So apparently this happened:
I don't get it. What exactly did Melanie say that was so awful? Baking is a Catholic mom thing? Granted, we could debate the accuracy of saying such things are the most Catholic things you could do. And ol'Rachel is correct. As a former non-Catholic and non-Christian, I can assure you the popular stereotype of Catholic girls isn't staying home baking and homeschooling the kids.
But I get the feeling that whether or not it's correct to label such preferences as uniquely Catholic versus other Catholic distinctives isn't the bone of contention. I get the impression that the main beef is this part of her tweet:
A stay at home mom, as I am well versed in baking, cooking, crafting, decorating, budgeting and at-home sickness remedies. On top of this, I'm getting married at 22 and my fiancé & I plan to homeschool.
Something tells me that is the rage-inducing part of what was said. Not so much the Catholic part, but the setting myself apart in a particular role for the good of my family and children, rather than focusing on my own dreams and aspirations to the exclusion of anyone else in the world who comes in a distant second in my considerations. After all, some of the reactions almost seem to suggest such a set f priorities would be antithetical to good Catholic living, at least c. 2021.
It's worth noting that in post-modern reality, there is nothing more appalling than a life spent in sacrifice to anything but ourselves and our ambitions. In 1988, I had a philosophy professor who said flat out that a woman who spent her whole life taking care of her family above her own dreams could never be a full person. The growing number of Catholics who appear to agree is, to me, quite telling.
It's also worth noting that such views are very different from the general Catholic blogosphere attitudes of the early 00s. After all, one of the reasons we chose homeschooling back in 2012 when we saw the rot infecting our local public school system was the witness of Catholic homeschoolers across St. Blogs. None other than Mark Shea posted a request for his readers to point me to a good, solid Catholic homeschool curriculum. There were many who commented and give their own recommendations and support.
I don't know how prevalent pro-homeschooling posts are across his social media sites now, or the Catholic blogosphere in general. I do know that if I want contempt for homeschoolers, or those trying in some way to reclaim a more pre-post-modern understanding of family, parents, individuals and even the Gospel, I don't need to go much farther on social media than a growing number of New Prolife Catholics social media sites.
What she lists are indicia of cultural dissent, which is lived under a certain aegis. It can be Catholic, evangelical, Mormon, orthodox Jewish, Mennonite-Amish-Bruderhof, Eastern Christian, or New Age hippy. Your life is ordered according to your understanding of your vocation, and that understanding has a certain inspiration. Others arrive at a similar destination. She's telling you in shorthand why she's there.ReplyDelete
Now to some of her detractors. Scott Eric Alt: it's a tweet you blockhead. It's not a comprehensive theological statement. (And, while we're at it, worship and receipt of instruction isn't uniquely Catholic either). Rachel Cecilia: I'm pushing 60; the next time I encounter in any venue an evangelical who is 'anti-Catholic' in any but the most abstract way will be the first; hostility to the Catholic Church in my experience is almost always the work of haut bourgeois mainline protestants or the work of secularists (more generically bourgeois). As for Sean P. Dailey: you f*cked up your own life without anyone's assistance; manufacturing embittered drive-bys is not a good look.
My experience in Protestant ministry was that there certainly was strong disagreements with Catholicism. Sometimes in more fundamentalist circles you would get a little of the old traditional anti-Catholic rhetoric. But in many cases, real contempt and loathing of the Church came from more mainline - that is, liberal - denominations and their members and leaders. But then, most criticism if not outright disgust for the pope at that time came from liberal Catholics. I even knew a fundamentalist who said John Paul II could be in heaven when he died, while many progressive Catholics were far more condemning. Hence my surprise at how bad it suddenly is to dare question a pope. Especially from some who had no problem questioning the pope back in the day.Delete
This, I believe, is the problem you run into in current "conservative", but not "traditional", Catholic circles. You can be Catholic, but not too Catholic. And heaven forbid you actually become counter-cultural! The comments above are like a tiny snapshot of why my wife tuned out all the Catholic mom forums on Facebook and other places. Just trying to put a Catholic spin on being "one with the world".ReplyDelete
I haven't had that impression at all. I do recall Sandra Meisel made sour remarks about committed young Catholics. Haven't heard a word out of Sandra in about 15 years.Delete
I noticed ca. 2002 that 'conservative' Catholics in fora like this tended to have more intense emotional reactions to the scandal than did 'traditional' Catholics. I gather it was because the latter had earlier arrived at the conclusion that the bishops were at home with corruption and institutional enervation and the personnel files were just elaborating on the details. Francis has made plain for conservative Catholics that Rome is a problem, a viewpoint which was bog standard among traditionalists in 2002 and was articulated in the traditionist press as early as 1968.
Admittedly, I'm a convert who's only been running in Catholic circles for 6 years now. However, I've now spent time in both "conservative" Novus Ordo circles and "traditionalist" TLM circles. I won't get into all the reasons why my family is now firmly planted in a TLM parish, but relevant to this conversation is the fact that many conservative, N.O. attending Catholics I know always seem to want Catholicism as one component of their life. It may be a big component, a VERY important component, but still just a component. The idea of building an authentic Catholic community, of centering one's life around the faith, the parish, the parish community, is a step too far for many. They still want to retreat into their "normal" lives when Sunday Mass is over.Delete
I don't want to sound overly harsh, but I think the growth of traditionalists circles, especially among the youth, is scaring some of them. Again, the idea of being truly counter-cultural, and not just trying to adapt or co-opt the culture, is frightening and a bit weird to many, hence, the disgusted reactions against a young woman who was raised to fulfill her vocation as a homeschooling mother. Why wouldn't she just attend any old college, get a job, eventually get married, have 2 - 4 children, put them in public school, attend Mass on Sundays, and perhaps get involved with this or that parish activity when it fits neatly into her busy normal life schedule?
Again, I don't want to sound too harsh, just my observations, and perhaps they are tainted by the region of the country I live in.
OK. I'm not that plugged in. I tend to favor the Byzantine-rite, which has its own problems.Delete
The only thing untoward I've noticed about the traditionalist strain is that the articulate among them seem to go off on weird and obnoxious intellectual tangents. One thing I like about The Latin Mass as a publication is that they avoid this scrupulously. (The weird tangents have included Robert Sungenis on astrophysics, speculations / animadversions in re freemasons and Jews, and rather elaborate fantasies that the fall of Soviet Russia and the end of the Cold War was a ruse).
I'm not sure if those in the above tweets would qualify as conservative at this point. Perhaps on a theological level, but the ones I know of are clearly aligned with a far more progressive political ideology than anything conservative. That's why I think the severe pushback against something that those on the political left seem to abhor: homeschooling, stay at home moms and the like.Delete
That's why I think the severe pushback against something that those on the political left seem to abhor: homeschooling, stay at home moms and the like.Delete
Dailey is 55, Alt is 52, and neither one of them admit to regular salaried employment or regular wage employment. One thing you notice about the replies to Melanie is that quite a number of them took her remarks as a personal affront.
Perusing her tweets, I'd say Rachel Cecilia appears to be projecting her sectarianism on evangelicals.ReplyDelete
Alt is a lapsed academic and has indicia of the breed. Hint Mr. Alt: the term 'strawman' does not mean what you fancy it means.
I don't know her at all. I know alt from back in the days of Shea. He was one of Mark's most zealous defenders, and wasn't shy about letting fly with both barrels against those who criticized Mark.Delete
The maraschino on top: the @catholicMelanie Twitter account has been suspended. One of these creatures filed a bogus complaint with Twatter's har-de-har 'Trust and Safety' apparat to have her unplugged. The smart money's on Sean P. Dailey.ReplyDelete
That stinks. I would have no way of knowing how that happens. I don't tweet. I know a couple who keep a pulse on the hellpit that is Twitter, esp. Catholics on Twitter, that's where I get these from. But I have no idea how it works.Delete