Narcissism in the Cathedral

Not a bishop breaking bad this time.

I heard about this news story on NPR while driving my daughter back to school on an errand. Maybe it was the setting of my day: a brisk cool morning and an early start to getting work done at the parish. Chatting with a few students, a prospective bride, and a few afternoon hours with a friend in a garden. My daughter’s missing book was in her backpack all the time. But though I was pretty tired from a long day, I relished the time in the car with the young miss. Picked up some groceries on the way home. Life is good. Really good.

The whole thing strikes me as annoying, and I don’t even find same-sex unions all that convincing a boogeyman. Not dangerous like the one percent, certainly. If he wanted to kill himself, maybe he should have done so in the name of the poor, the unborn, refugees, or someone who is actually suffering in life. So we have a 78-year-old going into a pout because his peaceful protest didn’t budge popular and political opinion. Then he offs and commits a desecration for people who, presumably, are his allies in the anti-gay department.

On the final blog entry from the suicide:

In the final entry in his blog, dated the day of his death, he wrote about the failure of peaceful mass protests to prevent the passage of the marriage law and talked of “new, spectacular and symbolic gestures to wake up the sleep walkers and shake the anaesthetised consciousness”.

“We are entering a time when words must be backed up by actions,” he said.

Whatever, dude.

The media label him as “far-right.” I suppose so, given his political history with paramilitary groups. But he strikes me as a self-indulgent, narcissistic boomer to me. Just not a liberal one.

It’s part of the culture of entitlement. a person thinks that strongly-held beliefs and deep-run feelings are stronger and deeper than one’s opponents. And that one deserves to win the argument, just by having a longish guest-list to the marriage law protest party.

But the reality is that nobody was forcing M. Denner to marry a man. Or sell a gay couple flowers, life insurance, or a loaf of crusty bread. He was a writer who made his daily euro from military history. The craft of guns and weaponry and such. So he decides to take the tools of the trades of people he writes about to commit suicide at the main altar of a revered church. In whatever afterlife he finds himself, I hope he gets over himself there.

As for waking up, maybe the world’s conservatives will have to face another incident that shows they are no more virtuous, honorable, or moral than the Left. People make sacrifices of life to save innocent people every day of the week. Suicides really do nothing. They are the triumph of despondency and, in this case, self-absorption.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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One Response to Narcissism in the Cathedral

  1. Jim McCrea says:

    Actually this man was “far wrong.” Look at his history!

    Notre Dame needs to be exorcised ASAP.

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