Or just lawsuits the way grandma used to make. So I posted on this a week or so ago. It was about the Southern Baptist minister Russ Moore leaving the Southern Baptist Convention for good. The article that wrote of this, as well as Deacon Steven Greydanus, seemed to post a warning for those who refuse to follow the emerging New Left (still have yet to find a good label for this global revolution):
If the faithful continue to turn a blind eye while leaders continue to perpetuate the status quo, God will turn to district attorneys and grand juries - and the pews will grow more and more empty.
As if the modern Left isn't the status quo. But it was the uncritical warning of the power of the State stepping in to punish those who dare question the narratives and premises of the modern Left, where gender, sexual assault, race relations and other topics are concerned, that struck me. Basically, these are Catholics, and Christians in general, aligning with the new Caesar and warning all Christians who refuse to follow suit that it will be Caesar (apparently at the Almighty's behest) who will then punish them for their disobedience - and a good thing too.
Not that those bucking the Left are always right. But note the easy way in which warning dissenters with threats of the crushing power of the State becomes the next rhetorical step up the ladder of modern compromise.
I thought of that when I saw this, and this. Apparently Dawn Eden, Catholic convert and blogger who loomed large in my early days of Catholicism, has gone to court to silence Austin Ruse. Who is Austin Ruse? No clue. I've heard his name. Perhaps I've linked to him once or twice over the years. He might be a jerk, or not. I don't know. But apparently he's going after Dr. Eden because of her growing ease with targeting various Catholics and Catholic outlets, like EWTN, who are bucking the Leftwing tidal wave.
|The extent of my legal knowledge|
I have no doubt his persistent attacks might be hurtful for her. They might be bad in general. Maybe Ruse has gone overboard. I've seen Catholics do that on the Internet. And not just traditional or conservative ones. In fact, Dr. Eden has become no stranger to blasting various Catholics, Catholic leaders and Catholic outlets for daring to challenge various leftwing narratives and agendas. Such is the sad world of the modern Internet.
Nonetheless, I'm not aware of any of those outlets going to court to silence her. I'm not aware of anyone who has been in her crosshairs turning to the power of the state to stop her criticisms and condemnations. Granted, many of her swipes do pull the old trick of targeting organizations rather than individuals. Though not always. And she may not go after them as much as Ruse has gone after her. And she might be right about some of her criticisms, just as Mr. Ruse might be right about some of his. But again, I've seen Catholics on the internet make entire subject threads based on going after particular Catholics they disagree with, like Matt Walsh or Michael Voris, and not always in the most polite ro charitable manner. It is what it is.
Maybe Voris, Walsh or others have gone to court to silence some of their more zealous critics. I dunno. If so, shame on them. But Dr. Eden appealing to Caesar to silence someone who, perhaps going overboard, is nonetheless calling her out while she feels free to call out others, is more than problematic. Unless he has threatened her or in some way encouraged violence against her, I think this is something she should take on with him one on one, or maybe in a public format, since many of her digs, like his, have been done in public.
But again, that aside, it's the appeal to the State, especially in light of Deacon Greydanu's twitter copy of the article about Russ Moore, that jumped out at me. The threat that "God" will be using the State to come after dissenters, and then a week later we see an appeal to the same principle already in the works, to me is noteworthy. Whether it will or won't be Moore, or Greydanus, or Eden, when the time comes, it will be someone in the Faith who will gladly stand next to the boxcars and the camp gates ready to herd all dissenters into the stockades. Never forget that. Our age is no different than other ages in that regard. As the organization formerly known as Boy Scouts used to say, be prepared.
Mr. Ruse once worked in direct-mail marketing. He has for some time been the director of and advocacy group in New York (Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, IIRC) which is financed by small-check donors. It's principal activity is monitoring UN agencies. He also writes for Crisis. He's been critical of Dawn Eden in print and replied to her on Twatter. She blocked him and has contended he manufactured a mess of pseudonymous accounts in order to harass her. Ruse hasn't brought any legal action against Dawn Eden. He is a respondent in a DC court to one of her suits. The suit was apparently tossed out after some preliminaries.ReplyDelete
Eden's lawyer is a sketchy character who professes to have a solo practice in Savannah, Ga. It's something of a surprise that he's admitted to the DC bar. He doesn't list torts among his lines of practice, so it's difficult to understand why he took the case (bar, perhaps, that business is bad enough that he'll take any case). It's also difficult to understand why Dawn Eden would hire him; perhaps he works cheap or perhaps competent lawyers told her she did not have a case.
In my experience, Ruse is perfectly civil in print. He is, however, unintimidated and doesn't apologize or temporize when people push certain buttons.
What's Greydanus referring to? Grand juries and prosecutors (and tort lawyers) have already gone after religious institutions. Sometimes they're building a serious case against a particular malefactor; sometimes it's a publicity stunt or a grift. The rest of these tangles involve philanthropies and businesses minding their own, harassed by Alinskyite operators of various sorts (some of them on state payrolls). Good to know Greydanus is on our side.ReplyDelete
I wasn't sure where he was going with that. The charitable says he was making some 'friendly warning', an assurance that continued resistance to the Left will result in jail time at best. Dr. David Gushee made a similar statement a few years ago. Basically Christians who don't embrace LGBTQ will get what they have coming to them. Again, he framed it as almost a 'fatherly advice' statement. Perhaps that's this. But in any event, it's clear where they are going with these things, and it's clear they imagine it won't be them targeted because of where they are going with these things.Delete
I used to read Religion News Service regularly (and commented as well). I'm familiar with Gushee's name. Religion News Service was an education of sorts, in that it persuades you there are quite a mess of Vichy evangelicals knocking about and they're on the payroll here, there, and the next place.Delete
I studied with Dr. Gushee in my seminary days. I admired his spunk and willingness to speak to the robes sitting behind him when given the opportunity. It wasn't hard to see where he stood on most issues, but he adopted the whole 'agree to disagree' approach that many aligning with, but not joining with, the left embraced in those days. That's why it came as a shock to see his 'embrace the new or watch out.' Especially when his most celebrated book, Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust, was a reprimand of all those Germans who went with the flow, as opposed to those rare heroes who stood their ground.Delete
Why is a theologian writing history books?Delete
Recall Fr. Neuhaus aphorism: "When orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be prohibited."
He was a professor of Christian Ethics.Delete
I've stopped taking academics at face value.