Archbishop Chaput Was Right

Every so often, I lurk and occasionally post on left wing blogs, just for the perspective. Regarding the commentariat discussing abortion protesters as terrorists, see for yourself if Archbishop Chaput hasn’t nailed the qualities of liberal and conservative critics in this instance:

(T)he conservatives are meaner, but the liberals’ language is more foul.

Language advisory on the link: about as many f-bombs on the thread as mentions of the word “heretic” on a Doug Kmiec or Fr Jenkins thread. I perceive the same tunnel vision, the same group-pc-speak, the same echo chamber I see on the Right. The world is divided into three groups, it would seem:

1. Me and my friends who think alike and we’re all polite.

2. A few exciteable allies who can barely master their passions, so sometimes bad words slip out, but that’s okay ’cause the cause is just.

3. All those screaming, foaming idiots who disagree with groups one and two.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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7 Responses to Archbishop Chaput Was Right

  1. Sam Schmitt says:

    I like your three groups. Like yourself, I have always maintained the virtuous mean between the wackos on either side of me.

  2. R.C. says:

    Ah, yes, but the accusation of the right as being “mean” misses an important understanding.

    There is, of course, PROPERLY no emotional content to the expression of truth during a disputation. (A person may certainly, through human weakness, react emotionally, but that is a failure on his part to observe the rules of debate, which is about pursuit of the Truth.)

    If parties A and B are disputing about the facts, and Party A states that fact X is true, it is perfectly alright for Party B to dispute that X is true and state reasons why.

    But it is outside the boundaries of the conversation for Party B to tell Party A that it’s “mean” to state fact X. That kind of thing is just a way for anti-intellectual people to shut down the conversation on points of dispute.

    Now with, say, Nancy Pelosi’s support for legal abortion, a right-wing or traditionalist Catholic is certainly going to assert that she’s a dissenter and, depending on what seems to be the justification of her dissent, they may state that she’s a heretic.

    All very well: Party A has asserted a fact. Usually they go on to give good reasons for believing the fact to be true.

    It seems to me that the claim that “the right is MEAN” amounts to Party B saying, “I don’t want to talk about whether it’s true or not; I think it’s so mean even to say it that you should just shut up.”

    The funny thing about this is, it’s a perfectly legitimate complaint in OTHER realms of human discourse: Just not in a debate.

    In a friendly conversation, one does not bluntly state uncomfortable truths, let alone accusations, in front of a person who’ll be offended and hurt.

    What the left is doing when it says “the right is MEAN” is saying, “We want to apply the rules of friendly conversation to political debate.” Which, of course, shuts down the debate: What the party in power always desires.

  3. Jim McK says:

    There are words in your example of ‘right speak’ that have an emotional connotation, ie dissent and heretic, beyond any truth telling. Ms Pelosi does not believe she is dissenting from the tradition, but that she disagrees about what the tradition is. She is in no way a formal heretic, though she may in your opinion be a material heretic, but the word is used to isolate her as if she were a formal heretic.

    By asserting the truth of your position is such backhanded ways, you shut down debate.

    OTOH, Paul VI urged respect for one another as one of the fundamental principles of dialog. If you want to ignore the moral teaching of the Popes in such a flagrant manner, and dismiss “polite conversation”, you are not only admittedly impolite (=mean?) but also a dissenting heretic.

  4. Jimmy Mac says:

    “The incompleteness of our understanding humbles us.”

    Carl Sagan

  5. Gavin says:

    I read the article. It strikes me as lunacy: “how dare someone peacefully protest off-site a procedure that they view as an act of murder!” And ever read a comment thread from pro-abortion people? They’ve got vulgarity to trump anything our side has.

    This is what amazes me: what are the figures on abortion; how many fetuses are terminated each year? This is something that a large percentage of the country considers an act of murder, and it happens on a massive scale. And yet, the movement against it has been overwhelmingly peaceful, with violent response being extremely rare. People who see millions of murders happen, they write letters, protest off property, preach their viewpoint, and vote. Incredible.

  6. Patti says:

    “This is something that a large percentage of the country considers an act of murder”

    No, they don’t. The largest and silent majority of the country is moderate on abortion. Most think that the “anti-abortion” and “pro-choice” groups are nuts.

  7. Jimmy Mac says:

    Patti, you are soooooo correct.

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