If Douthat’s Critics Disagree with Him, They Should Say Why, Not Try to Get Him Fired

If Douthat’s Critics Disagree with Him, They Should Say Why, Not Try to Get Him Fired October 29, 2015

Photo Source Flickr Creative Commons by Torrenegra https://www.flickr.com/photos/alextorrenegra/
Photo Source Flickr Creative Commons by Torrenegra https://www.flickr.com/photos/alextorrenegra/

Ross Douthat write op-ed posts for the New York Times. He recently wrote a post that contained opinions that inflamed certain members of the administration and faculties of more than one prominent Catholic university.

Instead of making their own case for what they believed, these folks sent a letter to the New York Times that certainly sounds as if they want the newspaper to fire Mr Douthat for his wrong thinking.

I wrote a post about this nonsense for the National Catholic Register. 

Here’s part of what I said:

I didn’t know who Ross Douthat was until a few days ago. I realize that reveals me for the rube I am to all the whole wide world, but so be it.

My life the past couple of weeks has been an exercise in maintaining an even strain. I don’t feel like describing the details. It makes me tired to think about it, much less write it down. I’ll just toss you a couple of hints. My days have been taken up with ugly encounters with the family drug addict, troubles with my 90-year-old Mama with dementia, and a brush with the existential realities concerning my own health.

I’m still standing, but I feel used up with the effort.

Given all that, Ross Douthat, whose name set off a ping of vague recognition when I heard it, but whose identity was otherwise unknown to me, barely tapped my consciousness when he wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times last week. I’ve since learned that Douthat writes opinion pieces about the Catholic Church for the New York Times on a regular basis.

I saw a link to this particular opinion piece on a discussion board I frequent. It kind of entered my awareness that there was a bit of flapping and squawking about whatever he’d said. But I was slogging through a tough patch of real life. I didn’t care about what Douthat had said, and I also didn’t care about the squawking and flapping his opinions elicited.

That’s pretty much what the internet is about: squawking and flapping, huffing and puffing, hissing and spitting. I assumed that Douthat’s opinion piece shared his opinion about something or other, and the subsequent carrying on was just a matter of other people giving counter opinions. That’s not exactly dialogue. But it is fair play.

Then, today, while I was reeling from more bizarre stuff in my personal life, I saw an article about a group of Big Names in the Catholic academic u-verse who had signed a letter which appears to be an attempt to get the New York Times to either instruct Douthat about his opinions or fire him. They tried to dress it up with fancy talk, but their reason was that they didn’t agree with what he had written.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/rhamilton/if-douthats-critics-rely-on-censorship-maybe-theres-a-problem-with-their-id/#ixzz3pyxbJz9a


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12 responses to “If Douthat’s Critics Disagree with Him, They Should Say Why, Not Try to Get Him Fired”

  1. Although not a reader of Mr. Douhat, he has a right to his opinions much like the rest of us and of course if someone gets in up arms about it, their right as well.
    Whatever …

  2. The problem with the New York Times is that it is very partisan liberal- so partisan liberal that they have to keep a token conservative like Ross Douhat on the payroll.

    This leads to liberal progressives running into opinions they can’t handle.

  3. Ross Douthat is one of the very few conservative columnists on NYT. His articles range from politics and policy, anything in the news, social issues, and current events. He speaks from a Catholic and conservative or traditional point of view and is a faithful Catholic. He doesn’t happen to believe that government has the solutions for most of our problems and I agree with him.
    So, when he writes this kind of a critical article, I read it carefully, just like I do Rebecca’s comments on legislation and politics.
    The attack on him by a bunch of squishy, liberal, dissenting “theologians” was intellectually vacant and uncharitable, while whining that he didn’t know what he was talking about.
    I agree with what Fr Longenecker said about it here on Patheos. This “magisterium of theologians” thought their time had gone, but now see a chance to relive the glory days of balloon masses and fluorescent vestments, while pushing a “transformative” agenda on the Church.
    I agree that Pope Francis has a practice of “ostentatious humility” of which I am skeptical. I’m very concerned about the level of catechesis and what Pope Francis does not understand about societies that are in no way Catholic.
    Finally, I don’t know about any conspiracy. I hope he is wrong, but I know God wins. I just hate to think what we will have to go through to get to that point.

  4. My goodness, I hope your health is not an issue. My prayers for your health.

    Ross Douthat is probably the only op-ed columnist worth reading at the NY Times. Anyway, I’ve given up “squawking and flapping, huffing and puffing, hissing and spitting” on the internet…lol!!! I kept having to confess it too often and the priest got on my case about it. 🙂

  5. I disagree that Pope Francis’ humility is ostentatious. It’s sincere. It’s his understanding of economics that drives me nuts.

  6. I don’t think it is insincere, but making a big deal of driving a Fiat is weird when they already have cars. He still has his shoes made in Argentina when there is a family business in Italy that could do it. Btw, other popes did not wear Prada. I think it’s good he lives in Sta Marta, he gets to know people. But the Vatican apartments are not ostentatious. The bedroom was small, cold and far from the bathroom while Santa Marta has a/c and its own bath.
    Did you know all those fancy vestments BXVI wore were out of the closet? Including the velvet and ermine cape. He grabbed it out of a closet because he was cold.
    Never, ever take economics analysis or advice from an Argentine.

  7. No I did not, but I didn’t think BXVI was ostentatious either. It’s a job that requires a certain level of pomp, and so you can’t get around some ostentation. I wouldn’t trust any south american on economics. The whole continent is screwy.

  8. Well, Chile is doing pretty well. They actually have a better retirement system than we do and it isn’t a give away.
    I agree there is a lot of ceremony.
    PF just came out with a Whiny letter about Abp Romero. Wrong and uncalled for.