Monday, February 25, 2019

Hawking tickets for a burning cruise ship

Kevin TierneyThis morning I was glad to write at Catholic Exchange for the first time in 18 months.  I haven't been a regular writer there for 3 years.  Let's talk about that.  Graps fans, this be a Catholic thread.  This won't be a gossip thread.  There wasn't any beef that led to a break
Matter of fact, I'm still in regular contact with @mjordanlichens.  The two of us (hopefully) still get along great!  So for those who asked, my dropoff wasn't a personal or editorial dispute.  Also wasn't a crisis of faith.  It was more I needed to rethink what we're doing & why
I was also burned out.  For two years I was basically a weekly writer for them.  Eventually you run out of ideas.  But, being real, the crisis in the Church hampered my ability to write.  The things I wanted to write about were rejected by others as goo edgy or (in CEs case) not
their brand.  Some make a conscious editorial decision not to cover certain topics, and that's for the best.  We don't need an opinion on EVERYTHING.  In fact, that's the problem.  Because we often feel the need to have that opinion, we buy into the hive mind and adopt talking points.  I think the problem a lot of Catholic writers have is that we feel it's our job to tell people why their anger at the Church is wrong, or blown out of proportion.   We run the risk of becoming PR hacks for the pope and bishops.  While we shouldn't define ourselves by animosity towards the hierarchy, sometimes we really gotta tell someone "man, I get it."  I think we Catholic writers are doing a bad job speaking to Catholics who are, quite frankly, justifiably pissed off.  They are looking for guidance on how to be Catholic while pissed off.
Our typical response is to try and move them away from that feeling, and transform the Church into a debate club of stoic philosophers.  Count me out.  The Bible doesn't tell us to suppress/repress anger, but to not let it consume you.  That means it may still exist, and thats ok. It might even be healthy if you process it right!  So I'll still write from time to time, speaking to the pissed off.  In the meantime, read my stuff!

 I've been aware of Kevin Tierney for a number of years. He's a RadTrad apologist. He gave up on blogging ( early on during the Francis pontificate. 

How do you play by the rules when your sect keeps changing the rules? Taylor Marshall is another conflicted Catholic apologist. He's part of the Called to Communion blog, but unlike Bryan Cross, the consummate diplomat who maintains a Stoic game face, Marshall is openly disgrunted. For instance:

We see a number of Catholic apologists incessantly attacking the leadership of the Catholic church while simultaneously recruiting for the Catholic church. Like selling tickets for a cruise ship as you see smoke and flames shooting from the engine room. 

One reason many Catholic apologists are reluctant to jump ship is loss of face. That's especially true for converts to Catholicism.  In general, there's no loss of face in conversion. It's understood that kids don't really choose their faith, but tend to mirror whatever their parents believe. Conversion can be a mark of adult independence. 

Converting, then changing your mind, may involve some loss of face–especially if you were one of those insufferable,  overbearing converts constantly spoiling for the chance  to pick a fight. Walking back from that can be humiliating.

However, the toughest situation is not merely a convert, but someone who becomes a professional apologist for his adopted faith. In the case of Catholicism, he convinced himself that all the arguments for the Protestant faith were wrong. All the Protestant arguments against the Catholic faith were wrong. Most arguments for the Catholic faith were right. Most arguments against the Protestant faith were right. 

If you change your mind again, that's a lot to reverse. To dissuade yourself from believing everything you persuaded yourself to believe. How can it all be convincing at one time, then all be unconvincing later? Rebuilding all the bridges you systematically burned, then crossing back over to the side you put behind you.  


  1. You make some excellent points. I have been watching Marshall and Church Militant and its something to behold their railings against their church. What they never mention is that maybe the Holy Spirit is leading the RCC and they need to get on board.

    1. Yes, Michael Voris suffers from the same schizophrenic attitude.