Simcha Fisher Talks Sense…

Simcha Fisher Talks Sense… October 3, 2013

to bedwetting panicmongers.

If some stranger came to me and said, “I thought I overheard your wife say that she is a Zoroastrian who spits on Jesus Christ” my first thought would not be, “Could this possibly be true? Is everything I know of her a lie? What do I do? O what do I do!!!!!”

It would be “Who is this guy? Why would he think my wife would do something so ridiculously out of character? Is it a case of mistaken identity? Him Not knowing English? Ignorance? Bad hearing? Stupidity? Malice?” The absolute last thing I would ever consider is “My wife is secretly a Zoroastrian who spits on Jesus.” Not happening. Not in this universe.

People who keep panicking about the Pope every time the press reports something weird have the same effect on me as people who would instantly and easily credit it should somebody claim my wife said she was a Zoroastrian who spits on Jesus. It seems to me to be a judgment, not on my wife or on Francis, but on the people who keep having panic attacks. Be not afraid, for Pete’s sake.

As near as I can tell, the basic rule of thumb in play here is this:

  • When the pope says stuff conservatives like and the MSM twists it conservatives blame the MSM.
  • When the pope says stuff conservatives don’t like and the MSM twists it, conservatives call it a “media debacle” and they blame the Pope.

It’s moments like this I miss the WiFi outage.

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  • meunke

    In other words:

    Why do people think that the same media outlets who breathlessly comment on the evils of a ‘semi-automatic machine gun’ would suddenly report what the Holy Father says accurately and in context? I agree, Mark.

    • Stu

      Agree completely. But here is the thing.

      Do we need to make it easy for them? Yes, it’s going to happen but I think pastoral sensitivities would want to attempt to mitigate that ongoing risk.

      When you have it being reported that POTUS is congratulating the Pope on shaking off the obsession with the small things, identified as abortion, contraception and homosexuality, then you aren’t controlling your message. Now we can blame the media all day for that. We can also blame dogs for biting too. Alternatively we can attempt to overcome them.

      I don’t see that as unreasonable.

  • joe jonesee

    I don’t think when properly translated it changes thing s. The interview is horrible. Joe jones

    • chezami

      “Horrible”. Bruh-ther.

    • Dan C

      Not in my opinion. Not at all. It does confirm as Rick Garnett suggests that his pope does not share his politics.

      My claim is that Benedict was the same.

  • Colin Corcoran

    This is almost funny and would be if it weren’t so serious Mark. It goes back a bit. I tend to think it really started with the comments of Gays and Divorce in the church, off the cuff on an airplane, that the media ran with –


    • chezami

      In which the Pope said nothing wrong (but stuff conservatives don’t like) so “MEDIA DEBACLE!” People need to get a grip.

      • Jordan

        But I don’t WANNA be reminded of the existence of people with (more obvious) messy lives!

    • Dan C

      None of his commentary was particularly different than Benedict, who clearly at one point attempted to reconsider prohibitions on divorced Catholics receiving communion if they had remarried outside the Church.

      And did not differ dramatically from any interview Benedict gave to Seewald.
      The most disturbing warping of Francis are those who are on the right trying to assuage the audiences with “what Francis really said” while avoiding, I am beginning to believe deliberately, commentary far more radical from Benedict.

      You ignored Benedict. Deliberately read him as a conservative. Try reading him again.

  • Sally Wilkins

    Why are supposedly faithful, devoted Catholics so quick to assume that Holy Spirit failed to direct the conclave?

    • In fairness, we don’t believe “The Holy Spirit directs the conclave.” Never have, never will. That’s a very dangerous idea. what we do believe is that the conclave, as a gathering of men, must use their prayer and good judgement in selecting someone, and upon that selection and acceptance, the Holy Spirit prevents the Roman Pontiff from formally teaching error, and even in non-doctrinal matters, you should trust his judgements, or at least accept them even if you quibble with it.
      In this case I think, for all the things I don’t like, there are certain things Francis is bringing to the forefront which the world solely needs.

    • Stu

      As Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger answered when asked if the Holy Spirit picked the Pope:

      “I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope. … I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined…There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked!”

  • Not happening. Not in this universe.

    Okay, but what about in the parallel universe where the severed-hand-Doctor is hanging out with Rose Tyler?

    Or in the other parallel universe where the planet Vulcan was blown to smithereens?

    Or in the other parallel universe where Peter Parker died and Miles Morales became Spider-Man?

    You’re too trusting in uncertain things like your lifelong experience or the constant witness of history – to say nothing of the promise of the Holy Spirit. I mean, come on, Mark. Be realistic!

    • Dan C

      Peter Parker died?????

    • Chesire11

      Any parallel universes, if they exist do so only in potentia, and lack act – they possess less being, so they can’t really do much to illumine the actual universe.

      • I suppose that depends on which theory of parallel universes you subscribe to. The “many worlds” interpretation of quantum dynamics would indicate the simultaneous existence of parallel universes, but also the constant creation of new parallel universes which split off from each other at each quantum indeterminacy.

        I have less understanding of the multi-dimensional models of M-theory (or Brane cosmology), but my understanding is that the theory posits multiple simultaneous and sequential universes which are not parallel to one another, and which do not even necessarily share the same physical constants. I’m not sure this quite qualifies as parallel universes, but it does posit that the multiple universes are actual.

        In fact, every physics-based notion of multiple or parallel universes I’m aware of posits universes which are actual rather than potential. No one universe is “primary”; there’s just our universe and the others that we aren’t in.

        It’s parallel universes depicted in fiction, such as the Narnian multiverse, which have debatable actuality. Platonic and perhaps Hindu or Buddhist multiverses may be “potential” rather than actual – though the Platonist would probably argue for greater actuality of other universes than our own.

        In the Thomistic cosmology, it is nonsense to speak of multiple universes, of course. There is one Pure Act, and all that he creates is one Creation – even if separated by M-branes or dimensional differences. So parallel universes can only ever be fictions, from this perspective.

        In the end, I’ll follow my mom’s advice: “You can ask Him when you get There.”

        • Chesire11

          Ah, but you miss the most compelling argument…”Chesire locuta est…” 😉

          From a purely theological standpoint, I would argue against the equal existence of parallel universes. I entertained the notion, briefly, of time as an ever branching series of streams, with each instant giving rise to an almost infinite number of universes, each of which is potential in relation to any one particular universe, but each of which are equally actual. Of course, that would either require a universe in which Our Lady refused to bear Our Savior, or that Our Lady not enjoy Free Will, at least in this one central matter, at which point the “possibility” became a dead letter to me.

          Now, distinct, non-communicating “micro-verses,” part of a larger universe…THOSE would seem to be possible, but since they can’t communicate without, in effect, collapsing into a single micro-verse, there’s really no way to ever test whether they do, or do not exist in act.

          Long (rambling) story short – your mother is a wise woman. 🙂

  • Stu

    “bedwetting panicmongers”?
    Stick with ideas, Mark. Don’t go after people. It dilutes your message and hurts your brand.

  • PalaceGuard

    Actually, I do know a Zoroastrian, but he’s never shown the least inclination to spit on Jesus!

  • Noah Doyle

    I think there’s a voice in all of this that’s not being heard. Please see the comment at Simcha’s place:

    June on Wednesday, Oct 2, 2013 12:15 PM (EDT)

    It’s a bit long, so I won’t cut and paste the whole thing here, but this is a person crying out for help.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    Perspective is always in order. The media, even when they aren’t being openly hostile to the Faith, are truly clueless. Not always willfully clueless, but clueless nonetheless. Watch this: and behold the journalist’s complete inability to grasp the obvious.

  • Chesire11

    Yet again, you hit the nail on the head.