Friday, February 12, 2016

Framing the debate

One of the tricks of winning in anything is to get the upper hand.  To make the other team play by your rules.  To frame the contest according to your own preferences. I don't care if it's football, baseball, Monopoly, RISK, Flames of War, or real war for that matter.  If you can set the standard by which the competition is played, you have the upper hand.

So those who not only love Pope Francis, but love every breath that proceeds from his mouth, have more or less framed the debate as such:

There's really not much hope if you accept that.  The Pope is wonderful, kind, caring and right.  And those who disagree?  Well, look at them.  That cartoon's portrayal is correct in the minds of many.  Not only in the secular media, that still seems to love Pope Francis despite a potential cooling, but also among Catholics.  Anyone who doesn't completely embrace the best take on Pope Francis is pretty much the bad sheep.

For those who have legitimate concerns about Pope Francis, what he says, how he says it, or where he might be leading the church, the first thing is to be aware of the mental image being projected and make sure what we say and how we say it doesn't lend any weight.  That is, don't live up to the stereotype.   Instead, do it like this.

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