Added bonus: she’s actually related to Clarence Darrow.
That reminds me. An odd little meme that has been popping up in comboxes lately is the curious conceit that there is an elite super-squad of “Evangelical convert apologists” (your Obdt Svt finds himself numbered among them) who are jealously protective of their alleged elite super-squad status. Because of this (I am informed by readers who can read souls by their mystic arts), we members of the Justice League of Super Evangelical Apologists (it’s not clear who these are) feel “threatened” when somebody who is not of the elite super squad “does apologetics”.
It’s a really odd meme. Particularly since people like Karl Keating and Patrick Madrid appear to be part of the Justice League of Evangelical Convert Apologists without ever having been, you know, Evangelical Converts. Indeed, I actually have no idea who this elite cabal is, nor how one becomes a member, nor how people are excluded from membership, nor who the outsiders are who must be excluded, nor why. Nor do I grasp how some stranger defending the Catholic faith should constitute a “threat” to me or any other member of the apocryphal Justice League. Seems to me that a Catholic who wants to defend the Church’s teaching from attacks should be welcomed and encouraged, since many hands make light work. So, for instance, I take nothing but delight in the occasional forays John C. Wright makes into the arcane world of apologetics to the skiffy/fantasy community. I enjoy learning from Dale Ahlquist insightful commentary. I love that there has emerged a whole passel of blogs and websites devoted to explaining the faith to our fragmented culture.
Of course, all this presupposes that the apologist is actually doing apologetics and defending the Church from actual attackers or explaining it to reasonable inquirers. If the apologist is “defending the Church” from faithful Catholics who are obedient to Holy Church as though *they* are attackers, or “defending the Faith” from the idea that bishops are the proper legislators of the Faith, or defending a priest who spits on his vows by joining in and slandering that priest’s bishop as somehow serving a shadowy gay cabal, then yeah, I do object to that since it is very very bad apologetics.
But good apologetics? The more the merrier! For my actual views on the apologetics subculture (including, surprise!, the fact that I don’t consider myself an apologist much less part of some Justice League of Apologists) go here.
People really need to realize that the Internet creates an illusion of community that is false. I remember several years ago, when people kept writing me asking “Where is Amy Welborn?” when she went on vacation or something. As though because we referenced each other’s blogs now and then, I was at her house every Friday night, knocking back brewskis and planning next week’s blogging campaign and intimately familiar with her daily movements. Now the Justice League fantasizers are doing the same thing with me and Jimmy Akin and whoever else they imagine belongs to the elite cabal.
Bulletin: Jimmy’s in San Diego. I’m in Seattle. Seattle is way far away from pretty much everywhere else in the US. I don’t talk with Jimmy too often. I see Steve Ray every couple of years. Dittos with Scott Hahn. I had dinner with Karl over two years ago. I once sat in airport in Podunk Michigan with Fr. Mitch Pacwa. Tim Staples is a nice guy and we have chatted a couple of times a few years ago on a CA cruise. Pat Madrid cracks me up but we seldom have a chance to chat. I’m not sure if I was ever introduced to Ros Moss. Kris Franklin is terrific, but we hardly ever see each other. Beyond that, I’m not quite sure who might be a candidate for Justice League membership in the minds of readers afflicted with this meme. I think Brandon Vogt is a great guy (though we haven’t met). There are lots of blogs out there doing great work, such as Eric Sammons, the Catholic Phoenix and others. I don’t see why on earth any of them, or any new up and comers, should “threaten” me or anybody else.