposits on our heavenly savings account; one day, that account will be cashed in.
When I was in elementary school, my teacher used to scold whining boys telling them to stop, because one day they must be fit to go to war. The same I heard from my father several times, so it must have been a staple of conservative boys education; and a wise way of educating a young man it was.
Our generation was fortunate enough not to have to go to war, but this does not mean that it was and is not confronted with serious conflicts, be it communism or secularism.
Christian men are born for combat, and Catholic ones must be twice ready for it. As a Christian, we will be insulted, belittled and mocked rather often. Good! It means we are doing it right. We are supposed to fight the good fight and shrug away insults and mockery; and let us call ourselves lucky enough we are not tested beyond that.
Our generation was not probed in battle. For Heaven's sake, let us not be said that Facebook, Twitter or a discussion forum are a hard probe.
The numerous fans of “President” Chavez (one of the biggest entertainers and muppets of our time) were already well aware of his many talents. The suavity with which the man tramples common sense is, indeed, worth of admiration as very few of us would, even in our much smaller sphere of influence, dare to make such asses of ourselves.
Chavez is different. He thrives in making you laugh. Like a court jester, he relinquishes every desire of dignity and self-esteem to achieve his aim to entertain and delight. A Rigoletto without the brains. He is at the same level of that other great comic talent, Mugabe; but he has the oil reserves, which makes the utter devastation of Venezuela slower and less pervasive than what Mugabe could, after a considerable and prolonged effort, achieve in Zimbabwe.
In his effort to diseducate and entertain, “President” Chavez has now discovered a new vocation as theologian. The Catholic News Agency reports that he has made his first outing in his new career by stating that “Christ doesn’t need any ambassador” because “Christ is in the people”. This he uttered in the middle of a controversy that led him to call the Archbishop of Caracas, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, a “Neanderthal”. This he said publicly but as the laughing response from the paying public was not loud enough, he said it out loud again and now hopes that his reputation as stand-up comedian will increase as his theological fame spreads.
One is at a loss to understand why even a damn commie would go to such a distance to enrage the feelings of the many Catholics subject to his dicta….., erm, “presidency”. In the end, no one needs more enemies than strictly necessary and of those, Chavez already has a vast collection.
One is at a loss. But then again, one will never be a showman – let alone a theologian – in the mould of Mr. Chavez.