For the second time in a matter of weeks, the combox of a blog belonging to the egregious commercial enterprise for those of all faiths and none has been closed; and for the second time, the closure was obviously occasioned by the number of Catholics reminding the blog author of what Catholicism is, and making him – or her – look rather stupid in the process.
Mind, these commenters still are the rose water Catholics, those who are generally fine with the rose water approach to these turbulent times. Still, even among those Catholic feelings are often still developed enough, that when the blog author tries to sell the adulterous and homosexual lie as Jesus' Very Truth the reaction is nuclear.
Of course, these are not the first blogs to shut the combox. But in all other cases I know, the reason was an authentic enthusiasm of the commenters, who flocked to take part to the battle; and then became too many, say, or at times too heated. Comment moderation takes an awful lot of time.
This here is different. These here are comboxes closed in order to prevent their very own authors from being utterly exposed as – I am being gentle here – weathervane Catholics.
Close the combox, then. Keep writing for the mainstream of either non-Catholics or very vincibly ignorant Catholics desirous to read what pleases them. It makes commercial sense. For an angry commenter on the combox making clear what a bad Catholic the author is there will always be ten, thirty or fifty ready to delude themselves that dissent is an acceptable position, or truth changes according to the Pope of the day, or the Church will change her doctrinal positions if they are but patient enough.
Fake Catholics readers need fake Catholic bloggers; and as the readers are by far the greater number there is no doubt the fake blogs will continue to prosper, catering to the “emotional needs” of adulterers, abortionists and sexual perverts.
That's were the numbers are. That's what makes certain commercial blog operations prosper. That's what the ignorant, self-deluded “mainstream” wants to hear. That's how you sell the lies of the world as the Truth of Christ.
The recipe is simple: flattery and lie. Tell your, say, perverted readers Jesus would march with the perverts.
They will never stop supporting your lifestyle.
I do not know if it a case of solidarity among gluttons, but you can read around – if you visit the wrong places; which at times I must do so you don’t have to – that some bloggers will have no problem whatsoever in hypocritically and blasphemously comparing Cardinal Dolan with Our Lord. May He have mercy on them if they die unrepentant; though honestly I don’t think he would.
The fashionable way to adress the clergy’s prostitution to the modern fashion concerning sexual perversion is, nowadays, to say that as Jesus sent away the adulteress commanding her to sin no more, Cardinal Dolan is miraculously authorised to be a willing promoter and accomplice of sexual perversion.
These people simply pretend that Jesus went around participating in Jewish festivals enriched by the presence of the Jewish Whores Association, or hosting the banner of the Child Scandalisers Of Jerusalem, or supporting the presence of the Getsemane Section of the Sodomy Awareness Group. It truly is beyond belief how we are deemed so stupid that we should now throw out of the window a 2,000 years’ old understanding of what is scandal and complicity with sin, and substitute it with a new “hermeneutic of faggotry” according to which as Jesus ate with sinners – of course he did; we are all sinners – everything must now be allowed to everyone, and there’s no scandal a Cardinal is called to condemn.
We are also informed the adulteress of the Gospel probably went around slutting it again; this, after a life-changing encounters with Jesus who has just saved her from a very concrete risk of death, and which must have been the greatest shock and spiritual experience of her life at the same time; this, of course, supposing the adulteress was not Mary Magdalene herself, a thesis that does not persuade me anyway. Still: Magdalene or no Magdalene, one truly wonders about the workings of certain people’s mind.
It needs a highly secularised person with a great attachment to sin and a low level aversion to adultery to not understand that Jesus’ presence must have been awe-inspiring, towering above everyone else’s, and life-changing for very many. Particularly so, when the life-changing encounters involves a huge sin.
Jesus’ magnetism, and the extremely deep impression he made on people is so frequent in the Gospel, that the assumption that an almost executed adulteress would very probably happily go on whoring after hearing from Jesus’ very mouth the command “go and sin no more” indicates a truly disquieting mentality. Would you invite for lunch a woman telling you with a smirk, between the pasta (double portion) and the roasted lamb (triple): “oh well, the woman almost certainly went on to sample other men…( and can you pass the potatoes, please?)”.
The modern wolves have no respect for anything. Jesus himself must be depicted as the prostitute to popular opinion they have reduces themselves to.
Do you want another example? Jesus does not “shame” the adulteress, we are informed. Doesn’t he? Really? Has he affirmed her sexual tendency, then? Has he said to her “hey, it’s complicated”? Has he said to her “perhaps you’re going through a complex emotional phase?”. No, he hasn’t. The sin is there, very square and very public. Not with one word Jesus belittles or relativises what is for everyone to see, under the sun, and punished with death. In addition, Our Lord very imperiously commands her to immediately and definitely cease behaving that way! Sheesh. I wonder how stupid must a reader be, in order to swallow the fat lies of these wolves…
Beware of the obese wolves; of which as I write I have two in mind, of either sex. Beware of commercial “small c” catholic sites whose only aim is to tell people what they are already thinking, and reinforce them in every error; timorous of letting readership – and therefore, kar-ching – go if they were to challenge the modern “inclusiveness” fashion. Beware of this new habit of bending Jesus to every fashion and every perversion, construing his behaviour as the exact contrary of how it has been seen these last two thousand years. These people are of the devil, and he tries to seduce you with soothing words through them.
These small “c” catholic sites are made for people who live in ideological opposition to Christian values, and look for a validation of their revolt. Not simple sinners – we all are it – who still upheld Catholic values and have the fear of the Lord; but adulterers who want to be affirmed in their adultery, perverts who want to be affirmed in their perversion, and cowards looking for excuses to have a conflict-free life.
Beware of the obese wolves.
A clear sign of the degradation of Catholic thinking was given recently by a Father Blogger, who thought he would make the smart observation that many of those those who criticised the dissenters and the enemies of Benedict now are very ready to criticise the Pope themselves. As if, in all this, there were some contradiction, or hypocrisy.
Of course there isn’t. If Catholicism is to make sense the metre of right and wrong must be given by orthodoxy, not rank. When dissenters go against the teaching of the Church they will be criticised because of that; and the same will happen, must happen, to bishops, cardinals, and Popes. This Pope being openly and shamelessly heretical – albeit in that typical “off-the-cuff”, “who cares what Catholics think” way of his – it is only natural, coherent, and very orthodox that he be criticised himself.
The writing and faulty thinking of the blogger priest shows an alarming degree of Papolatry, in that it equates dissenting from the Pope and dissenting from the Truth; as if the Pope were the bearer, qua Pope, of an authority that can be compared with Truth. Truly alarming, but not so unusual among former Protestant converts who, at times, give one the impression they have converted not to the Truth, but to a Pope. Albeit in this case I suspect the desire not to alienate a mediocre and ill-instructed readership must play a role.
The mediocre priest blogger goes on to criticise what he perceives as personal animosity against Francis. Again, one wonders. I am rather sure not many bloggers and commenters have met Francis personally, and – unless perhaps they sit on a wheelchair, or are Protestants – their probability to do so is exceedingly small. The reason why they despise Francis can, therefore, mostly be traced back to this: that as Popes (or priests) go, Francis is utterly despicable, and it becomes very difficult to be appreciative of the very occasional bout of humour of a Pope who walks over Catholicism every day that God sends on earth. This, If you love Truth, and the Church Francis so continuously attacks. If you don’t care, well of course you can relax…
Life is a simple thing, and it works according to simple rules: if you sabotage the Truth, those who love it will not like you very much. Because they love Truth, you see.
But again, at times there are blog posts that truly show one to what level of functional illiteracy most readers have sunk: utter non-arguments are given to them as if they made sense, and they uncritically accept whatever rubbish they are dished simply because Father (holy, or not) said it.
We are, truly, surrounded by rubbish.
In past times, journalists used to harshly criticise what other journalists had written, or their general outlook on life.
It generally ended at that.
If, say, Il Giornale criticised Paese Sera, none of its reader ran to the newsagent asking for a copy of the culprit newspaper, just to make sure they had been correctly informed and Paese Sera was really the Proto-Communist crap it was purported to be. You believed those you esteemed implicitly. The criticism was, therefore, a criticism that did not bring business to those who were criticised.
Not so today.
Today we have blogging journalists, and amateur bloggers, linking without any qualm to people whose opinions they disapprove of, heavily dislike, or even loathe. This brings business exactly to those who ideally should not have any; or at least should not have any from the right people.
It seems to me that blogdom and the advent of “linked” news has also caused another phenomenon: a controversy industry aimed not – or not only – at the excitement of their own supporters, but in a growing manner to the angering of their own adversaries; who will then angrily react and link to the culprit, moving vast numbers of people to bring money in the very pockets of their own adversaries. It is as if one would make a small contribution to the Labour Party everytime he thinks they are a bunch of senseless Commies. The worst of this is that the critics keep coming (look at the comment sections), so that it is clear there is no long-term price to pay for the short-term provocation advantage. The click is free to the one who clicks, but it brings an utility to those who are clicked. An utility so big, that entire businesses are run on that only. The more you provoque, the more money it brings, and in the long term. Not even Paese Sera could afford such luxury, and certainly not so easily.
The well-known blog multinational of all faiths and none seems to me a perfect, and at the same time an extreme example, of this. They do not have a print version, and the company as well as their bloggers profit from every click, it being utterly irrelevant whether it comes from people enthusiastic of their work or angry at their very existence. They will, therefore, be encouraged – encouraged in a very obvious and immediate way: ka-ching! – to be overtly controversial, so that their own adversaries may make their tills sing.
I do not think this is a behaviour that should be encouraged. Certainly not, when the person you – or I – deem spreading the wrong idea gets money whenever we want to make really sure that we disagree with him. It may be a smart move from their side to try, it certainly isn’t from ours to let them succeed.
Which is why I have, in the past, advisedly not linked to wrong blogs; particularly – but not only – those of the big Ka-Ching machine of all faiths and none.
I invite the other bloggers reading this to consider doing the same, and to be rather vague in their references: the reader must know enough to know that the criticised position comes from the wrong corner, without being exposed to the rather instinctive reflex to just click the link. Ideally, he should not even be interested about the particular blog or newspaper that occasioned the criticism: the argument made, and its refutation, could well be information enough; then we fight a battle of ideas and want to train each other to right thinking, rather than indulge in, say, heresy or dissent or cafeteria catholic voyeurism.
I know, the one or other will not like this, and will find that something gets lost in the way of information.
But it is, in the end, better than nourishing your adversary.
In past times, I never felt the need to give money to the Pravda, either.
A blogger on a famous multi-faith (and none) blog multinational made my day today, with the wonderful explanation of why the
Pope Bishop of Rome always – and particularly on the famous aeroplane – talks as if he had one Litre Fernet (the Argentinians like it a lot, I am told; like the Italians) in his humble stomach.
It all has to do with Sun-Tzu and his Art of War, you see.
The brilliant war strategy unfolds as follows:
1. Francis just shuts up in the face of huge attacks on Christianity, for months.
2. Then, he surprises the enemy by showing he is on their side.
3. This leaves the enemy utterly without defence or orientation, because of all things they were certainly not expecting the Pope… to be on their side. The shock!
4. At this point the enemy is clearly confused, faintly whispering “he is one of ours, then!”… and
5. They give the Pope huge attention, repeating all over the world how he (erm… cough) sabotages Catholicism… At this point, when Francis has the world’s attention…
7. BLAM….. He attacks them with clear Catholic teaching!
I miss the BLAM phase; but that is meant to be in the future, I am sure…
For today, I notice this is the same as saying Churchill should have started to teach the superiority of the Aryan race during WW II, and perhaps made one or three laws against the Jews, in order to surprise the confused Wehrmacht soldiers….
It’s not even twisted, or immensely stupid anymore. It’s just plain funny.
Wins the Pollyanna Championship hands down.
After reading an interesting article about The Problem With Patheos, I decided to give the site a couple of minutes more.
I discovered some of the well-known Catholic blogs are, in fact, there. I must admit my ignorance here, and openly confess when I read Mark Shea’s (seldom) of Fr Longenecker’s (somewhat more often) blog I did not even care to see whether their site is embedded in a bigger organisation; or perhaps they weren’t in the past, and I didn’t notice when they were embedded. I google them, and follow the link.
Now I did go to visit Patheos, and I must say I wasn’t pleased.
I see three main issues here:
2) independence, and
3) moral relativism
As to 1), let me say beforehand I have nothing against people who make money with their blogs. If they attract enough readership to complement their earnings, or are even able to make of blogging their profession, more power to them. I do not consider money “filthy”, or money earning “bad”, nor do I think Catholicism should never be “contaminated” by monetary considerations; Real Catholic TV, a private organisation, is a good example. Still, there should be no suspicion financial considerations influence the way they blog.
Which leads us nicely to 2). I wonder if a blogger would be allowed to stay on Patheos who would be seen to contravene to the “safe” environment Patheos wants to create. What if a Catholic blogger should insistently and vocally ask for the reintroduction of, say, sodomy laws, and the one or other pervert would start to bitch around saying how traumatised he is? This is just an example, but at some point “big Patheos brother” would intervene, because at some point Catholicism must be at war (otherwise, it wouldn’t be Catholicism) with the world, and give scandal to non-Christians. You might say the same thing happens with the editorial policy of a newspaper or magazine, but the beauty of blogging is exactly that there is no such control, and this is the reason why blogs are rapidly becoming a better alternative to professional journalism – always constrained within the “policy” and “directives” of the newspaper or magazine owner – whenever this kind of “sensitive” information is to be exchanged.
Then there is point 3). I seem to remember (vaguely; perhaps it was two years ago; perhaps I wasn’t paying attention) the site to be aimed at Christians of various denominations; apparently, it is aimed at (or it has been extended to) not only Muslims and Jews, but even atheists, pagans and the oxy-moronic “progressive Christians”. I can’t see how this very format cannot be seen as encouraging moral relativism, and I cannot see how if one is in such a company he can deny to give a contribution to it.
I (and many others, I am sure) see Catholicism as a world apart. Catholicism does not put itself in the shop window, asking “customers” to consider it. Catholicism does not participate in a system by which it is perceived as one of many possible flavours. May it be that in life a potential convert would see Catholicism as one “alternative”, but this is exactly what a Catholic must not do. There is no alternative to Catholicism, therefore Catholicism never puts itself in the position of being considered one of many possible “flavours”. Catholicism builds churches, sends priests and missionaries around, grows on the granitic conviction of its followers. Catholicism doesn’t participate to beauty contests, because there is no contest.
This, besides the grave reservations described in the article concerning the way Catholic doctrine is “explained” to those, so to speak, coming from outside, and by which the suspicion arises the one or other Catholic bloggers has read them, and decided to do nothing. Granted, this latter problem can be rather rapidly solved (though perhaps having to pay some attention to the “sensitivities” of the structure). The problem of moral relativism, instead, cannot be solved, because it pertains to the very nature and structure of Patheos.
Now let us ask ourselves: are there really no alternatives? Hugely followed blogs like Father Z’ feel no need to be embedded into a big multi-faith (or no faith) blog structure; their autonomous structure is guarantee of their independence. They have become big because those who visit their blog know they need not fear interference or (more probably) unspoken self-censorship.
More importantly, the idea itself of a blog reacts to the concept of endeavouring to reach an audience. The beauty of blogging is someone sitting at the computer and writing what he thinks should be said, without constrictions and without even caring whether he will have many readers, or none. This is what makes the freshness of blogs, and determined their success; and this is particularly important in Catholic blogs, which are provocative and counter-cultural by definition.
A big platform with its own editorial policy (which it must have, at some point) will at some point become nothing else than an online magazine. This can’t be good for blogging in general, let alone Catholic blogging.