Blog Man on Campus: Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam

Blog Man on Campus: Ad Maiorem Dei GloriamYou may have noticed that our recent pictorial on the lives of the saints (standard fare really — St. Valentine in sunglasses, St. Brandon in a wheat field, St. Francis with anal rosary beads) — drew some outside attention. One Catholic who was offended conveniently makes his cyberdwelling at ivycatholic.blogspot.com. And, God love him, his blog — For God, For Country and For Yale — like St. Sebastian, will be punctured by the arrows of our BMOC critic’s scrutiny. Or something. (That critic, btw, is Kathy Gilsinan.)

NonCatholics, I think, will find this blog just as offensive as Catholics find the photography. More offensive still, I think, because personally hurt will be liberal Catholics like myself. I fall into the school of so-called “cafeteria Catholics”; I admit that I choose what I like about the religion — teachings that I don’t find offensive or outdated or in place solely to perpetuate a benighted patriarchy — then I pray the rosary and basically feel good about myself. And my relationship with conservative Catholics such as this blogger runs thus: I find it offensive to exclude gays from the community of believers, he finds it offensive to make saint-porn. Tomato, tomahto.

I’m not saying our altar boy should apologize for his beliefs. Perhaps, having had the misfortune to read IvyGate, he feels persecuted for the sake of righteousness. As a defensive end on the football team, he is certainly persecuted for the sake of Yale. (But check out his championship ring!!) And he is wounded, he reflects, by the “disasters modern society has wrought.” What might these be? AIDS, modern warfare, rapacious capitalism? Not so much. He’s more concerned with the evils of contraception and absolute gender equality. (Though the extent to which the latter has actually been “wrought” is debatable, anyone who feels particularly oppressed by progress in this direction can take refuge at the local parish.)

Another big deal, apparently, is naked artwork. He gets huffy in his posts on the “Theology of the Body”, wherein he lauds chastity and contemplates the lies of feminism.

My problem with this blog is similar to my problem with much of the catechism: It asserts what’s right, sometimes counterintuitively, and leaves off the work of persuasion. Or maybe it’s just that I don’t find him persuasive. Maybe it should be enough for me that he quotes Aquinas as saying that the reason women shouldn’t be priests is because they are “in a state of subjection.” Maybe I should nod submissively when he tells me that God asks “we do not do anything to artificially hinder or block … sexual activity from reaching its natural end (no contraception).” Stephen confidently asserts that, well, “Jesus is the Truth,” and I guess that’s fine. But what does that even mean? And does some football player at Yale think he can tell me on blogspot?

There’s no winning or even having an argument with faith like this. What kind of scholar refuses to ask why?

But then again, what kind of Catholic insists on it?

  • y07

    The best part about this entire debate is that, like the paragon of intellectual inquiry that he is, the kid entirely missed the point of the photos in the first place, which was not so much to defame Catholicism as to test our own intuitions regarding what is sacred and what isn’t. Come on–it’s not like Wilson was actually saying that St. Francis of Nagasaki used anal beads with a nun.

    Even better than this neanderthal’s response, though, were the comments from some of his uber-Catholic followers, claiming that (a) since the church brought us art, we couldn’t criticize it, (b) if Wilson were depicting Muslims, he’d get shot. News flash: we live in a Christian society, and I’d bet a lot of money that Wilson’s a descendant of the Christian tradition. Given that our entire American culture is still one of civic Christianity, this stuff is absolutely fair game. And just because Islam has its own set of problems regarding freedom of expression doesn’t mean that you idiots should be looking for for support from the same people who bombed Danish embassies two years ago.

  • y07

    The best part about this entire debate is that, like the paragon of intellectual inquiry that he is, the kid entirely missed the point of the photos in the first place, which was not so much to defame Catholicism as to test our own intuitions regarding what is sacred and what isn’t. Come on–it’s not like Wilson was actually saying that St. Francis of Nagasaki used anal beads with a nun.

    Even better than this neanderthal’s response, though, were the comments from some of his uber-Catholic followers, claiming that (a) since the church brought us art, we couldn’t criticize it, (b) if Wilson were depicting Muslims, he’d get shot. News flash: we live in a Christian society, and I’d bet a lot of money that Wilson’s a descendant of the Christian tradition. Given that our entire American culture is still one of civic Christianity, this stuff is absolutely fair game. And just because Islam has its own set of problems regarding freedom of expression doesn’t mean that you idiots should be looking for for support from the same people who bombed Danish embassies two years ago.

  • Silly catholic

    I never had a name for the type of catholic i am, but cafeteria catholic seems to fit the bill nicely. I’m excited I’m not alone out there…

  • Silly catholic

    I never had a name for the type of catholic i am, but cafeteria catholic seems to fit the bill nicely. I’m excited I’m not alone out there…

  • For God, For Country and For Y

    Thanks for the comments. I’d welcome everyone to see if I’m really the big, bad wolf porptrayed by Ms. Gilsinan. (or “neanderthal” as y07 notes)

  • For God, For Country and For Yale

    Thanks for the comments. I’d welcome everyone to see if I’m really the big, bad wolf porptrayed by Ms. Gilsinan. (or “neanderthal” as y07 notes)

  • p08

    I think it’s very telling that while this Templar of Catholicism was all up in arms about some naughty pictures at cornell, he had nothing to say about that poor dog. Talk about priorities…

  • p08

    I think it’s very telling that while this Templar of Catholicism was all up in arms about some naughty pictures at cornell, he had nothing to say about that poor dog. Talk about priorities…

  • For God, For Country and For Y

    1 animal unnecessarily killed= bad

    1.5 million children aborted= catastrophe of horrendous proportions

    Priorities?

  • For God, For Country and For Y

    1 animal unnecessarily killed= bad

    1.5 million children aborted= catastrophe of horrendous proportions

    Priorities?

  • For God, For Country and For Yale

    1 animal unnecessarily killed= bad

    1.5 million children aborted= catastrophe of horrendous proportions

    Priorities?

  • For God, For Country and For Yale

    1 animal unnecessarily killed= bad

    1.5 million children aborted= catastrophe of horrendous proportions

    Priorities?

  • recovering catholic

    1.5 million children aborted = women have control over their own bodies and 1.5 million children are not born unwanted into horrible lives in an overpopulated world. besides, they are generally lumps of cells, not fully developed children.

    hey, imagine that, having total control over your own body!

    also, remember the crusades? how many fully-developed people were needlessly slaughtered by catholics?

  • recovering catholic

    1.5 million children aborted = women have control over their own bodies and 1.5 million children are not born unwanted into horrible lives in an overpopulated world. besides, they are generally lumps of cells, not fully developed children.

    hey, imagine that, having total control over your own body!

    also, remember the crusades? how many fully-developed people were needlessly slaughtered by catholics?

  • not to harp on this

    But I didn’t see too many people against the “rape is funny” comments a while ago either. We all pick our priorities, and cute puppy dog isn’t one that will get you a lot of flak.

  • not to harp on this

    But I didn’t see too many people against the “rape is funny” comments a while ago either. We all pick our priorities, and cute puppy dog isn’t one that will get you a lot of flak.

  • christianarchisti

    Firstly why pick on, pile on some nobody with a tiny little blog? Once again ballless ivy leaguers who run from the tough fights and choose to attack someone puny and somewhat defenseless. Hey sounds like your global foreign policy. This is it? this is the greatest intellectual injection of prissy little pussies from the ivy leagues. You ain’t the douche bags, your daddy spawned you to drink the used contents for him. Christian ? you ? americans ? how do you fu–ing figure? Maybe you never listened to the Pope’s speech about the promotion of religion by the sword and pointing the finger subtely at you plutocratic fascist naziesque orwellian roveianlly infanticidal yankees viral conscienceless spread across the planet. You a Catholic? highly unlikely you’re even religious, highly unlikely you believe in GOD or care to. Hey how are your cia connections ? Are you helping to accumulate some nice dossiers on all the students for your deranged daddies ? How are your king herod wanna be plans working out ? When you yanks played adolf hitler into power pre-WW II and your blue chip corporations profits increased by a mulitple of ten were your family idiots still cheering on the gassing of six million Jews and hoping to kill the potential Christ in an old king herod like game while america made war on the whole planet. Once again thank the cia for nearly killing me back in 2000, what goes around comes around, when I’m done slagging on you I’m going back over to tell the cia to eat the peanuts out of a mile of my —- and kiss my ass.
    You can expect me to say harsh things to y’all in perpetuity. Aw, is the evil little blogmaster going to delete this comment like the hundreds of others you have erased or edited or is the pussy ivy league priss going to stand up and fight like a lemming? whatever. Is it true that unsubstantiated rumors say you americans come equipped with a scalpel kit so you can slit the throats of infants, stab them in the back and slice of their limbs to sodomize their parents with them, rumor is started that it’s a new technique developed by the pentagon after Abu Gharib and the Hadditha massacre. Ain’t it neat the way your soldiers all know to burn the uniforms of their friendly fire kills so they don’t get busted. I’ll let you go now so you can return to the killing torturing and stealing, I wouldn’t want to intrude on what you americans consider fun. You ? religious ? Hah ?

  • christianarchisti

    Firstly why pick on, pile on some nobody with a tiny little blog? Once again ballless ivy leaguers who run from the tough fights and choose to attack someone puny and somewhat defenseless. Hey sounds like your global foreign policy. This is it? this is the greatest intellectual injection of prissy little pussies from the ivy leagues. You ain’t the douche bags, your daddy spawned you to drink the used contents for him. Christian ? you ? americans ? how do you fu–ing figure? Maybe you never listened to the Pope’s speech about the promotion of religion by the sword and pointing the finger subtely at you plutocratic fascist naziesque orwellian roveianlly infanticidal yankees viral conscienceless spread across the planet. You a Catholic? highly unlikely you’re even religious, highly unlikely you believe in GOD or care to. Hey how are your cia connections ? Are you helping to accumulate some nice dossiers on all the students for your deranged daddies ? How are your king herod wanna be plans working out ? When you yanks played adolf hitler into power pre-WW II and your blue chip corporations profits increased by a mulitple of ten were your family idiots still cheering on the gassing of six million Jews and hoping to kill the potential Christ in an old king herod like game while america made war on the whole planet. Once again thank the cia for nearly killing me back in 2000, what goes around comes around, when I’m done slagging on you I’m going back over to tell the cia to eat the peanuts out of a mile of my —- and kiss my ass.
    You can expect me to say harsh things to y’all in perpetuity. Aw, is the evil little blogmaster going to delete this comment like the hundreds of others you have erased or edited or is the pussy ivy league priss going to stand up and fight like a lemming? whatever. Is it true that unsubstantiated rumors say you americans come equipped with a scalpel kit so you can slit the throats of infants, stab them in the back and slice of their limbs to sodomize their parents with them, rumor is started that it’s a new technique developed by the pentagon after Abu Gharib and the Hadditha massacre. Ain’t it neat the way your soldiers all know to burn the uniforms of their friendly fire kills so they don’t get busted. I’ll let you go now so you can return to the killing torturing and stealing, I wouldn’t want to intrude on what you americans consider fun. You ? religious ? Hah ?

  • Wow

    This whole post was particularly outstanding. Bravo, on the comments of your critic.

    As a Catholic, I thought most of the art pieces were in good taste, the St. Francis of Nagasaki using anal beads picture not with standing. To me the theme of the other photos was to invision certain saints in a modern world, but keeping in mind their biographies. That particular picture failed to do that. But, I digress.

    I think one of the interesting points of most religions (particularly conservative Catholic and Islam) is the use of sociological and historical arguments for gender inequality when for so many other things they will only resort to moral or theological ones. Yet, when it comes to women having equal power, the “women should be in the kitchen” and variations on that theme is their fall back.

    In my own views, to speak on the abortion debate, I think that abortion is morally wrong. I say this because, no one rejoices when an abortion happens. It is not something the woman say with pride. However, moral law and human law are two seperate issues. Jesus says to Love one’s neighbor as onself, but it does not mean we should imprison those who fail to abide by this maxim. The point about the teachings of Christ is that they are voluntary, not brought about by fear and coercion.

    The problem I have with some parts of the pro-Choice movement is that, in fact, they are pro-Abortion. They will never laud those who chose to keep a baby and raise it despite hardships, nor will they admire those who adopt. Only when pro-Choice really believes in choice, and not abortion can the issue really have the true and real debate it ought.

  • Wow

    This whole post was particularly outstanding. Bravo, on the comments of your critic.

    As a Catholic, I thought most of the art pieces were in good taste, the St. Francis of Nagasaki using anal beads picture not with standing. To me the theme of the other photos was to invision certain saints in a modern world, but keeping in mind their biographies. That particular picture failed to do that. But, I digress.

    I think one of the interesting points of most religions (particularly conservative Catholic and Islam) is the use of sociological and historical arguments for gender inequality when for so many other things they will only resort to moral or theological ones. Yet, when it comes to women having equal power, the “women should be in the kitchen” and variations on that theme is their fall back.

    In my own views, to speak on the abortion debate, I think that abortion is morally wrong. I say this because, no one rejoices when an abortion happens. It is not something the woman say with pride. However, moral law and human law are two seperate issues. Jesus says to Love one’s neighbor as onself, but it does not mean we should imprison those who fail to abide by this maxim. The point about the teachings of Christ is that they are voluntary, not brought about by fear and coercion.

    The problem I have with some parts of the pro-Choice movement is that, in fact, they are pro-Abortion. They will never laud those who chose to keep a baby and raise it despite hardships, nor will they admire those who adopt. Only when pro-Choice really believes in choice, and not abortion can the issue really have the true and real debate it ought.

  • Wow

    This whole post was particularly outstanding. Bravo, on the comments of your critic.

    As a Catholic, I thought most of the art pieces were in good taste, the St. Francis of Nagasaki using anal beads picture not with standing. To me the theme of the other photos was to invision certain saints in a modern world, but keeping in mind their biographies. That particular picture failed to do that. But, I digress.

    I think one of the interesting points of most religions (particularly conservative Catholic and Islam) is the use of sociological and historical arguments for gender inequality when for so many other things they will only resort to moral or theological ones. Yet, when it comes to women having equal power, the “women should be in the kitchen” and variations on that theme is their fall back.

    In my own views, to speak on the abortion debate, I think that abortion is morally wrong. I say this because, no one rejoices when an abortion happens. It is not something the woman say with pride. However, moral law and human law are two seperate issues. Jesus says to Love one’s neighbor as onself, but it does not mean we should imprison those who fail to abide by this maxim. The point about the teachings of Christ is that they are voluntary, not brought about by fear and coercion.

    The problem I have with some parts of the pro-Choice movement is that, in fact, they are pro-Abortion. They will never laud those who chose to keep a baby and raise it despite hardships, nor will they admire those who adopt. Only when pro-Choice really believes in choice, and not abortion can the issue really have the true and real debate it ought.

  • Wow

    This whole post was particularly outstanding. Bravo, on the comments of your critic.

    As a Catholic, I thought most of the art pieces were in good taste, the St. Francis of Nagasaki using anal beads picture not with standing. To me the theme of the other photos was to invision certain saints in a modern world, but keeping in mind their biographies. That particular picture failed to do that. But, I digress.

    I think one of the interesting points of most religions (particularly conservative Catholic and Islam) is the use of sociological and historical arguments for gender inequality when for so many other things they will only resort to moral or theological ones. Yet, when it comes to women having equal power, the “women should be in the kitchen” and variations on that theme is their fall back.

    In my own views, to speak on the abortion debate, I think that abortion is morally wrong. I say this because, no one rejoices when an abortion happens. It is not something the woman say with pride. However, moral law and human law are two seperate issues. Jesus says to Love one’s neighbor as onself, but it does not mean we should imprison those who fail to abide by this maxim. The point about the teachings of Christ is that they are voluntary, not brought about by fear and coercion.

    The problem I have with some parts of the pro-Choice movement is that, in fact, they are pro-Abortion. They will never laud those who chose to keep a baby and raise it despite hardships, nor will they admire those who adopt. Only when pro-Choice really believes in choice, and not abortion can the issue really have the true and real debate it ought.

  • Abortion is my religion

    Someone needs to read Thompson’s “A Defense of Abortion” a.k.a. the bible. Amen.

    http://spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/Phil160,Fall02/thomson.htm

  • Abortion is my religion

    Someone needs to read Thompson’s “A Defense of Abortion” a.k.a. the bible. Amen.

    http://spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/Phil160,Fall02/thomson.htm

  • elmrockcity

    I applaud–and agree with–the manner in which this post critiques the blog itself (following “my problem with…”), pointing out the lack of coherent argumentation and attacking the blogger’s shaky rhetorical strategies.

    Hopefully, commenters will follow Ms. Gilsinan’s example and take the time to actually read the blog (isn’t that the point of the segment?) rather than launching a slew of ad hom attacks and debating over the morality of issues like abortion.

  • elmrockcity

    I applaud–and agree with–the manner in which this post critiques the blog itself (following “my problem with…”), pointing out the lack of coherent argumentation and attacking the blogger’s shaky rhetorical strategies.

    Hopefully, commenters will follow Ms. Gilsinan’s example and take the time to actually read the blog (isn’t that the point of the segment?) rather than launching a slew of ad hom attacks and debating over the morality of issues like abortion.

  • jess

    The blind “faith” expressed in this blog is disturbing. Never mind the ideas he has about women, etc., which I don’t even see the point in commenting on, being, as they are, Neanderthal and useless. I was shocked that he kept claiming (as he does above, in the comments) that the idea is to be reflective, when in fact his answer to everything is simply that the Church says so. And finally this gem: “Am I preparing for the next Crusade or Counter-Reformation?”

  • jess

    The blind “faith” expressed in this blog is disturbing. Never mind the ideas he has about women, etc., which I don’t even see the point in commenting on, being, as they are, Neanderthal and useless. I was shocked that he kept claiming (as he does above, in the comments) that the idea is to be reflective, when in fact his answer to everything is simply that the Church says so. And finally this gem: “Am I preparing for the next Crusade or Counter-Reformation?”

  • je06

    I’ve also heard ‘a la carte catholic’ (Oh, faith, I’ll have that… Rejection of LGBT members, no, I’ll pass, I’m on a diet that only includes justice)

    I feel that calling anyone a neanderthal never is a good way to start a dialogue. IvyleagueCatholic has strong views and as one can see from his blog, fights and writes to defend them.

    Ms. Gilsinan spent most of her piece focuses on the specific and structural problems she found with his blog (assertion without persuasion), which I also agree with. But, I think that from either side, dehumanizing words that descend from a discussion of another sides’ beliefs (“neanderthal” from y07) immediately stops dialogue. As ‘Wow’ notes, these pictures were meant to invoke the saints in the modern world, perhaps propelling discussion. And, now we might not have dialogue because IvyCatholic is on the defensive and many are attacking him.

    I may not understand where IvyCatholic is coming from, and disagree with many of his points, but I do respect the fact he has an opinion and is willing to share it. And if there is any hope to share opinions, beliefs and perhaps engage in discussion on where these come from in a meaninful way, we can’t descend to name calling.

  • je06

    I’ve also heard ‘a la carte catholic’ (Oh, faith, I’ll have that… Rejection of LGBT members, no, I’ll pass, I’m on a diet that only includes justice)

    I feel that calling anyone a neanderthal never is a good way to start a dialogue. IvyleagueCatholic has strong views and as one can see from his blog, fights and writes to defend them.

    Ms. Gilsinan spent most of her piece focuses on the specific and structural problems she found with his blog (assertion without persuasion), which I also agree with. But, I think that from either side, dehumanizing words that descend from a discussion of another sides’ beliefs (“neanderthal” from y07) immediately stops dialogue. As ‘Wow’ notes, these pictures were meant to invoke the saints in the modern world, perhaps propelling discussion. And, now we might not have dialogue because IvyCatholic is on the defensive and many are attacking him.

    I may not understand where IvyCatholic is coming from, and disagree with many of his points, but I do respect the fact he has an opinion and is willing to share it. And if there is any hope to share opinions, beliefs and perhaps engage in discussion on where these come from in a meaninful way, we can’t descend to name calling.

  • Chris Lindgren

    How do you keep track of all the contradictions? It seems like a full time job just trying to manage all the , “I shouldn’t but I will’s”

  • Chris Lindgren

    How do you keep track of all the contradictions? It seems like a full time job just trying to manage all the , “I shouldn’t but I will’s”

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