“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

August 31, 2009

A Crazy Little Thing Called "Hate"

I had figured that Michael Sean Winters' recent psychodrama in America Magazine — “The Boors Who Demean Ted Kennedy” — would have a brief shelf-life, as most such gimcrackery usually does, but I was wrong.

A related outbreak of foot-in-mouth disease has erupted on a blog written by a theologian named William D. Lindsey who, like Mr. Winters, excoriated my response to Sr. Maureen Fiedler's obit for Ted Kennedy ("He Made Me Proud to Be a Catholic"). He characterized my comments as "hating on Ted Kennedy" and being part of a wider "festival of hate."

Hate? Hate? Eh, not so much.

Upon scrutinizing Mr. Lindsey's complaints, I must say that I just don't see "hate" in the words and actions of the Catholics he attacks, such as Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, whom he accuses by name of joining in with those who are "shouting and threatening and jubilating at the thought of destruction of good people and good plans."

That kind of fatuous nonsense is reminiscent of a line from Alice in Wonderland:

"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?"

Oh, yes, I do indeed. And it would appear that Mr. Lindsey inhabits a world very much like that which Alice describes.

(Thought Experiment: Read Mr. Lindsey's blog post for yourself and tell me who you think is doing all the shouting and threatening, etc., mkay? And, of course, if you'd really like to test the veracity of his accusations, why not join us in person on October 8th when we honor Archbishop Chaput for his stalwart defense of the Catholic Faith. Come meet the good archbishop in person, hear him speak, and see for yourself if he is anything even remotely like the cretin described in Mr. Lindsey's risible caricature.)

And if you wish to peruse Mr. Lindsey's fulsome fulminations regrding moi and the monks and faculty of Belmont Abbey College, simply scroll down past about 20 tedious paragraphs to the one which begins, "MIchael Sean Winters has dared . . ."

And be sure to take note of the loving terminology he uses to describe Catholics who speak up about things like, you know, abortion. Here are a few examples of the love being dished out on his blog:
"Ghouls and goblins now prancing around in the light of day, occupying center stage," "mobs," "exceptionally mean-spirited," "army of malicious fools," "maleficence," and, of course, the ever-popular epithets reserved especially for when one is speaking about pro-life men and women: "hate" and "hatred."
When one encounters such torrid rhetoric, so heavily freighted with invective, as this stuff is, you just have to wonder where all that rage is coming from. It sure isn't consonant with the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Even a theologian should be able to recognize that.


  1. They call "hate" the truth because they hate the truth. That´s all.

    Luis Fernando Pérez

  2. There's a clue as to where the rage comes from in Mr. Lindsey's "About Me." Not exactly an orthodox voice.

    Anybody can claim to be a theologian. What kind of theologian would be pure guesswork, but it seems to me that it's safe to say, it ain't Catholic.

  3. Hmm, I have disputed with Bill before on another site (a now defunct NCR site). He seems to be getting more bitter than he used to be.


  4. We can argue and debate about just about anything, but this is America, don't you DARE talk about my freedom to commit whatever sexual acts I want 'in the privacy of my bedroom'.

    Remember, Catholicism must bend to my American freedoms and rights.

  5. Sometimes hate, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. While we cannot control the beholder's eye, we can and should be careful what we place in his field of vision. I suspect this includes accepting some of the blame when our words cause anger and pain, and trying to be more Christlike in our responses to tax-collectors in trees.

  6. When I saw "Bilgrimage," I winced.

    The writing didn't improve from there. A sad stew of nursed grievance, the unshakable conviction that one's tribal partisan commitments are an indicator of virtue, and precious self-regard. Poisonous in small batches, but an absolute weapon of mass destruction at 2200 words. Yeesh.

  7. I'll have apologize to Mr. Lindsay if I though upon reading it the title read Bilgerimige. it seems a much more fitting title.

    which reminds me where do they keep the bilge pump on the barque of peter? we best let the water out lest she try to sink the ship.

  8. One must not call one's brother a fool, but sometimes it is tempting.

    In all likelihood, though, this is a person who has other reasons for being unable to control his passions.

    Perhaps, as the available statistics show to be common, he is one of those leftists who give around half as much to charity, and volunteer about half as often, as their right-leaning counterparts do?

    If so, perhaps he feels a need to excoriate those who disagree with his political views, lest he become aware that they are, in their greater care for the poor, more Catholic than he? Denial being more than a river...well, you know.

    That is all speculation. But if not that, then surely there must be some explanation for such an eruption. I am reminded of C.S.Lewis' description of the devils in "The Screwtape Letters": "On the surface, manners are normally suave...their good manners, their expressions of grave respect... form a thin crust. Every now and then it gets punctured, and the scalding lava of their hatred spurts out."