Todd Unctuous has Competition!

I have a news feed from the Huffington Post and it seems they have a writer on their staff who is competing with my alter ego Todd Unctuous to write the stupidest, most inane kind of self righteous liberal drivel possible.

The pretend person is called Cara McDonegal.  The article in question is headlined as “An Open Letter to the US Conference of Bishops”. I have to hand it to Miss McDougall. She puts Todd Unctuous in the shade for the delightful combination of ignorance, arrogance and self righteous hauteur. Miss McDonald is upset that the Catholic bishops have not automatically, like corporate mind readers, adapted their conference agenda to her special concerns.

So she starts in on her loftily toned tirade:

Dear Sirs:

I have noted, with some confusion, the pressing agenda items to be discussed at the annual fall General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from Nov. 11 – 14 in Baltimore.

Most interesting, a presentation for a “proposal to develop a formal statement on pornography,” that is not only listed along with the other items (which include an update on the “Promotion and Defense of Marriage” and an update on the “Call to Prayer for Life”) but is also presented in bold lettering at the top of the news item announcing the Conference on your home page.

You are, it must be noted, attacking this alleged pornography problem with ample exuberance.

Or — perhaps more accurately — you’re not so much addressing a problem (is there a raging pornography epidemic?) as you are allotting time at your annual fall gathering for a simple discussion surrounding the specifics of your group’s stance on the issue.

Let’s be clear on that.

I’m assuming the outcome will be something like, “Pornography is a bad thing” — in more illustrative prose, of course.

Let’s also be clear on a few other things, concentrating not only the subject matters included in this agenda, but also the subject matters that are notably absent.

I realize I’ve called you out on the most controversial of your agenda items — the ones pro-life Catholics like me, who think all couples deserve the right to get married, get most riled up over. There is more to the document, however; votes for new officers, revisions to your handbook, consultation on a potential canonization and something about a Spanish translation of the prayer book at mass.

There is, however, not too much more to it than that.

Rest assured, I recognize that I’m one of the troublemakers when it comes to proper Catholic doctrine. I didn’t go to mass last week or the one before, and I, as mentioned, don’t agree with many Church stances on core social issues. I think Planned Parenthood is an amazing organization. I’m a huge fan of contraceptives.

Still, I cling to my Catholic faith with a dogged perseverance that, frankly, I’m beginning to question. Do I remain Catholic because it’s easier than the alternative? Because I’m just apathetic enough that permanently abandoning the religion seems too much work?

I’d like to think not.

The opening is breath taking in its ability to miss the main point, argue from silence and imply that “pornography is not so bad really.” Then there’s the bit where she claims to be a pro-life while she then goes on to voice her support for contraception and Planned Parenthood. She “clings to her Catholic faith” but doesn’t go to Mass. Priceless! She clings to being a Catholic because she’s too lazy to investigate the alternative? I love that. She’s actually tried to give it some thought but that hurt her head too much so she’s decided not to give it some thought anyway.

I can offer her some advice. Join the Episcopalians sweetheart. You can have women priests, lesbian bishops, gay marriage, abortion on demand and you don’t have to go to church.

What I’d like to think, instead, is that I still identify as a Catholic because I believe organized religion can do good in ways amplified by the fact that its very existence centers around a literal and figurative room of faithful, optimistic believers.

Sure, there’s Hell and brimstone in both biblical and modern day sermons, but I don’t think I’m mistaken in assuming that most Catholics, like me, remain Church members not out of fear or guilt, but because we believe that we can create positive change in the world.

 Awww. Religion is all about making the world a better place and most Catholics remain church members because they believe we can create positive change in the world. “Yes we can!”…and if you believe in fairies clap your hands.

Like me, I know that many Catholics have been both shocked and uplifted by Pope Francis and his recent public commentary.

Shocked, because, unlike you, the Pope has delighted Catholics previously fed up with the Church’s message, by suggesting that we focus less on these hot-button issues — those seemingly at the heart of your annual fall meeting — and more on issues concerning a broader swath of humanity, such as economic inequality; issues that affect the population in Baltimore, where you will meet, too.

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible…it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” the Pope said when interviewed last month.

While I wish you’d included even one tiny agenda item discussing, or at least acknowledging, the Pope’s message, I am, sadly, not surprised that you didn’t.

Yep. There it is. The Pope Francis quote which has made all the sappy liberals believe at last in papal infallibility. It’s the quote they’ll soon have made into soft focus posters. It’s the quote they’ll refer to in all their self righteous, passive aggressive tirades when they “express concern” and “voice their sadness” at all the nasty conservatives.

Then she ends on this triumphant note:

I admit, I haven’t followed your actions with the fervor of the more engaged Catholics than myself. I can’t rhapsodize on your actions armed with the knowledge and statistics of schooled theologians.

But I promise you this. I’m not alone. There are many more like me, questioning your decisions, and their allegiance to a religion that — for years — has appeared dead set on shutting us out, as it anxiously rails against everything unfamiliar, instead of for everything good.

Pope Francis motivates the masses because his message speaks to worthy goals that we, as a faith, can work towards, together.

Do you not fear being left behind?

She “can’t rhapsodize on the bishops’ actions armed with the knowledge and statistics of schooled theologians.” Well, that’s one true thing she’s written.

Here’s a great sentence: “Francis motivates the masses because his message speaks to worthy goals which we, as a faith, can work towards.”

Can I just parse that final sentence for the sake of clarity? “His message speaks” or does Francis speak? “His message speaks to worthy goals?” How does a message speak to worthy goals? “worthy goals which we as a faith, can work towards” How are “we” a “faith” and how does a faith work toward anything?

The whole article is so badly written, so ignorant, so sophomorically arrogant and composed with no evidence of knowledge, research or authority of any kind.

And this gets published?

Todd Unctuous come home. All is forgiven.

About Fr. Dwight Longenecker
  • Richard

    She says: “Do I remain Catholic because it’s easier than the alternative?” Oh, don’t worry darlin’, you ceased to be Catholic a long time ago.