…Why would you do that?
My blog posts on Catholic fundamentalism this week have provoked the predictable tempest in a teapot.
Some have questioned why I do not have a comments box on my blog and suspect it is because I do not have the courage to debate with people. The fact of the matter is simpler. As my blog readership has expanded the comments grew to such an extent that I did not have the time to monitor them all. Bloggers don’t have editors or assistants. As I was unable to monitor them adequately it was simpler to shut them down completely.
The reason they needed to be monitored is because, in addition to the thoughtful comments and serious discussion there were an increasing number of trolls and troublemakers of various demented mentalities. Finally, people were increasingly using my combox as their soapbox. In other words, because they did not have a platform for their views they came into my combox to use my blog in a parasitical way.
Comments and discussion about my blog posts still take place. I post links to my blog posts on Facebook and readers may discuss them on that forum to their heart’s content. If you are a reader of this blog and would like to comment and discuss, that’s the way to do it.
The feedback on the blog posts on Catholic fundamentalism proved several things. First, the vast majority of readers who commented gave positive feedback. Many said they wish others would have made a similar critique of Catholic fundamentalists. Traditionalists wrote saying how upset they get when a few vocal crazies give all of them a bad reputation. This confirmed my belief that most traditionalist Catholics are good, faithful and humble folks who are usually obedient to the church and loving to their neighbor. Some of them also expressed the bad treatment they have received at the hands of progressive Catholics and I sympathize with them.
The second thing that was revealed was the accuracy of my assessment of the Catholic fundamentalists. Mr Matt’s article in The Remnant and the comments that it produced confirmed the truth of the strong language I used in the original blog post about Catholic fundamentalists. The ensuing Facebook discussion was also revealing. The fundamentalists who waded in used foul language, vulgar personal attacks and avoided any real discussion of my critique, choosing instead to spew a pretty nasty attitude all over the place. What was most interesting in the coarse language and ugly self righteousness was the fact that the fundamentalists seemed completely oblivious to the fact that in their irrational rage they were proving the points I made in the original post.
Some people asked why I don’t wade in and fight back. Am I a coward?
I don’t think so. It’s just that I have discovered that it is impossible to have a rational discussion with any kind of rage-driven fundamentalist. The self righteous person just KNOWS he is right and even when you agree with him he will not acknowledge the agreement. He must have an enemy and if he has decided that you are the enemy, then even if you agree with him he will accuse you of being deceitful. Their slippery grasp on reality is one of the hallmarks of any kind of fundamentalism.
Finally, I should make the point that I made at the end of the original post: The sick behaviors of fundamentalists are not confined to conservative Catholics of a particular type. These same behaviors are evident amongst radical progressive Catholics, Protestants who follow both conservative and progressive ideologies and members of most every other religion. The similarities in behavior between Catholic fundamentalists and Muslim, Hindu, Protestant, Mormon, Jewish or Buddhist fundamentalists are remarkable.
This lead us to conclude that the problem is therefore not any particular religion, but the deceitful and devious ways into which we poor sons and daughters of Adam and Eve are prone to fall.