The other day retired liberal SCOTUS Justice John Paul Stevens issued an op-ed in Hell’s Bible in which he argued for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment.
I’ll get to MSW in a moment. Bear with me.
A writer for the WaPo, Aaron Blake, reacted with a measure of horror to Steven’s open words:
One of the biggest threats to the recovery of the Democratic Party these days is overreach. Having seen what Republicans have accomplished while pushing to the right, Democrats are debating how hard to push in the opposite direction — on the minimum wage, on abortion, on health care and on education. A party that was once afraid of being saddled with supporting “government-run” health care is increasingly okay with the word “liberal” and even voted in droves for a self-described socialist in 2016. And its 2020 hopefuls are leading the leftward charge.
But rarely do we see such an unhelpful, untimely and fanciful idea as the one put forward by retired Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens.
In a New York Times op-ed on Tuesday, Stevens calls for a repeal of the Second Amendment. The move might as well be considered an in-kind contribution to the National Rifle Association, to Republicans’ efforts to keep the House and Senate in 2018, and to President Trump’s 2020 reelection bid. In one fell swoop, Stevens has lent credence to the talking point that the left really just wants to get rid of gun ownership and reasserted the need for gun-rights supporters to prevent his ilk from ever being appointed again (with the most obvious answer being: Vote Republican).
In effect, Justice Stevens named the love that dares not speaks its name… repeal of the 2nd Amendment.
Jonah Goldberg, while defending Stevens’ right to call for changes according to the process laid out in the Constitution itself, also noticed that Stevens hurt the liberal cause: “every now and then the mask slips“. More Goldberg:
Stevens’s argument cuts through all of the fictions and double-talk and says plainly what millions of Americans and lots of politicians and journalists truly believe: Law-abiding citizens shouldn’t be able to buy guns easily, or at all, if it makes it easier or even possible for non-law-abiding citizens to get their hands on them.
But there’s another reason I applaud Stevens’s position. He seeks to change the meaning of the Constitution the way the Founders intended: through the amendment process.
So, Stevens violated the golden rule. Don’t let the mask slip and say what the true goal is! Stevens named the love that dares not speak its name.
This is the key to understanding the dynamic of what follows.
Shifting gears to another issue, we find the same process at work. A lib called out a lib for being unhelpful to the cause, for letting the mask slip, for naming the unnamable.
Over at Fishwrap, Michael Sean Winters wrote a blistering piece about the Loon in New Testament Studies at Jesuit-run Holy Cross College, Tat-siong Benny Liew, who suggested Christ might have been a “drag king” who harbored “queer desires.” Winters quotes some horrible stuff from this Loon’s writings. Blech.
Winters really laid into him, and rightly so, adapting a fabled SCOTUS hook of Justice Stewart: “I am no Scripture scholar, but I know one when I see one.”
The Holy Cross Loon let the mask slip and makes the whole lib agenda and homosexualist agenda in the Church look weird.
Just as strategy-minded enemies of the 2nd Amendment never want to admit in public that they want the rights of US citizens abolished, and therefore steer language into bromides like “commonsense gun laws”, etc., even while they advance their true agenda, so too those who have a homosexualist agenda in the Church will focus on certain phrases, all the time avoiding speaking openly what they are after in the long run.
Jesuits are good at this.
In any event, I find myself in agreement with Michael Sean Winters’ assessment of the motives and quality of the Holy Cross Loon’s offerings. Winters even thinks that it was blasphemy. Surely we agree on that. It was creepy self-promoting blasphemy and it has no place in a Catholic institution.
On another note, Michael Sean is not known as the Wile E. Coyote of the catholic Left for nothing. He is nimble and creative, if generally unsuccessful in avoiding cliffs, falling rocks explosions, etc.
In dragging down the Holy Cross Loon, Wile E. scrambles after Ross “the Roadrunner” Douthat and his good new book on the pontificate of Pope Francis.
Just as I criticized Ross Douthat’s book on Pope Francis because it failed basic journalistic standards, theologians who support academic freedom need to take the lead in differentiating between pushing an envelope and pushing nonsense.
This is nearly as funny as watching clips of Wile E. with the open crates of ACME products.
In his critique of Douthat, Winters said that Douthat cited – but didn’t name – certain disgruntled participants in the Synod on the Family. Not naming them, you see, was a journalistic No No. To refute and educate Douthat, however, Winters cited his own entirely gruntled Synod participants but… ooops… didn’t name them, hence hoisting himself on his own petard. But that’s what Wile E. does, right? Agere sequitur esse.
In this new Fishwrap piece about the Holy Cross Loon, on the other hand, Winters covers his ACME rocket burns by mentioning in passing parentheses the not entirely unknown “Chatham House Rule”, whereby those who hear a debate can use the information they hear publicly, but without identifying the people involved. The Chatham House Rule is intended to promote candor and open, honest debate. In this Fishywrappy context, however, the Rule is probably a mask – a slipped mask – over another which you will recognize.
Rule, #4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
Winters is clearly irritated at what the Holy Cross Loon wrote, because he let the mask slip. He is also irritated with Douthat because he reached out and yanked the mask off. Hence, Winters even tries to draw a moral equivalence between the commonest of critters, a blasphemous self-promoting loony lib of bizzare sexual proclivities and Douthat, the rarest of breeds, a mostly conservative and well-measured opinion writer for the hoary lady, Hell’s Bible. Remember? “Just as I criticized Ross Douthat’s book…”.
However, if you really want a sense of whom Wile E. sees as his nemesis, just review his review of Douthat’s book. Pay attention to the over the top hysteria of his thoughts on Douthat. Then compare that with language he used about the Holy Cross Loon. Yes, it too is touchy, harsh and occasionally vitriolic, because… well… that’s our dear Wile E! But it isn’t nearly as venomous as his treatment of Douthat’s book.
It all makes for another interesting day in the Catholic Church, wherein an observer of human nature will never be bored.