Catholic commentary on culture, media, and politics.

Monday, July 18, 2005

God late in getting around to dealing with the French

A couple of biblical-style plagues have descended upon the land of Jacques "my dad can beat up Blair's dad" Chirac.

No sign yet of the frogs.


Anonymous Mick said...

I believe I read this somewhere on your site: "if my conservatism were to arm-wrestle my Catholicism, the latter would win". Reading this, I'm not convinced.

12:37 AM

Anonymous Patrick said...

Dear Mick:

You'll have to spell out what you mean a bit more. Do you mean that the "frog plague" post makes me actually more conservative than Catholic (contra my personal profile) or do you mean that such a post disqualifies me from Catholicism altogether?

10:33 AM

Blogger Rex Stultorum said...


Perhaps Mick is suggesting that your conservative bent is expressing itself in a judgmentalism that seems contrary to the spirit of Christianity, and perhaps an illicit and blasphemous presumption that YOUR judgment against the French (for being such a stick in the mud, vis-a-vis Operation Iraqi Freedom, one might guess) implies an identical judgment on the part of God.

Now I, personally, think that you were making a joke, but a joke that is "informed by" your overall position on politics. That's fine; and I think that a person CAN be a devout Catholic and be willing to make jokes that have a religious theme -- even if those jokes actually BORDER on being a little irreverent. (I guess I mean that the joke would have to be such that only an irrational or hyper-critical person would suppose that the person making the joke were intending to denigrate what is considered sacred.)

But I think when the whole thrust of your blog is that you are conservative AND Catholic, but Catholic BEFORE conservative, the post does kind of raise questions like Mick's -- or rather a "sense" that in fact the "order" is the reverse.

Okay, sorry, I've been having a little trouble finding my tongue here. Let me try to make Mick's case SUCCINCTLY -- and I don't know Mick from Adam ... or Eve! :)

It is reasonable to assume that your post reflects on your part a judgment against the French. It is reasonable to assume that your judgment against the French is rooted in your conservative stance -- most notably a support for O.I.F. Pope John Paul II was MORE opposed to O.I.F. than anyone in the French government. So perhaps it might be said that your post, for those reasons, seems to suggest that you'll toss out the Catholic, when the conservative demands it.

How'd I do, Mick?

Now Patrick, I realize that the "case" I just offered above is FULL of ASSUMPTIONS, and claims to "reasonableness." An assumption can be reasonable and still be incorrect. Are any of those assumptions incorrect? If so, then which? And as for my allegations of "reasonableness," I would maintain the it's the avowedly conservative character of your blog that gives those assumptions their reasonableness. That is, when one says "I'm a conservative," I think it's reasonable to infer that they support President Bush's policies, including O.I.F. Do you think this inference is unreasonable? If so, then why?

I look forward to reading your response; and I hope Mick chimes in again. Come back swingin', Mick!

P.S. Patrick, I love the name of your blog. I've gotcha bookmarked, and I'll probably be checking you out from time to time -- perhaps engaging you in a little Conservative Catholic vs. Liberal Catholic Smackdown!!!

But I prefer the term "Progressive" to the term "Liberal."

5:02 PM

Blogger Patrick said...

Hey Rex:

Great comment. Good to have you aboard. My initial response is twofold. First, I recommend that you let Mick make his own case/clarify his own meaning. It may be more complicated than the prima facie. Second, and more broadly, you've laid down a challenge too large, too multi-pronged, for the combox.

So I shall start a more comprehensive post, uh, post haste. Clarifying one's worldview (and Churchview) = always a good thing.

As for the smackdown analogy, well...

8:16 PM

Blogger Rex Stultorum said...


Good move! Yes, I think the challenge calls for more than a quick quip. Of course, I look forward to reading that post.

As for Mick, I surely was not trying to elbow him out of the way; nor did I wish to suggest either that I could speak for him or that he could not speak for himself. Let's hope he jumps back in soon!

No, it's simply that when I read his comment and then read the WTimes piece and your surrounding suggestion, I found myself saying, "Yeah"; and so I figured I'd try my hand at making MY case.

"Smackdown" in jest, of course. But I like a good intellectual scrap!

8:43 PM


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