The Pleasures of Rage

One of the seven deadly sins is anger. Like all the deadly sins, it seems like a good idea at the time. And nothing nourishes anger like a target that everybody can agree is reprehensible, like a pedophile. Then we can give free rein to a full alliance between anger and pride. We can give full-throated vent to our loathing of those people over there and feel the gratifying claps on the back from My Sort, the Good, the True-hearted, the Noble, the Pure who stand tall against Them. A most rewarding feeling. Even to call such feelings into question is to invite contempt. “What? Are you suggesting They are not scum? Spare me!”

Mostly I’m suggesting that our entire culture stands in grave danger of learning afresh the lessons of Romans: “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” in this debacle. The same secular media types who are reserving their high moral dudgeon for the abusive priests and the lying bishops who shield them are typically gung-ho advocates of cloning (i.e. turning children in America’s Harvestable Resource) and speak in panting terms over every other form of perversion that Clever People find a way to advocate for. It’s as if the Priest Scandals have provided such people with a way to say, “See! I’m a Good Person, not like that pervert priest over there. My fanatical support of Planned Parenthood is okay as long as I balance it out with tongue-clucking at the evils of Those People Over There.”

Doesn’t excuse the priests or their bishops by a long shot, not least because their sins have indeed provided the self-righteous advocates of pre-natal child abuse with ample shelter for their sins. But it does put in perspective the sewage culture in which the American Church swims. A culture which is largely the creation of us layfolk–self-righteous, ardently Clinton-supporting, aborting-our-children-at-the-same-rate-as-the-non-Catholic-culture layfolk.