I couldn’t believe the headline so I had to see it for myself and yeah, Chris Matthews actually said this:
“There are a number of people who have chosen to convert to the Catholic faith because they don”t like the liberal positions taken by their sectarian groups,” said Matthews, “that’s a fact, you can write that down. . . .I’m saying that some people who are bigoted against gay people have changed religions, yes.”
This is a guy who profoundly misunderstands his own faith and its teachings, which are all about saying “yes” not “no” but in ways that challenge us in our earthly brokenness and are just difficult, sometimes. Not only is he contributing to a fashionable new trend of anti-Catholicism (and for all I know, he’s doing it deliberately) but here he is being lazy — really, almost unforgivably lazy — in subscribing to the intellectually dishonest and cowardly idea that to have a different opinion than others, or to simply say “I love you but can’t go there” is “bigotry.” That’s what “progressives” have “progressed” to. If you disagree with Obama, you’re a “racist.” If you can’t get behind gay marriage, you’re a “bigot” and if you think employers should not be ordered to cover contraception (or ordered to cover anything) you’re a “sexist.”
They spit out the vituperative labels because it is frankly easier to muddy up the water with name-calling than actually try to swim the rougher currents, together. Call someone a name and pretend that you’re somehow more noble than the other person because you don’t even have to engage in thought or weigh a philosophy, and you may be a hero to some, but you’re ultimately a coward, hiding behind slander tossed as easily as a rock.
But as idiotic, nasty and gratuitously ignorant as Matthews is, here, it’s his audience that really turns my stomach; watch the video and listen to them howl.
Baboons. Mindless trained baboons, responding on cue.
But don’t get me wrong. I fully expect we’ll hear some trained baboons on the right at some point in tonight’s GOP debate, as well — probably hooting at precisely the wrong time, because if the left is horrid, the right is just hapless.
Still, it makes me sad to see Matthews like that. I used to watch his show every night and really enjoyed it. That was back when our kids were younger and would wander around the house parroting, “yer watchin’ Hardball!” It’s a shame that this is where we’re at. A society of grotesques.
Of course, one of the good things about Lent is I get to spend some time thinking about how I may have contributed to our shared baboonery, with this blog, so…there’s that.
I wonder if Matthews will also take time to wonder about that, this Lent.