- shocking, absolutely shocking
- lunatic fringe
- unhelpful admixture of bias and ignorance
- binary simplicity of his theological analysis
- a 7-year-old’s paint-by-numbers drawing with the collection of the Louvre (followed by, incredibly, “I do not exaggerate”.)
- Coarse and hoary!
This is a sample of terms used by Michael Sean Winters’ – the Wile E. Coyote of the catholic Left and junior member of the New catholic Red Guards – in his hysterical 3200+ word review of Ross Douthat and his new book, thus confirming it as sound and a good buy.
I say Douthat and his book, since Winters piece is mostly ad hominem invective.
In essence, Winters’ problem is that Douthat spoke with people whom Winters doesn’t like, never bothers to contact and talk to (whom he labels as “cranks”) and then – imagine! come to conclusions that don’t coincide with the Received Message Approved by the New catholic Red Guards.
I almost laughed aloud when Winters accused former Fishwrap pillar John Allen as having anti-Francis bias. I guess Allen hasn’t applauded vigorously enough in the Great Hall of the Pueblo.
In any event, in his attack on Douthat’s sources – unfootnoted, named, etc. – Winters does the same thing of which he accuses Douthat. “One synod father commented… Another synod father told me… I asked one of the synod fathers…”. Slick, huh?
Winter even situates himself as the defender of Popes John Paul and Benedict against Douthat’s “slurs”. Yes, he used that word.
Just make popcorn and chuckle. You can’t take any of this too seriously. It was as inevitable as birds flying south for the Winters.
There is, perhaps, a key to understanding why Wile E.’s ACME-fueled spittle is today flecking with such venom. He wrote:
Could it be that there is a kind of American Catholic, be it a political operative or a CEO, for whom it is important to keep conservative sexual norms as the touchstone of Catholic identity rather than, say, commitment to the poor?
Could it be that there is a kind of catholic Left operative who is angry because some defend “conservative sexual norms”?