That War On Aspiration

I thought about it, but at first I wasn’t going to blog on this. Peter Nixon (for more than a decade, one of the people who have mastered this thing called blogging) on Adam Shaw’s “War on Aspiration”:

I generally don’t begrudge a man who’s just trying to make a living, particularly (as I am painfully aware at the moment) it will be hard for Shaw to send his kids to Catholic high school on a Fox junior editor’s  salary.

He’s not going to get it done by reviewing movies for the CNS, the gig he lost by bad-mouthing Pope Francis last month. 

I don’t know where I read it, but somebody somewhere (online I think) commented that the rich complain because the poor aren’t like them. I start seeing that meme, plus variations on it, coming from conservative HQ and their lackeys these days. A lot. Keep looking for it–it’s a telling signal of an argument built on narcissism.

From Mr Shaw:

The pope’s snub of the struggle for prosperity is a typically derisive attitude toward the American quest for self-development …

Mr Shaw obviously spent not so much time with the Ignatian principle of discernment. I can’t think of a religious tradition that is more in tune with personal fulfillment–however, in the context with the grace of God. 

The man sure as shooting knows nothing about Jesuits:

(Pope Francis’) career in bureaucracy that unusually contains zero experience at parish level, in which he would have at least had experience bringing in money.

We are talking about the Society of Jesus, friends at Fox. 

Another howler:

But, strangely, in the exhortation, Francis never urges capitalists to give to the poor.

Um, two things. Giving to the poor is charity. It’s good. But it’s give-a-fish territory. Not teach-to-fish. Capitalists are urged to do a lot of things in Evangelii Gaudium. Maybe giving to the poor is a given. But maybe entering into dialogue with the disenfranchised, the workers, or even the middle managers is a good thing. 

The second thing is justice. Justice is about erasing the need for charity. Justice places people in a position where they can realistically aspire to care for a spouse and a child.


I suspect some of you will become incensed over this, but to be honest I just laughed out loud.  

Yep, on that last point.

It’s painfully obvious that Shaw has figured out that his surest path to becoming a big wheel at Fox is to follow the Ann Coulter model of employing ridiculously over-the-top rhetoric to make his points.

Ann Coulter, the high priestess of breadwinning in the modern media.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to That War On Aspiration

  1. John Donaghy says:

    He also, conveniently, cites Pope Francis out of context and really twists the meaning of the pope’s words.

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