Tuesday, December 29, 2015

NCR's Editorial Naming Greg Bourke and Michael DeLeon Persons of the Year: Word Count Revealing Preoccupations of Catholics Responding to NCR (Sin: 47 Mentions; Mercy: 7 Mentions)

As of 3:30 P.M. CST in North America, National Catholic Reporter's editorial naming Greg Bourke and Michael DeLeon has garnered 310 comments. In typical fashion when any U.S. Catholic publication publishes an editorial calling for less Catholic cruelty to LGBT people, the editorial is now picking up the comments of the attack squads who monitor Catholic blog sites for such articles, and then inundate them with hateful comments.

It's interesting to do a count of words now recurring in the comments being left at the site:

1. Sin(s)/sinners/sinful = 47 mentions

2. Truth = 36 mentions

3. Pope = 12 mentions 

4. Jesus = 10 mentions

5. Hell = 8 mentions 

6. Mercy = 7 mentions

7. Damn/damned = 6 mentions

8. Sodom/sodomy = 5 mentions

9. False/falsely = 5 mentions

10. Heresy = 3 mentions

And, of course, the word "church" occurs 123 times in the comments as opposed to the word "compassion," which is found 5 times.

I wonder what an institutional psychologist would make of these words as a sort of Rorschach picture of the "mind" of American Catholicism at present — especially of the "mind" of the Catholic right, which is clearly so much more preoccupied with the concept of sin than with the notion of compassion, with the pope more than with Jesus, with hell more than with mercy.

It's certainly not a pretty picture, is it?

Thankfully, the moderators appear to have deleted the comment calling Judaism a false religion, though the mind-blowing comment claiming that St. Paul tells us not to touch the clothes of some people (the comment calls for gay folks to be excluded from "Catholic properties") is still standing, as are umpteen ones spreading toxic lies unsubstantiated by any evidence (in fact, contradicting all well-conducted studies at our disposal) that gay parents damage the children they raise.

Not a pretty picture. And so all the more should NCR be commended for publishing this editorial, when its staff knew full well this filth would be heaped on their publication once this editorial had been published.

(A reminder: this snapshot was taken at 3:30 P.M. Comments continue pouring in about the article, a majority of them from the attack squad of the hard Catholic right. And so the numbers given above will change, I would think, as more comments pour in — but not very much, I think, the relative concentrations of words listed above. As of 4:52 P.M. CST, there are 462 comments, with the word "catechism" trumping "Jesus" at 16 mentions to 10 for Jesus. Poor little bedraggled "mercy" continues to weigh in at 7 mentions as comparied to hefty "catechism's" 16 mentions, or, for that matter, the 13 times that variants of the word "condemn" pop up in the thread.

No surprise here, is there? Who — in God's name — catechized these folks?!)

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