The Search for Brad Pitt’s Spine

An elderly woman sent a letter to the editor in Springfield Missouri. The letter was published in the local newspaper.

That would — and should — have been the end of it. But the internet wolf pack locked onto this elderly woman and her little letter. They did this because she has a famous son. Brad Pitt’s name in a headline is always good for a few extra hits from the search engines. Driving up traffic to their web sites by whatever means is how these people make their money. It seems that the trashier they behave, the more money they make. So, the pack went on the hunt for Mrs Pitt.

I have not read Mrs Pitt’s letter. I don’t intend to. First, I am not from Springfield Missouri, so what an elderly woman writes in a letter to the editor of a local Springfield newspaper doesn’t matter to me. Second, I am not writing this post to comment on what she said. I don’t care what she said. I am writing this post to defend her right to say it.

Mrs Pitt has evidently run afoul of some of the internet sewer dwellers who seem to believe that anyone who says anything they disagree with is fair game for threats and character assassination. According to reports that I have read, this lady has been subjected to all manner of attack, up to and including death threats. She is evidently feeling besieged. The sewer dwellers have won their victory. They have effectively intimidated another person who disagrees with them into giving up the exercise of her right to free speech.

This isn’t anything new. Character assassination and verbal terror tactics have become the norm in what passes for public debate in this country. What is surprising is that Mr Pitt has responded to these attacks on his mother with silence.

Mr Pitt is a world-famous public figure who has not been shy about giving his opinion in other areas. His silence in this instance of the public trashing of his mother looks far too much like assent. What kind of man (or woman) would allow anyone to attack their mother this way and do nothing?

From what I’ve read, Mrs Pitt made some sort of comments about the current Presidential race and about same-sex marriage. Based on what I’ve read about her comments on the one hand and Mr Pitt’s stated views on politics and this social issue on the other, I am guessing that he does not agree with his mother’s viewpoint on these things.

My question is, What does that matter? She’s his mother. The issue isn’t whether or not they agree, it’s whether or not he’s man enough to stand up for his mother when she is being attacked and abused.

I don’t know of  a gay man — and I know several of them — who would sit by and let someone attack his mother like this. It wouldn’t matter what she had said.

I wish that both Mr Pitt and the responsible members of the gay community would take a stand against this kind of outrageous attack on people who are merely exercising their right to free speech. Mrs Pitt’s letter was published, presumably with her permission, in a newspaper. That makes everything she said open to equally public disagreement and debate. It does not open her or anyone else up for personal attacks, filthy name-calling and death threats.

I do not see how a movement that is based on working for the human rights of a group of people can justify advancing that work by attacking the human rights of other people.

I have no quarrel with homosexual people advocating for the things they believe. I also have no quarrel with them working within the electoral system and the courts in support of those beliefs. It doesn’t matter whether or not I agree with all their goals. That’s how we do things in this country.

The rights to petition the government, vote and organize, freedom of speech and access to the courts belong to every American. The Constitution applies to every single one of us; whether we are gay rights activists, or an elderly woman writing a letter to the editor in Springfield Missouri.

Anyone who tries to effect social change will encounter disagreement and resistance. If you can’t accept that and answer these disagreements, counter this resistance, in a civil and intelligent manner, then it makes it look like your cause is without real merit.

I hope that responsible leaders in this movement will make a statement of non-support when followers of their movement do something so wrong as these attacks on Mrs. Pitt. I think they should do this out of respect for the basic human rights of all people, including those who disagree with them, and also out of respect for their own movement and the things they say they believe.

As for Mr Pitt, my only advice to him is,  grow a spine.

  • http://greenlightlady.wordpress.com greenlightlady

    This is so sad! One of my sons is an atheist and yet he still respects my faith as I also respect his free will. I believe my son has a spine – I have seen him choose to reject hate towards those he doesn’t even agree with.

    I don’t remember the reference for this verse, but your post makes me think of it: “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?”

    ~ Wendy

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you.

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com JessicaHof

    How sad. I would have thought that one of the most natural of instincts was to protect your mother. Even in the agonies of the crucifixion, Our Lord did just that. Still, that is one of the differences between a real man and a movie star.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      I agree.

  • http://www.newequus.wordpress.com Mindy Bowman

    Just because you can play an upstanding man with morals and character doesn’t mean you are one in real life…that’s why it’s called acting.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      True.

  • http:s.com//mcdermottfootcare.wordpress.com McDermott Footcare

    from http://8kidsandabusiness.wordpress.com I did read her letter. She didn’t say anything about traditional marriage that hasn’t already been said. I, too, was thoroughly unimpressed with her son (or his partner – the champion of everything under the sun). In an ironic twist, Angelina’s dad, Jon Voight, came to Mrs. Pitt’s rescue and basically told the sewer dwellers to leave her alone, she has a right to state what she believes He didn’t say he agreed with her opinion, just her right to say it. Looks like both apples fell very, very far from the tree.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      I’m not at all surprised.

      “I did read her letter. She didn’t say anything about traditional marriage that hasn’t already been said.”

  • http://catholicnomad.wordpress.com The Catholic Nomad: Reclaiming the Sacred

    That is sad and wrong for her to be treated that way by others, and disappointing that her son has not reacted.

    I think, however, that it shows just how “rotten” the ideologies of those who attacked her truly are. If their ideologies came from a good place, they would not behave so immaturely as a general rule when someone says something that they do not agree with.

    Sure, there will always be those who do act like five year olds in any group, but I find that in these liberal groups it tends to be very strong. They will debase themselves to anything to shoot fire at someone they do not agree with.

    Mr. Pitt, stand up for your mother!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      I agree. Thank you.

  • http://biltrix.wordpress.com Biltrix

    “The issue isn’t whether or not they agree, it’s whether or not he’s man enough to stand up for his mother when she is being attacked and abused.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks.

  • http://hiddeninjesus.wordpress.com Jessica

    Rebecca, I agree. Your links made me curious and I read Mrs. Pitt’s comments. They are well within the constitutional right to free speech. All she said (speaking of Romney) was “Any Christian should spend much time in prayer before refusing to vote for a family man with high morals, business experience, who is against abortion, and shares Christian conviction concerning homosexuality just because he is a Mormon” and “any Christian who does not vote or writes in a name is casting a vote for Romney’s opponent, Barack Hussein Obama — a man who sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church for years, did not hold a public ceremony to mark the National Day of Prayer, and is a liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage.”

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks Jessica. People who use slander and personal attacks to silence those who disagree with them expose their own lack of character, and not that of he people they are attacking.

  • gweyant

    Jessica, your post is not so different than what i have been saying lately it tome to take back in what is right and what we believe in. great post.

  • http://ackans.wordpress.com Mr. V.

    This makes me sad and a little angry, but all it does is reinforce the notion about how morally bankrupt and out of touch the Hollywood establishment has become. I’d bet money that Mr. Pitt has confided in at least one friend about his ‘embarrassing mother’ and how much more enlightened he is and how far he’s come from his roots.

    I don’t have much regard for the Hollywood establishment and the way they act. In a way, though, the American public is somewhat to blame. In the beginning, I think most actors and actresses are personality types who tend to be somewhat egocentric, wanting the spotlight and wanting people to notice them and their performance and render their accolades. Nothing wrong there, necessarily. Some people tend to be performers that want attention. But we (the public) have turned them into monsters. Paparazzi dog their every move. Magazines write and publish accounts of almost every single thing they do every day. And millions of Americans follow their exploits every day. It’s no wonder that the people of Hollywood have a greatly inflated sense of their own importance, even when they’ve really done nothing of any real value for society.

  • http://thoughtsfromanamericanwoman.wordpress.com thoughtsfromanamericanwoman

    You have a way of expressing what I feel. Great article and great comments. Blessings ~ Patty

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Patty!

  • http://theoddfosterparent.wordpress.com forourlady

    I have a theory about this kind of behavior. News shows, in order to get some interesting controversy going, will two different people with opposing views on split screens. Almost without fail, the two will state their opinions and ignore what the other person is saying. This goes on for the entire “conversation.”
    I think that this method of “discussion” has been modeled for so long it seems to be the norm. In this case, a reasonable response would be to look at the points made in her letter and provide intelligent counterpoints. Too bad that Brad’s spine isn’t stiff enough to stand up and point that out.

  • http://unbornwordalliance.com unbornwordoftheday

    It seems to me that there is a concerted attack by radical liberals (some who reside in the White House) to intimidate and vilify Christians of any stripe. The HHS mandate – the incredible reaction even by politicians to Chick a fil.’s owner giving money to Christian and pro-marriage groups. There are numerous other examples that could be given.

    I do not hate or even dislike homosexuals but nonetheless, as a Catholic I do believe that sex is meant for the marital union of one man and one woman. Besides believing that homosexual sex is wrong I also disagree with pre-marital and extra-marital affairs between men and women.

    Marriage has been a traditional standard (for the male/female relationship) since the beginning of time. It has been protected by society because it is the normal/best way that children are brought into the world. To keep this standard is important for society (most studies have concluded that children brought up in a traditional marriage benefit society by having the best chance to be stable citizens). This is because children are brought up and taught common values best by a father and mother together.

    This does not mean children brought up in single parent homes or in other situations can’t turn out wonderfully but it does mean that the chances of this outcome are best in the traditional marriage situation.

    Because I hold this view, I am now considered hateful – I can tell you hate is the last thing in my heart as I make those statements.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who either won’t or can’t defend their beliefs in the court of public opinion by engaging in rational argument and discussion. Instead, they use slander, vile language and even, as in this case, death threats, to bully and intimidate those who think differently from them.

      I always assume that when someone attacks me personally instead of discussing issues at hand that they are conceding the argument.

  • http://livingasawoman.wordpress.com vlkloost

    I have read your blog a couple of times and I have found the two blogs refreshing to read. As Christians we have a right to be heard and need to be heard that is why I like your blog title, Public Catholic. But being public in the marketplace comes with the responsibility of being respectful and letting others speak. I am so thankful that you promote these ideas and that you also are willing to speak about hypocrisy. (Thanks for taking time to read my blog. Maybe one of these days we will meet.)

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Vicki, the name for you blog — Living as a Woman In a Fallen World — reached out to me immediately. It describes all of us. Thank you for this kind comment. Keep coming back!