Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Susan Jacoby's Ignorance

... on Catholicism. Susan Jacoby is a liberal writer who opines once and a while as a 'On Faith' panelist for a Washington Post/Newsweek blog. From the liberal ranks of the media, which is pretty much 99% of the media, she pontificates to Catholics what anti-Catholicism is not while having egg on her face. Let's dissect. In her blog entry titled, "Anti-Catholicism: A Phony Issue", she pretty much blasts any Catholic who stands up for their faith, saying we 'impose' our values each time we speak up. By imposing does Miss Jacoby imply we have government faith squads wandering the streets of America, keeping vigil on any anti-Catholicism that might arise? Nope, just for practicing our right to free speech does she object to our use of this constitutional right. She confuses liberal Catholics as if they were similar to liberal Protestants. Unlike Protestants, Catholicism is not divided into different denominations. So if an Anglican lesbian can marry and become a priestess is NOT the same thing as in Catholicism, because it doesn't allow for it. She insists on making the comparison that rape victims being treated in Catholic hospitals be treated as non-Catholics, which is absurd, but that is what she implies. If a hospital is run by a Catholic order, it is only proper that they follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. What gets me is why does an allegedly mainstream organization such as the Washington Post/Newsweek hire a free-thinker, which only represents 1% of the population at best, to post under a 'faith' column? For Susan Jacoby's diatribe click here. (Hat Tip: Catholic Report via Pro Ecclesia)

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting.

We may be coming to a time, I think, when there will be very little question who is and isn’t Catholic. The elements within the faith that one often terms “liberal” are not being passed onto new generations; instead, those who believe the Church should allow this/that simply are leaving the Church.

So, as Ratzinger has said, we will be left with a smaller, more energized core.

Out of curiosity, which parish do you all normally attend?

Tito said...

Anon,

Thank you for your comments!

I believe there is a resurgance towards orthodoxy and either the 'liberals' will learn their faith better or fall away. 'Conservatives' seem to be learning their faith better, but should show a little more compassion.

I'd like to answer that, but I don't know who you are so I'm a little suspicious as to why you are interested.

Nonetheless, God bless,

Tito

Esther said...

Tito, maybe I read too fast and missed it but is the writer "Catholic"?

John said...

n her blog entry titled, "Anti-Catholicism: A Phony Issue", she pretty much blasts any Catholic who stands up for their faith, saying we 'impose' our values each time we speak up.

She said nothing of the sort in the piece you linked to.

She said that there is a difference between disagreement and discrimination, pointing out that the very real anti-Catholic discrimination of the past has almost entirely disappeared in this country.

I'm sure you're going to just dismiss me as another ignorant liberal, but I hope you'll reflect a bit on the difference. Neither you (nor I) have any right to not have someone vocally disgree with us.

Tito said...

John,

I sincerely disagree. She made ad hominem attacks to those that state there is 'anti-Catholicism'.

No, this is not a liberal discussion board or blog where an 'insult' is considered a tactful reply in a debate. Your opinions are well appreciated and welcomed on my blog. It is rare to see an alleged liberal actually provide substance and tact in a debate. Thank you for not falling into the typical liberal diatribe of ad hominem attacks.

God bless,

Tito

Tito said...

Esther,

She doesn't explicitly state she is a free-thinker, but that is what she is. If she is Catholic, she is a lapsed Catholic, along the lines of Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Mario Cuomo.

A free-thinker is a jab at organized religion, meaning that they think for themselves without any guidance from above. It has become a tag for many atheists trying to be more PC and acceptable to the general public. Much like liberals using 'progressive' nowadays because 'liberal' has many negative connotations. Practicing homosexuals have also used language to twist the debate by hijacking the word 'gay' to refer to themselves. It makes them sound much more friendlier than 'homosexual'. Hence 'free-thinker' sounds 'liberating' and 'democratic' instead of 'atheist' or even 'agnostic'.

God bless,

Tito

John said...

I've never heard anyone describe themselves as a "freethinker."

Tito, what ad hominem attacks? I don't see them in the article. Yes, she offers up some strong criticisms of Bill Donohue, but they're criticisms of specific statements and the way he portrays himself the media. Yes, these could fairly be called attacks, and you certainly might disagree with them, but they are not ad hominen attacks by any reasonable definition of the term.

Esther said...

Tito, thanks for replying. I asked because most of the harshest critics and attackers of the Church seem to be the ones who call themselves "Catholics".

Karen said...

I wouldn't call this woman a "free-thinker." That is giving her too much credit, for it requires one to THINK in order to qualify.

God bless!

John said...

See, now Karen's comment - THAT was an ad hominen attack!

Tito said...

John,

Just as Susan Jacoby's.

John said...

Sorry, Tito, but words have meanings. Jacoby's criticisms - or attacks if you like - focused on specific actions and statements. Arguing that what she wrote is wrong is absolutelyk legitimate, but calling it an "ad hominem" attack is simply inaccurate. Attacking someone's statements, someone's action, or someone's opinions just doesn't fit the definition.

Susan's comment, on the other hand, is a snarky little statement on Jacoby's intelligence. It addresses nothing she said, but instead attacks her as a person. Thus, it's a textbook definition of an ad hominem attack.

Tito said...

John,

There's the rub.

You believe them legitamite, I believe them ad hominem.

John said...

"Ad hominem" and "legitimate" are not opposites. An argument can be ad hominem and accurate, or not ad hominen and still incorrect. The problem with ad hominem attacks isn't that they are always wrong, but that they avoid dealing with someone's actual statements.

So the question of whether Jacoby's arguments are ad hominem attacks have nothing to do with their legitimacy; I am simply pointing out that you are using a term with a very specific definition incorrectly.

John said...

Final thought (I clicked "post" too fast") - by incorrectly dismissing what Jacoby says as "ad hominem" attacks, you avoid having to actually respond to the content of what she says.

Thus, you may or may not be right, but the argument you're presenting is very weak.

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