The Horan of Babylon on “Why Catholics should use preferred gender pronouns and names”

Just when I think I’ve successfully gotten away, the Fishwrap keeps pulling me back in to its feverswamp.

This from Daniel P. Horan (aka The Horan of Babylon):

Why Catholics should use preferred gender pronouns and names

His deeply thought through piece suggests this is appropriate for Catholics because God changed the names of Abraham and Sarah, Saul became Paul, and because sometimes people call him “Dan”.

I am not making this up.

He connects resistance to such a practice to transphobia and the way the Chinese are persecuting the Uyghurs and how slave owners named their slaves.

In short, if you don’t use gender neutral pronouns, you are committing a human rights violation.

This is so wierd that you will be tempted to re-read parts just to be sure he really wrote it and then let people see it.

The Horan hints at rude behaviour by refusing to address clergy properly:

Perhaps some kind of nonviolent civil (or maybe better put, ecclesial) disobedience might help our fellow Christians — especially those in positions of leadership and authority in the church — get a taste of their own medicine and experience a small piece of the shame, disrespect and dehumanization such unethical practices place on others.

I wonder how he would react to a suggestion that Catholics should simply ignore Francis’s cruelty and multiply celebrations of the TLM?

Chad Pecknold applies some common sense.

Here is a recent “cum canibus concumbunt” tweet”:

It seems that The Horan is no longer at that bastion of mediocrity and equivocation Catholic Thelogical Union in Chicago and has moved to St. Mary’s in Indiana (which I, alas, had never heard of).  His latest book: A White Catholic’s Guide to Racism and Privilege.   Gotta run out and buy that one!   If you do, please use my amazon affiliate link.  Thanks in advance.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Charivari Rob says:

    I’m a little amazed that you had never heard of Saint Mary’s. [I probably have, but it clearly didn’t make much of an impression.]
    It’s not unreasonable, of course, if you never had any reason to deal with them. I probably hadn’t thought of them since the last time I visited South Bend* about 27 years ago.
    It just seems like one of those linked identities that used to be of slightly more general cultural significance:
    – Harvard-Radcliffe
    – Columbia-Barnard
    – Notre Dame – Saint Mary’s

    * I gotta admit, I did not remember Saint Mary’s being in “Notre Dame, Indiana”. I guess ND has its own post office.

  2. Gerard Plourde says:

    St. Mary’s College, located in South Bend, was traditionally the sister school of Notre Dame University before that school became co-eduactional. A Catholic version of the relationship between Radcliffe/Harvard, Barnard/Columbia, Vassar/Yale, and Bryn Mawr/Haverford.

  3. CanukFrank says:

    I don’t mean to sound uncharitable but what an utter milquetoast.

  4. summorumpontificum777 says:

    Had never heard of Dan Horan OFM until he lambasted the March for Life and the boys from Covington Catholic, falsely accusing them of racism and mistreatment of a Vietnam vet. Two+ years later, he has neither deleted that tweet nor apologized. CNN had to pay big bucks to Nick Sandmann for making the very same false accusations. Being a mendicant has its privileges, I suppose.

  5. philosophicallyfrank says:

    The basic problem is that the use of a dictionary is no longer promoted. The Leftists are well schooled; but, poorly educated. Take the term “homophobe” for example. In the entire world, at the most, there may be a relative handful of such people. Carefully consider the definition of a phobia: A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder defined by “a persistent and excessive fear” of an object or situation. Very few have “a persistent and excessive fear” of so called Homosexuals. And that can be applied to all of the other Leftists’ phobias. It is all about the “Orwellian” use of “Doublespeak” and also the NAZI’s use of “The Big Lie”. Get a copy of George Orwell’s “1984” and also look-up “The Big Lie” on your computer. You don’t have to be highly educated to be able to see thru this Leftist nonsense. As FDR once said: “The only thing that you have to fear is fear itself”. Plus, the more “Hell” that we have to properly deal with in this life; the less of it we will have in the next. The fastest way to get to Heaven is via martyrdom. That option could be not that “far down the road”.

    [I bought a copy of 1984 because I expect it will soon be made unavailable and it will disappear from libraries. HERE]

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  7. Alaskamama says:

    I don’t think we should limit ourselves to preferred pronouns. Give all the parts of speech their day in the sun. Preferred adjectives: bellicose, opinionated, zealous.
    Preferred nouns: wife, mother, Catholic. Give them an eyeful of your preferred adjectives, adverbs, and, oh yeah, conjuctions. Don’t forget your favorite gerunds. Poke them in the eye with their own nonsense.

  8. Semper Gumby says:

    This is a fine idea by Horan of Babylon, my pronouns are: Defender of the Faith and First Sea Lord of Transcarpathia / Chancellor of the Exchequer and Commander of the Armies of the Eurasian Steppe.

  9. Ipsitilla says:

    If anyone were to ask, I’d probably say my pronouns are you/your, and otherwise, stop gossiping.

  10. Johann says:

    The Horan of Babylon was ordained by disgraced former Cardinal Theodore “Uncle Ted” McCarrick. He used to boast of this and often shared pictures of him with the old pervert, but he seems to have stopped doing that now.

  11. Suburbanbanshee says:

    A zillion years ago when I visited St. Mary’s, it had beautiful facilities, a great library, high tuition, and a lot of woke people teaching. I didn’t end up applying there for the last two reasons, but I remember the library fondly.

  12. Archlaic says:

    The last time I had preferred pronouns was when I was a toddler: “me” and “mine”!

  13. Fr. Z. is learning Hungarian at the moment. Magyar is a completely gender-neutral language. There’s only one personal pronoun. If you are listening to two Hungarians talking about a third person, it is impossible to tell if they are talking about a man or a woman, unless they say something specific like the person’s name and it’s either a man’s name or a woman’s name, or if so-and-so is pregnant, etc.

  14. dallenl says:

    When I was in the Army in a class, the drill sergeant addressed everyone by last name. Don’t recall anyone objecting.

  15. albinus1 says:

    In Scripture God consistently uses the image of “Father” to reveal Himself. Does that mean that those who reject masculine pronouns in referring to God are guilty of refusing to use God’s preferred pronouns?

  16. Grant M says:

    I shall call everyone “hee”,”to be taken as English “he” or Welsh/Hebrew “hi”, as the listener wishes.

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  18. xavier says:


    Not to be uncharitable, but this is the same priest who praised McCormick for his ordination and even posted a photo with a caption on his twitter to highlight the anniversary.

    So, we need to take that affection into account.

    My response: no. Absolutely not. I won’t enable or weaponize someone of mental illness with respect to gender dysphoria. I won’t respect your pronoun of choice but the one that accords to reality.


  19. Ave Maria says:

    Who were they praying to?

  20. Rich Leonardi says:

    The last time I visited St. Mary’s the then all-female students were called “Smick Chicks.” I wonder if they have a name for visiting malcontents.

  21. Benedict Joseph says:

    Clearly Horan is of the abstract expressionist school of katholicism. “It is what ever I say that it is. Hang it any way you want.”
    It can be termed to at least a lie or more accurately and seriously heresy.

  22. ChesterFrank says:

    Its donkey dung ! Unfortunately many parishes are run by these leftward leaning lunatics and imbeciles. While I agree with the pontiff that the new gender ideology is demonic, most parishes consider it to be contemporary Catholicism. Papa Joe campaigned awfully hard ($$$) for the Catholic vote.

  23. Grant M says:

    Most Austronesian languages have, like Hungarian, a unisex thrd-person-singular pronoun. (For example: Indonesian dia or ia, Maori ia.)
    Conversely Hebrew and Arabic have gender-specific pronouns for the second person.

  24. Mojoron says:

    This is the more-than-once time the name of Merton has popped up in a conversation with a bunch of lunatics. My understanding of Merton must be in error.

  25. Semper Gumby says:

    Horan of Babylon is a problem, so are most Jesuits, German clergy and much of the 2+2=5 hierarchy such as Wilton of Washington DC. These people are not being corrected or supervised by the Pachamama Vatican. Indeed, they are often encouraged by the Pachamama Vatican in their pagan faith and socialist politics.

    So, when the current pro-Pachamama Caudillo of the Vatican says, “gender ideology is “demonic,”” it’s helpful to keep in mind that the Caudillo also said that Mother Angelica’s EWTN does the work of the devil, that Catholics shouldn’t breed like rabbits, that St. Paul was “rigid,” that destroying tradition is actually guarding tradition, along with many other un-Christian or blatantly anti-Christian statements.

    Over the last several generations there have been many Catholic theologians spreading error. Various popes failed to supervise most of these wayward theologians. The current occupant, when not attacking faithful Christians, not only refuses to supervise but generally encourages error and spiritual anarchy.

    So, when an Integralist (a man-made, papalotrous, tribal, socialist political religion that favors the secret ChiCom-Vatican deal that persecutes Christians) says “repent and believe the good news” it’s helpful to clarify and make a distinction. Particularly when several days ago this theologian approvingly circulated Chinese Communist propaganda (whether out of naivete, malice or knee-jerk anti-Americanism remains to be seen).

    A teachable moment for theologian Pecknold: Repent and believe the good news of Caudillo Bergoglio, no. Repent and believe the good news of the Gospel and of Jesus Christ who supervised and corrected, yes.

  26. TonyO says:

    A language doesn’t belong to individuals, and individuals cannot decide what words shall mean. Nor what words shall mean “for them”. Most certainly, they have no right to demand that others use words in contra-conventional meanings.

    If someone you are interacting with starts using newspeak, or idiotspeak, there are two good options (usually). (1) Walk away. (either with or without explaining “I don’t insist on conversing with people who are using words so as to defeat communication.”) Or (2) ask them: “Are those the pronounce you feel comfortable using?” When they confirm, you reply “Far be it from me to force you to use pronouns you are uncomfortable using. Permit me the same freedom to use the pronouns I am comfortable using.”

    The last, by the way, can be weaponized. Since (they say) “gender” is a social construct, then we are free to start using feminine pronouns for males who come off appearing emasculated, and masculine pronouns for females who come off appearing masculated – ESPECIALLY if they don’t want unconventional pronouns for themselves, just for others. So, start using “she” and “her” for the Horan of Babylon. (Caution: employ this on SJWs at your own risk.)

  27. Semper Gumby says:

    TonyO raises an important point.

    “A language doesn’t belong to individuals, and individuals cannot decide what words shall mean.” Words “can be weaponized.”

    Indeed. Such as: “lived reality,” “walking together,” “2+2=5,” “rigid” (Bergoglio recently referred to St. Paul as “rigid”), “EWTN does the work of the devil,” destroying tradition is “guarding tradition,” “I [Bergoglio] observe the Ten Commandments but not as absolutes,” Bergoglio’s tampering with the Lord’s Prayer, violent and murderous rioters in the U.S. recast as “Good Samaritans,” Bergoglio’s warning against “obsessing” about the murder and butchering for profit (at times while the infant is still alive) of infants, faithful Catholics should not “breed like rabbits.”

    The goal with methodically altering and corrupting language year after year is to create an alternate reality in which Christians, or anyone for that matter, can be disoriented and demoralized. This is a conditioning technique, it leads many to a growing acceptance of immorality, a disdain for tradition, and a craving for constant innovation. This eventually produces a significant element of a population that is more pliable, less capable of thinking for themselves and, because of constant emotional agitation, easily manipulated and led to a “solution.” A yearning develops among that element of the population for a “strongman” to solve their problems here and now. This Strongman- or StrongGroup- attacks Faith and Tradition because faith, virtues, individual identity and historical consciousness are obstacles to totalitarianism. The budding tyrant or tyrants identify and target the Scapegoats. This process need not be step-by-step, it can occur roughly simultaneously depending on the circumstances.

    The Holy Bible has something to say about weaponizing language to create an alternate reality for nefarious purposes: “Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no.” “Woe to he who calls good evil, and evil good.”

    Among the books on weaponized language is Jonah Goldberg’s “The Tyranny of Cliches” (also helpful is his “Liberal Fascism”).

    In addition to language, visual images may be employed such as: the Pachamama ritual at the Vatican, “princes of the church” carrying the child-sacrifice idol on their shoulders inside the Vatican, banning the Latin Mass in St. Peter’s, dirt altars or shrines to criminal George Floyd on the altar or other impious altars without consequences, clown and other irreverent Masses, pious Vatican Nativity scenes replaced by bizarre stage props, and a personality cult-style “Francesco” documentary lauding Bergoglio’s “humility.”

  28. Semper Gumby says:

    An interesting case study in the use and abuse of language presents itself.

    The platform of interest is the so-called “The American Conservative.” The actors, TAC writers, tend to be Integralists (a group of curious Catholics, often recent converts, enamored of theocracy, totalitarianism and the National Socialist legal theorist Carl Schmitt).

    TAC, a magazine and blog, sees itself as an “institution devoted to “recapturing the flag of the conservative movement.”” That’s rather juvenile, but otherwise harmless.

    “We are Main Street conservatives; we cherish local community, the liberties secured by the Founders, the civilizational foundations of faith and family, and- we are not ashamed to use the word- peace.”

    *chuckle* Here we go.

    TAC was founded about two decades ago by the problematic Pat Buchanan and Taki Theodoracopulos (who has decidedly un-“Main Street” opinions regarding folks such as Puerto Ricans and Jews). Jews have quite alot to do with the “foundations” of “faith” and “civilization.”

    TAC “cherishes the liberties secured by the Founders.” Ok, let’s take a brief look at several writers in their stable.

    – Rod Dreher last year compared the authoritarian and apparently murderous Gov. Cuomo to Henry V, and, amidst a stream of panicked statements inspired by the din of plague carts rumbling through his head, Dreher called for churches to be shuttered indefinitely. Meanwhile, the great majority of “Main Street” demanded their churches and synagogues remain open.

    – Sohrab Ahmari previously opined on social media: “America is a grotesque civilization.” In his TAC column yesterday he repeated with approval a lengthy excerpt of Chinese Communist propaganda excoriating the U.S. and portraying it as weak and “close to coming apart.”

    A suggestion to TAC: If you claim to cherish the Founders and peace, refrain from peddling Chinese Communist propaganda, particularly when said peddling increases the likelihood of war. In his TAC column yesterday Ahmari (who clearly knows nothing about 1930s geopolitics or war 1930s or now but fancies himself a Generalissimo) decried “1930s-style geopolitics” and declared, note the support for the ChiComs here, “Taiwan is indefensible.” However, Ahmari would benefit by sitting quietly and reading a book (at this point, really, any random book) on the origins of WW II that explains to him the problem with parroting approvingly the propaganda of a belligerent and murderous regime which increasingly miscalculates their supremacy over a “weak” and “close to coming apart” West.

    – Declan Leary is a self described anarcho-Integralist who recently suggested following the example of the defeated WW I Austro-Hungarian Emperor and raising an army to march on Washington DC. One wonders if that would be a “peaceful” sacking of the city.

    Well, TAC, its founders and at least three of its current writers provide an interesting case study in the use and abuse of language. Toss in fringe politics, fringe religion and wild cries for attention or help, perhaps both, and a thought occurs. One is beginning to wonder if the wayward folks at TAC are more interested in pocketing ChiCom commissions than preaching the faith (as in the Great Commission) and Main Street conservatism (as in common sense).

    Whenever these writers think they have a good idea for a column, they should first drop by Mabel’s Diner on Main Street and discuss it over flapjacks, hash browns and grits with fellow citizens. On the other hand, nope, don’t do that. Hunting season approaches and lecturing at 6am on the glories of ChiCom rewriting of the Bible, mass rape and organ harvesting is best avoided. Better to meet with refugees from various Communist countries over coffee.

    The point is to get away from the computer screen and evening bacchanalia filled with undereducated and scotch-fueled journalists arm-wrestling for the title of most feared cyber-warlord or shock jock.

    …On a cool, autumn evening in Manhattan Ahmari’s jackboots splinter the front door. He steps over the wreckage and strides boldly into the party, his blazing eyes conquering the room like a Mongol horde. The cavernous room falls silent. Beads of sweat appear on foreheads. A rattlesnake rattles. Ahmari whips off his Gammarelli’s cloak, spits out his cigarillo and reaches into the pocket of his Savile Row suit. He holds aloft a flash drive, “Behold! Next week, Ottoman Turk Legal Theory Proves School Lunches Are Gay.” Across the room, standing in a dark corner wearing a hooded robe, clutching with gnarled fingers a field marshal’s baton is The Vermeule. A crooked grin, a hiss, “Do it.”]

    Well, here’s a different idea. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (a fine Catholic) and his wife Virginia during their vacations sometimes parked their camper in a Walmart parking lot, set out lawn chairs, and spent the afternoon talking to folks going about their daily lives. TAC could learn a lot from Clarence Thomas and Americans.

  29. Semper Gumby says:

    An expansion on my comment above:

    “…reading a book (at this point, really, any random book) on the origins of WW II…”

    A good introduction is Donald Kagan’s “On the Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace.

    In one volume of five chapters Kagan examines the origins of: the Peloponnesian War, World War I, Hannibal’s War: The Second Punic War, WW II, the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    True, entire books have been written about each chapter and at times Kagan moves rapidly through alot of material, but this book is helpful. Next, to bring events forward from the 1960s see James Turner Johnson’s “The War to Oust Saddam Hussein: Just War and the New Face of Conflict.

  30. Semper Gumby says: Donald Kagan

    I read his stuff when I was studying Classics in grad school. He had been rather on the side of Marxist historians that so dominated classical studies for so long… probably still do. It seems to me that he had a bit of an awakening to reality.

    Anyway, I read that he died recently. RIP.

    His quartet on the Peloponnesian War was obligatory. HERE

  31. Semper Gumby says:

    Fr. Z: Indeed, RIP. Finishing his quartet is a goal of mine. It would not be surprising if Kagan once flirted with Marxism. Numerous hipsters from the 1960s abandoned the Lorelei of free love and free acid. David Horowitz, Peter Collier and P.J O’Rourke (“All the Trouble in the World”) tuned into reality, turned on their brains and dropped out of the groovy lava-lamp 1960s panopticon.

    Here’s the valuable Victor Davis Hanson this month at The New Criterion on Donald Kagan:

    Donald Kagan in the early 90s delivered from a classicist’s perspective a twenty-page broadside- perhaps a volley of arrows is more fitting- against George Will’s baseball book “Men at Work,” in which Will took a number-crunching businessman’s approach to the national pastime. The classicist Kagan: “It would not be fair to suggest that Will has no place for the
    heroic; it is just that he understands heroism in a peculiarly modern and constricted way.”

    Will responded with a somewhat anemic seven pages, making reasonable points about skill, statistics and revenue, but he missed Kagan’s larger point. Good stuff.

    Last month, also at New Criterion, VDH defended the classics in higher education by lining up the ballista and unleashing hell on the shaggy metrosexual barbarians at the New York Times hurling the disease-ridden dead animal of “racism!” over the city wall:

    “What has distinguished American classics in particular has been the presence of the lower and middle classes, both as students and faculty, with non-academic backgrounds and pragmatic experiences.”

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