I’m the Only Virtuous One

It’s shit like this that makes me loathe Kristof:

Yet the church leaders are right about one thing:there is often a
liberal and secular snobbishness toward the church as a whole — and
that is unfair.

It may be easy at a New York cocktail party to
sniff derisively
at a church whose apex is male chauvinist, homophobic
and so out of touch that it bars the use of condoms even to curb AIDS.
But what about Father Michael Barton, a Catholic priest from
Indianapolis? I met Father Michael in the remote village of Nyamlell,
150 miles from any paved road here in southern Sudan. He runs four
schools for children who would otherwise go without an education, and
his graduates score at the top of statewide examinations.

Because the only reason to call attention to you as the only one who is standing up for the poor beleaguered “true” Catholic Church is to jerk yourself off, and the column would be better without making us all witness that. Close the bathroom door, for the love of God.

This is a particular journalist tic that is starting to piss me off in several contexts, and it takes exactly this form: Yes, there are problems, yes, all the liberal critics of X are correct, but I think liberal critics are using a nasty tone of voice and I’m going to make sure you notice ME ME ME ME ME pointing that out, so I can differentiate myself from them.

And by the way, could we criticize the church’s stance on contraception or homosexuality or the role of women in ministry in such a way that WOULD please you, Nicky? Because last I fucking checked, the people leveling such criticism were also the ones trying to change those aspects of the church, and what you may see as “sniffing derisively,” they see as, you know, advocacy of their positions. Maybe if they weren’t so rude about it, or raised their pinky fingers while doing so.

It’s because of brave souls like these that I honor the Catholic
Church. I understand why many Americans disdain a church whose leaders
are linked to cover-ups and antediluvian stances on women, gays and
condoms — but the Catholic Church is far larger than the Vatican.

unless we’re willing to endure beatings alongside Father Michael,
unless we’re willing to stand up to warlords with Sister Cathy, we have
no right to disparage them or their true church.

Actually, we have every right to disparage their true church so long as that church continues to be complicit in covering up the systematic abuses of power that concealed the rape of children. We have every right to sniff derisively at a criminal enterprise that would make Tony Soprano say, “Whoa, dude.” We have every right to scoff and scorn and I say that as a card-carrying member of the Roman cannibalistic crucifixion cult myself.

For defenders of the church to hold up examples of the people Kristof cites as some kind of shield against criticism should engender more outrage, not less, since these are the people whose work is being profaned. They should welcome every voice raised in opposition to the practices of the church, even if those voices come from very rude people.

And if you don’t want to hear sniffing about the church at New York cocktail parties, there’s a very easy way to avoid that. Stop going to them yourself, even if they do afford you the opportunity to be the most specialest nicest boy in the room.



7 thoughts on “I’m the Only Virtuous One

  1. If Kristof wants to see some ugly anti-Catholicism, he ought to come back home to Oregon. We’ve got plenty of well-heeled (and increasingly, more without heels) who are more than happy to spout off on the Papists. It’s a long tradition: the Klan didn’t really have any blacks to target here when they were big in the ’20s, so they burned crosses on Catholic lawns instead and tried to push through a ban on private schools (that ended up in the US Supreme Court).

  2. This is unknowable and unprovable of course, but the rot at the top won’t heal itself and won’t go away gracefully. It’ll come crashing down, maybe not in my lifetime but I suspect in my kids’ at least. And when it does, want to know who will be cleaning it up and reconstituting it? Not the reactionaries; they’ll turn into ecclesiastical teabaggers or just curl up in the fetal position. It’ll be the liberals, the ones Kristof is sniffing derisively at.

  3. Fuck their so-called “true church” where it lives and breathes.Why should it be free from criticism.

  4. The “true church” is a money making enterprise, a very successful one, that protects its source of revenue above all else. It is better compared to British Petroleum and Halliburton than to religious groups.

  5. Yeah, and there are some caring, compassionate teachers working for Hamas, too. It’s a mystery how Kristof thinks the example of a couple of hard-working missionaries reflects favorably on the church as a whole.
    If you put the Pope and the cardinals to work in the Sudan, those mooks wouldn’t last 20 minutes. They are fully aware of this and so is Kristof.

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