Sunday, April 19, 2015

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: From Sodomites to Pansies, It's Getting Ugly at the Liberal Catholic Blog Sites These Days

What's going on out there, folks? At the start of this month, Wayne Sheridan slings around the term "sodomite" at the Commonweal blog site, and his comment is still standing. Sheridan writes in reply to a comment by Jim McCrea responding to a posting by Andrew Koppelman about religious freedom,

Jim McCrea, the difference between secular "marriage" and religious marriage is irrelevant when a religious person or group, who view sodomite relationships as sinful (no matter the sexual orientation of the participants), is forced to publicly acknowledge and support such relationships by being forced to participate directly in a so-called "marriage" between members of the same sex, sodomite by definition, or face fines, closing down of facilities or businesses, and perhaps, in the not to distant future, imprisonment.

To which Jim responds (and he's absolutely correct about this) that the term "sodomite" is offensive, and he asks why the Commonweal moderators have allowed the offensive term to stand for over half a month. 

And then this three days ago at National Catholic Reporter, from Miriam responding to PetrusRomanus in a discussion of Mandy Erickson's article about the ad placed by San Francisco Catholics calling for Archbishop Cordileone's resignation:

The Catholic community is divided because certain Catholics have decided to NOT follow Catholic teaching. You just want a feel-good, do-what-the-people-want pansy.

Miriam kindly glosses her point in a later posting explaining what she means by "pansies" in the hierarchy, and what she imagines is preferable to such pansy:

Do you want to know the truth, or do you just want someone to talk about sunshine and lollypops and lie to you to make you feel good? Where souls are at stake, we need *real* men who won't be afraid to do battle. If feelings get hurt in the meantime, I would hope as a Christian you would offer forgiveness and thank God that you had an archbishop who cared enough to do the hard things.

Salvatore Cordileone (and, presumably, his mentor Raymond Burke, who also works this meme of emangelization): manly men. Real men. Not pansies. As opposed to . . . who? Jesus, perhaps? The beloved disciple John? St. Francis of Assisi? Bl. John Henry Newman? Charles de Foucauld? Gerard Manley Hopkins?

The possibilities are endless. I'm sure Miriam has thought of them, as she sorts Catholic male leaders into "pansies" and exemplary *real* men. 

As Bill Freeman tells fellow posters in this thread, though Miriam proclaims her innocence as she throws around the slur term "pansy," she clearly knows very well what she's doing, and intends what she's doing in using the term: 

Of course she knows the offensive use of pansy and that of its stereotype appeal to the image of the gay effete male. Its use is purposely and deliberate. Further, based on her reply post below, she defends it. For no other minority group would this be tolerated in a public forum.

And so I ask again, What's going on out there, folks? Commonweal and National Catholic Reporter are supposed to be among the best of the best, places for informed, respectful exchange among Catholics about issues important to the Catholic community. 

Sodomites? Pansies? 

When all is said and done, these are filthy terms, designed to inflict harm — and people using them at Catholic blog sites know full well what they're doing in using them. Moderators of such sites have a strong responsibility not to allow this kind of language to be used at their sites.

If they care anything at all, that is to say, about all that mercy and field-hospital-for-the-wounded stuff the pope keeps talking about, that is to say . . . .

P.S. Please see this subsequent footnote to the preceding discussion, on the definition of "pansy" provided by the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

P.P.S. And please see this next footnote to the preceding discussion, asking what options LGBT Catholics and those who care about us have, when responsible Catholic journals simply shrug their shoulders as we object to the use of discriminatory slur terms about us in discussion threads sponsored by these journals.

And, finally, please see this update to the preceding posting, noting that by the evening of 20th April, Commonweal has removed Wayne Sheridan's offensive "sodomite" remark, but Miriam's comment about "pansies" is still standing at NCR, which has closed that particular thread. I'm grateful to Commonweal's moderators for the responsibility they've shown in listening to Jim McCrea, who had posted a note on the thread containing Sheridan's remark, asking that it be removed.

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