My rabbi acquaintance, Andrew Sullivan and Cardinal Law

People are complex. I know a rabbi who makes very good sense about 95% of the time. The other 5% of the time, he holds to daffy ideas about “Bible codes” or regards mass transit plans (a very live issue out here in Seattle) as a harbinger of totalitarianism. Does this mean I should ignore his sensible conversation because I think some of his opinions are cracked? No.

Exhibit B: Andrew Sullivan. My description of his blog says it all: “Sensible About the War and Bush, Hopelessly Fuddled about Catholicism and Sex”. If you want to hear some very insightful ideas about American politics and the war, Sullivan’s your guy. If you want to hear blithering idiocy about the Catholic faith, Sullivan’s your guy. People are, I say, complex.

So with Cardinal Law. Before he became famous for his disastrous idiocy with priestly abusers, he was rather well-known for other things too, including his very good work in many areas of social justice (particularly in the civil rights movement in the 60s). It is very simple–and wrong–to conclude that his idiocy in one place automatically means he has nothing to say about anything ever. People are complex.