The emperor’s new clothes

This is a picture of Cardinal Raymond Burke (via).

I’m sure that Burke could explain why he is dressed this way. I am not sure that I would understand that explanation.

Yes, I’m a Protestant from a very low-church Baptist tradition. And, yes, I’m sure that explains a measure of my befuddlement over this photograph. But not all of it, because, well, just look at it.

I can only guess that this is a ceremonial costume. It surely does not seem to be anything one might wear for practical reasons.

I mean, lots of professions involve particular or even peculiar and odd-looking outfits. Welders, for instance, wear visors, protective aprons and thick gloves. Surgeons wear masks, latex gloves and scrubs. Those are like costumes, but they serve practical purposes for the tasks that such workers have to do.

What sort of task might require this? What work could one be faced with that would cause one to stop and say, “No. No, I couldn’t possibly do that unless I were wearing a red satin train at least 20 feet long and some kind of antimacassar as a frock”?

So this must be ceremonial, which is to say that this outfit must be meant to be symbolic and meaningful.

I remain just as baffled by it. If this get-up is meaningful, what then is it meant to mean? What does such pageantry symbolize, signify or teach? I think it teaches several things, but I doubt those things are what Burke intends.

I have the unsettling suspicion that Burke’s explanation for this costume would have  something to do with ecclesiology, and thus, fundamentally, with Jesus.

This, even more than the sheer spectacle of the thing, is what confounds me the most. What I’m looking at here is a photograph of a man who, at some basic level, has accepted this calculus: Jesus, therefore 30-feet of flowing red satin and lace.

I imagine there must be many steps involved in that “therefore.” I do not know what all those steps might be, but I am certain of this much: many of them were bad steps — steps in a wrong direction. Or, at best, steps in a very odd direction.

 Update: To clarify, the point here is not to say “Ha-ha-ha — look at that outfit,” but rather one step back from that, which is to wonder how such a thing can be worn without the expectation that it will and must, inevitably, cause others to goggle at it — to marvel at it with questions and reactions that have nothing to do with solemnity or reverence or with the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

I’m not confused by the idea of elaborately impractical ceremonial garb per se, or even by the idea that such garb may require additional explanation. A bishop friend once complained that awestruck witnesses of Pentecost settled on a metaphor of “tongues of fire” and that 2,000 years later that meant he had to wear a funny hat. I get that. The liturgical vestments Burke is pictured in on his Wikipedia page might go against the grain of my low-church iconoclasm, but such lovely symbols don’t bewilder me. The extravagant explosion of red satin and lace in that photo above does.

It seems to be the costume for a role in a story I do not know, yet it is being worn in the telling of a story I do know — and I cannot imagine how it belongs in that story. I suspect that including it in that story changes the story in a way that this story ought not to be changed. This is a costume for a story about money and power. That’s not the story he’s supposed to be telling.

 

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    Self-appointed language police are annoying. 

    Many things are annoying. For example, your comment annoyed me; I would prefer you expressed yourself with more kindness.

    Which is not to say you must care about my preferences. I assume you care about them enough to want to tell me how little you care about them, but not enough to want to satisfy them.

    But I could be wrong.

  • The_L1985

     A) Symbolically eating the flesh and blood of your god so that you’ll live forever after you die is also pretty objectively silly, but that’s no reason to make fun of Christianity.  All religious rituals look painfully silly to people on the outside.

    B) There’s still a difference between calling out corruption among cardinals, and making fun of the office itself.

    C) Thank you, Captain Obvious!  Isn’t this the same exact argument you made in A?

    D) Exactly.  The problem is in the level of elaboration, not in the fact that Catholic clergy wear robes.  A lot of priests and priestesses in a lot of religions wear robes.

    E) So do things like bowling shoes, oversized pants, or neon faux-fur.  I always thought the polite thing was not to mention it.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    A) Symbolically eating the flesh and blood of your god so that you’ll
    live forever after you die is also pretty objectively silly, but that’s
    no reason to make fun of Christianity.  All religious rituals look painfully silly to people on the outside.

    This sort of insistence on giving cultural protection and succour and immunity to criticism of religious ritual is precisely the sort of thing that sticks in this atheist’s craw.

  • Carstonio

    The garment’s train is what brought home Fred’s point about money and power. The train is long enough to require someone to carry it to keep it clean, so it is essentially a status symbol. I remember a cartoon where the king had a carrier for his train, and the carrier’s own garment had a train that required a carrier. And also the lifestyle of the royal family in Coming to America, with the rose petals and the personal bathers.

  • Lori

    If your goal was to make yourself look like a ass, congratulations on your success.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I remember a cartoon where the king had a carrier for his train, and the
    carrier’s own garment had a train that required a carrier.

    http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/001/122/xzibit-happy.jpg

    I’d say that kind of covers it. :P

  • The_L1985

     Connor’s point appears to be “This part only appears at the very end, after a lot of mockery of the cardinal’s fashion sense, and thus looks like an aside rather than the main point.”

  • EllieMurasaki

    I think the post is more coherent if one reads it as a buildup to the main point, rather than the main point then an aside, but I can see how one might get the latter impression.

  • Ursula L

    A) Symbolically eating the flesh and blood of your god so that you’ll live forever after you die is also pretty objectively silly, but that’s no reason to make fun of Christianity.  All religious rituals look painfully silly to people on the outside.
    B) There’s still a difference between calling out corruption among cardinals, and making fun of the office itself.C) Thank you, Captain Obvious!  Isn’t this the same exact argument you made in A?D) Exactly.  The problem is in the level of elaboration, not in the fact that Catholic clergy wear robes.  A lot of priests and priestesses in a lot of religions wear robes.E) So do things like bowling shoes, oversized pants, or neon faux-fur.  I always thought the polite thing was not to mention it.

    If the “ridiculous on the outside” is only a matter of something looking ridiculous on the outside, then the polite thing to do is not to mention it.

    But when the “ridiculous on the outside” is an example of actual corruption of leadership within a socially and politically powerful organization, then the thing to do is draw attention to it, as both absurd and corrupt. 

    Leaders spending tens of thousands of dollars from the organization they lead on a single outfit for their own personal use and wear is corruption.  Likewise using their organization to raise money for their personal homes. (For example, a priest at the parish that the woman I work for as a personal aide has solicited money from his congregation for two condos already, and is trying to raise money for a third.  These are in his own name, as his personal property.  But he’s convinced people that the religious thing to do is buy him condos, rather than using his energy to raise money for the actual needs of his parish or for the needs of the community.)  

    If someone likes bowling and buys a pair of bowling shoes with their own money, it is a small expense, and it is their money, not money donated to the general fund of a church that they’re using for their own ridiculous-looking clothing.  If a priest took money from the general fund of their church to buy bowling shoes, it would be both a ridiculous garment and a case of corruption.  

  • The_L1985

     Papal infallibility is a new doctrine anyway.  It only dates back maybe a century or two.

  • The_L1985

    “And you might want to look up the word “joke.” You appear to be unfamiliar with the concept.”

    And you might want to look up the word “offensive.”  You appear to be unfamiliar with the concept.

    There are jokes you can tell that aren’t offensive.  There are ways you could have told that joke without using the word “slutty” and thereby being offensive.  (“That has enough fabric for 6 prom dresses–8 if some of them are very revealing.”)

    When you tell a joke that is offensive, either by its nature or because of the specific wording used, you look like a jerk.  You look like a much bigger jerk when you go on and on about how “it’s just a joke, can’t anybody take a joke anymore?”

    The problem is not that it is a joke.  The problem is that you worded that joke in a manner that is extremely offensive to teenagers, people who like revealing clothing, and women in general.  Please stop wording your jokes that way.

  • The_L1985

    Of course there is.  The medieval Church caught a lot of flak for letting long intervals go between the death of one pope and the election of the next.

    Besides, you can look at Ratzinger and tell he doesn’t have too many years left.  He has not aged well at all.

  • The_L1985

     Ok, please tell me all about how silly my religion is, then.  Please, tell me how hilarious it is when I’m looking for a ceremonial statuette of Thor and can only find the Marvel comic-book version.

    Tell me how funny it is that I could easily lose my job if the wrong person got wind of my faith.

  • The_L1985

     Then I would prefer it to be “hey, way to care for the poor with your expensive clothes, there, buddy!” rather than “Ha, ha, nice dress!”  Surely you see the difference?

  • Abra

     I realize that your questions are rhetorical but hate to leave the impression that it is a hopeless endeavor. The way you teach your daughters to have a healthy attitude toward their sexuality:
     
    (1) Be positive a sexuality — not sexualization — but that people are sexual beings. The Madonna/Whore dichotomy is alive and well and often leaves girls with a sense of shame about their own sexuality if parents pretend sex and sexuality don’t exist

    (2) Don’t treat your daughters like their entire identity is defined by their gender. Enough with telling girls they are little “princesses” and “daddy’s little girls.” It is creepy and part of the same culture that produced Britney Spears et. al. If a daughter gravitates towards the girlie-girl, that’s  fine but encourage her to do and play with other things too. It is okay to be ultra-feminine but don’t limit them or allow them to limit themselves to “girl things.” It is surprising how many girls reject it themselves and who then are subjected to peer pressure to conform — even in preschool.

    (3) Be honest. Telling them that dressing certain ways can make them targets for harassment etc. does not have to be shaming as long as it is clear that you are telling them the problem is with the harasser but it is good to have tools to deal with that. But I hate to break it to you, harassers and rapists can be pretty nondiscriminatory when it comes to clothing…

    (4) Talk to them about the sexualized images they see in the media, how that is a package being sold, who it is meant to appeal to, what it communicates about the person(s) in the images, what it communicates about women, and what they think about it.

    All boils down to — your job isn’t to protect them from the world, it is to prepare them for it, so talk to them.

  • Carstonio

     Good advice all around. While we do most of that already, I appreciate the suggestions. I guess I’m lamenting the fact that the world is a hostile place, particularly for females but not exclusively so, and that children need to be prepared for that. Not that I expect it to be sunshine, lollipops and rainbows instead. I grew up believing that I shouldn’t get in other people’s business and they shouldn’t get in mine, and even excluding assholes like Charlie Fuqua, there seems to be too many people who see that noninterference policy as anathema.

  • nomen nescio

    From what this random anonymous commentator hears, the precise Latin text of Pastor Aeternus, the document of Vatican I defining papal infallibility, sets up semantic loopholes large enough to drive a Mack truck through — Ukrainian Greek-Catholic theologians, who understandably aren’t too keen on having the Patriarch of the West not only be a one-man Oecumenical Council, but also have “full, immediate, and universal ordinary jurisdiction” over other supposedly sui iuris Churches, have apparently been doing some good theological work in this regard. Given, however, that papal infallibility is a purely *negative* guarantee, S. Robert Bellarmine’s opinion that a manifestly heretical pope would cease to be pope might seem to render papal infallibility (if not so-called papal supremacy) a tautology.

  • Ursula L

    Given, however, that papal infallibility is a purely *negative* guarantee, S. Robert Bellarmine’s opinion that a manifestly heretical pope would cease to be pope might seem to render papal infallibility (if not so-called papal supremacy) a tautology. 

    That isn’t a particularly reassuring point.  

    “Manifestly heretical” is a fairly slippery concept, both in terms of defining what is “heretical” and what is “manifestly” so.  Particularly when the person whose words and deeds are being considered has the advantage of having any sort of concept of “papal infallibility” on their side.  

    Far too much corruption and error can accumulate before someone who is presumed to have papal infallibility reaches a state that society in general recognizes as  manifest heresy.  

    And there is very real power at stake.  Most clearly, the control of the various lands, properties, investments and resources that are the property of the Catholic church.  Also the persuasive power that comes with being a pope who has the concept of “papal infallibility” as a tool of politics, persuasion and public relations.  

    If a pope does things that constitute “manifest heresy” what can be done to separate that person from the economic, social, political and spiritual power that comes with having the title of “pope”?  

    Even less than what an abused child can do to protect themself from the power of a local priest.  Because a child can complain to their parents, who can go to the local police.  Who has the authority to make a complaint, investigate, arrest,  try and convict a pope for “manifest heresy”?  

    Greater power on the part of the corrupt individual, and a less clearly defined complaint on the part of those exploited and harmed.  Whatever good can come from the concept of “papal ineffability” is outweighed by the associated harm of that type of power.  

    There needs to be a concrete and defined procedure for dealing with a pope who is “manifestly heretical” before any theoretical protections that people have against a pope who claims the authority of “papal infallibility” can be said to have any sort of real moral, ethical or legal weight.  

  • Celesteh

    If you want to understand catholic vestments, there’s probably an easier way to get information than by  posting anti-catholic musings to your blog.

  • P J Evans

    it’s fascinating that there’s already jockeying for the next Pontiff.

    I’d expect it to start about three days after the pope is elected. They’ve been involved in politics for longer than most countries have been around.

  • P J Evans

    Thanks for misunderstanding what Fred said.

  • P J Evans

     I’d say that they’re already over the line into ‘manifestly heretical’, since so many of the Vatican’s official views and teachings don’t come anywhere close to what Jesus said we should do, and some of them are so far into wrongness that about all I can do is second Hans Küng’s call for a bottom-up revolution.

  • nomen nescio

    Oh, but it isn’t reassuring in the slightest! What you observe is really the sticky point in all this, and it really must be said that Bellarmine’s opinion is anything but a majority opinion, even if it’s the theological basis for Sedevacantism (cf. Mel Gibson’s father).

    At the end of the day, all these fantastical claims of papal authority date from a very different time ,when the pope was in direct competition with the various Christian monarchs concerning the running of the Church on the ground, Christian monarchs who could and indeed did march up to Rome and take the Pope hostage (Charles V, Napoleon) to bend them to their will, or call an Oecumenical Council (Council of Constance) to force all extant papal claimants to abdicate and have a new pope elected, or just plain exercise a veto over the election of a pope, something that last happened when Franz Josef I of Austria-Hungary successfully vetoed the election of the russophile liberal Cardinal Rampolla in 1903 (!). So, we have the rhetoric of popes desperate to claim authority over monarchs who considered themselves anointed of God — reigning by the Grace of God, as the formula went — in today’s age where the pope himself is the only Christian absolute monarch left. Throw in Rome’s perennial concern for bella figura, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for today’s mess…

  • Saffi

    Well put, LL!  

    As a former-former Catholic (i.e., current Catholic) (it’s Complicated), I’ve been furious at the Management for its unforgivable cover-up and tolerance of massive child abuse, and have been furious for over a decade.  But that doesn’t mean that I reject Catholic theology or the embrace of ritual and elaborate ceremony that are part of my religious heritage.  So the constant sniping at Catholicism that I hear in popular culture and from my friends can be pretty disheartening.

    And you know what?  I’m AN ADULT.  I understand that there are mean people in the world and that just because someone appropriates the language of mean people for comedic effect, that doesn’t constitute an endorsement of meanies!  When I see someone trying to make a joke, I take it in the spirit it was offered whether or not I personally find it funny.  And what’s more, if I don’t think it was funny, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt that there was no malicious intent!  Crazy, I know!
    And PS: I thought you were funny, both times.

  • Saffi

    “The problem is that you worded that joke in a manner that is extremely offensive to teenagers, people who like revealing clothing, and women in general.  Please stop wording your jokes that way.”

    No, he appropriated the language of people he obviously disagrees with in order to make them look small and petty.  Sorry, but this is one of the strongest techniques in a satirist’s toolbox.  People have been using it for hundreds, maybe thousands of years in defense of the powerless and oppressed.  

  • The_L1985

    Please explain how the word “slutty,” in the original joke, is in any way a defense of powerless and oppressed people.

    Please explain how the word “slutty” makes the joke in any way better or funnier than the alternative I mentioned.

    I know what satire is.  I’m a huge fan of Jonathan Swift, and have been reading the Onion for years.  Using the word “slutty” to describe a revealing dress, in a joke about something else entirely, is not satire.  It’s just offensive.

    Every single time I’ve ever heard something or
    someone described as “slutty,” it was meant as an insult.  Specifically,
    an insult towards women who dare to have sexuality,
    or to express it in any way.  This is what we call oppression
    of women
    , not a defense of them.

    My issue, as I explained in the very comment that you quoted, is NOT with the joke itself.  My issue is with the use of the word “slutty” within what would otherwise have been an acceptable joke.

    Here’s your homework.  Wikipedia isn’t perfect, but this particular entry therein is spot-on.  Also: this one.

    For further reference, here is the original, offensive version of the joke. To make it more clear what is bothering people, I have put the offensive part of the joke in bold:

    “He’s wearing enough red fabric there to clothe 6 teenage girls at prom. 8 if a couple of them don’t mind looking slutty (and apparently, many of them don’t).”

  • Isabel C.

    @Saffi:disqus: Then he did it badly. There’s no way that the word “slutty” as used in this context connects to the cardinal; there’s no examination of the term in a different context; it’s used as a lazy and sniffy way to say “doesn’t require much fabric.” 

    “Well, any *less* fabric and he’d be too slutty to enter the Vatican,” or similar, sure. 
    “Slutty” is applied to the prom dresses (and presumably the girls who wear them) here, which means LL is either incompetent or mean-spirited. 

  • Isabel C.

    Additionally: you may give people the benefit of the doubt.  That doesn’t oblige the rest of us to do the same. 

  • The_L1985

     I would like to add to  #2:

    Don’t treat your sons like their entire self-worth is defined by how stereotypically “macho” they are, either.  It is okay to love sports, or to be ultra-masculine, but don’t limit boys to “boy things” if they’re genuinely interested in something our culture portrays as “girly.”

  • The_L1985

     …So you’re okay with LL calling teenage girls sluts, then?  Because that is the thing that people are all worked up about:  the fact that he called teenage girls sluts in his joke.

  • caryjamesbond

     Ok, please tell me all about how silly my religion is, then.  

    Your religion is silly.

    Please, tell me howhilarious it is when I’m looking for a ceremonial statuette of Thor and can only find the Marvel comic-book version.

    http://www.celticattic.com/treasures/home_decor/statuary.htm

    or, for something almost as tacky as that robe-

    http://www.somaluna.com/prod/thor_statue.asp

    Tell me how funny it is that I could easily lose my job if the wrong person got wind of my faith.

    http://www.aclu.org/

    Thats a violation of several fundamental rights, I’m sure the ACLU would LOVE to take such a blatant case of discrimination, probably get you a lot of money as well.  

    That robe remains really stupid.

  • The_L1985

    “Your religion is silly.”

    You are more than welcome to have that opinion! :)  However, bear in mind that your atheism looks just as silly to a lot of people.

    “http://www.celticattic.com/tre…, for something almost as tacky as that robe-

    http://www.somaluna.com/prod/t…”

    Different things are tacky to different people.  In addition, the surrounding decor can influence whether or not something looks good in a particular setting.  Your first link doesn’t work as written; next time, please double-check that you hit the spacebar after pasting in a link.

    By the way, thank you very much!  That first link had exactly what I’ve been fruitlessly Googling for ages! :D

    “Thats a violation
    of several fundamental rights, I’m sure the ACLU would LOVE to take
    such a blatant case of discrimination, probably get you a lot of money
    as well.”

    Yeah, and it’s happened to a lot of people already.  Guess what?  While it’s possible to make money off that in the long run, the act of filing suit, even with the ACLU’s help, would NOT be cheap.

    In addition, I live in a “right-to-work” (ha ha) state.  What that means is, I can be fired with no reason given.  So even if I have every reason to suspect that my religion is what got me fired, I can’t prove a godsdamned thing.  This means that I cannot possibly expect to win a lawsuit.

    Injustice exists; legal loopholes make it likely to continue until those laws are changed.

  • Saffi

    “…So you’re okay with LL calling teenage girls sluts, then?  Because that is the thing that people are all worked up about:  the fact that he called teenage girls sluts in his joke.”

    *sigh*  When you have to explain a joke, it usually takes way to long and kills the humor, but I’ll give it a shot.

    LL did not call teenage girls sluts – the persona he assumed did.  That persona had an approving tone when talking about hiding altar boys (implying that he had no problem with covering up child abuse).  That persona was stupid enough to miss the point of criticizing the ostentatious display – as though the problem was the amount of cloth and not hypocrisy.  That persona was morally blind and stupid – thus, people who call teenaged girls sluts are blind and stupid.

    Yes, this is subtle – the assumption is that we’re adults and to insist that humor not be subtle is to infantalize us all.  

    No, I am not okay with anyone calling teenage girls sluts.  But silencing and silent disapproval isn’t going to make it stop.  There are mean people in this world, some of whom have no problem with calling teenage girls sluts.  Hiding that fact isn’t going to change it, but holding such people up as objects of ridicule might vaccinate against the harm intended by the use of the word.  It might even make using the word so powerless that it stops altogether.

  • caryjamesbond

    You are more than welcome to have that opinion! :)  However, bear in mind that your atheism looks just as silly to a lot of people.

    Note- I do not, actually, find norse paganism particularly silly.  (I find all supernatural beliefs somewhat silly, but at least Norse pagans believe in limited as opposed to omnipotent deities.)

    And I expect lots of people to find my beliefs stupid.  Thats part of life- people will find your beliefs silly.   Notably, to get back on track here, Fred wasn’t saying “Geez, whats up with those taigs, worshiping a statue of the Virgin Mary?  Weird shit, amirite?”  Fred was say “Lordy, that is a tacky. freaking. robe.”

    Which is less a statement of belief or about belief than it is a statement of TASTE. And while, like Invisible Neutrino, I’m a little sketchy on the whole “These are my BELIEFS and you must RESPECT THEM OMG(s)” thing, bad taste, or even what I find to be bad taste, is fair grounds for mocking. At least, thats what I believe.

  • caryjamesbond

    Actually, I take that back. Fred wasn’t even going that far.  Fred was going “and this is about Jesus….HOW, exactly?”

    I and several others called it tacky. TOTALLY. FREAKIN.  TACKY.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    As I pointed out earlier this is his “choir dress” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choir_dress#Roman_Catholic_choir_dress

    Except for the Cappa it’s pretty standard. Take for example these canons http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sint-Salvatorskapittel_Bruges_Precious_Blood_2008.JPG obvious black and white rather than red and white because they are canons not cardinals but other than that pretty much the same. Even down to the lace (which is very common on rochets). The “dress” is a cassock (as I’m sure people are aware) and far from unique to Catholicism. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassock – scroll down and see the other denominations cassocks).

    As to the cloak… Cardinals do not usually wear those as you can see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kardinaal_III_Danneels_en_Kasper.JPG From the way it’s terribly crumpled, rucked up at the back and the expression on his face he’s not really used to it. So I’m with the peeps who think it was likely given to him that day. If he was used to wearing it he’d have a lot more panache about it like this dude http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cardinal_Th%C3%A9odore_Adrien_Sarr_2.JPG

    I do agree that the cappa magna is a bit over the top. If you’re going to try wearing a cloak a more normal cope is much less cumbersome http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Procession_of_the_Precious_Blood_of_Jesus_Christ-Bruges;_Prelatuur_Processie.JPG though it probably would still gain the mockery of outsiders.

    But really that cappa needs ironing if nothing else.

  • Tricksterson

    Personally I like the Thor statue.

  • EllieMurasaki

    That. All of that. I am so fucking sick of “feminists can’t take a joke!” people when the problem is that either the joke relies on stepping on the stomped-on and is thus only funny if one agrees with stepping on the stomped-on (hello Mr. Tosh!), or the joke is told in a manner that involves stepping on the stomped-on and thus as above but there’s an actual non-hurtful point there and thus if the joke had been told differently it would be both unobjectionable and funny.

  • EllieMurasaki

    There needs to be a concrete and defined procedure for dealing with a pope who is “manifestly heretical” before any theoretical protections that people have against a pope who claims the authority of “papal infallibility” can be said to have any sort of real moral, ethical or legal weight.

    The difficulty arises when one observes that a pope advocating, say, permitting female priests, well he’s obviously a heretic, give him the boot. Same with a pope advocating the use of Pill and condoms except when trying for pregnancy, or permitting same-sex marriage, or or or. The Catholic Church has a whole bunch of doctrines that hurt people and that a pope overturning any one of them would be self-evidently “manifestly heretical” from the eyes of the hierarchy. Not that all or most Catholic folk would necessarily agree, but when have the laity ever been involved in a decision the hierarchy wants to make themselves?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Unjustified assumption #1: criticizing a single Catholic, or a single Catholic leader, or all Catholic leaders, is the same as criticizing or discriminating against or being prejudiced against all Catholics.

    Unjustified assumption #2: the purpose of this post was to gain knowledge of Catholic vestments and not to point out the contrast between a Catholic leader’s expensive single-occasion garments and the teachings of the person Catholics all claim to follow.

  • The_L1985

     Ok, let me make something clear.  This is the Internet.  There are no non-verbal cues here.  Therefore, it is generally assumed that someone is speaking in earnest and expressing one’s own opinions unless specifically stated otherwise.  This is where those annoying tags come from–because otherwise, it’s really hard to tell, through text alone, that someone is being sarcastic.

    LL never said anything to indicate that he was putting on an act.  In the absence of any cues to indicate that he didn’t mean to call teenage girls sluts, he was, essentially, implying “I agree with what I just typed.”

    That’s not subtlety, that’s laziness.  There are some things that need to be specifically spelled out in a text-based comment that are clear and obvious when you’re delivering the same….”joke”….in person.

    LL did not indicate that he was making fun of the kind of person who calls girls sluts.  Through the language that was used, and the failure to clearly indicate use of a persona, he implied that he, himself, thinks that teenage girls are sluts.

    By doing so, he didn’t in any way rob the word “slut” of its power.  Instead, he–apparently unintentionally–contributed to the hurtful dialogue that supports rape culture in the United States.

  • EllieMurasaki

    What indicates to you that it was LL-persona who meant ‘slutty’, not LL zirself? What indicates to you that LL-persona exists at all?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Pardon my honest ignorance, but is this “Mr. Tosh” you referred to a commenter here, or is this a reference to that TV show I’ve heard of?  If the latter, obviously, I’ve never seen it, and have no idea how it “steps on the stomped-on.”

  • EllieMurasaki

    The guy on the TV show, actually. The problem, which you can Google the entire debacle yourself though mind the rapeyness and rape apologism, is that at a live event he made some wisecrack about rape, and someone in the audience criticized him, and his answer–and I think this is verbatim–is “wouldn’t it be funny if someone raped her?”

  • Holyvildroly

    Cardinal Raymond Burke is a mean spirited and pathetic man. I would bet that he loved to play dress up with his mother’s clothes when he was a young boy.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    What’s wrong with dressing up in your mother’s clothes when you’re a child? :p

  • JessicaR

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