Really. So Dave Armstrong and Scott Eric Alt got into a spat. I'll leave them to it. But that made me look for more of Alt's take on Armstrong. Exactly why Alt felt the need to unload on Armstrong is beyond me. It could be that Armstrong, a passionate and supporter of Pope Francis, still isn't properly leftist enough. For most on the Left, being 99.9% leftist is as good as being 100% white MAGA conservative racist Nazi deplorable after all. But who knows.
In any event, I did a Lenny and Squiggy's bathroom moment, held my nose, screamed, and went over to Alt's Twitter feed, which also had shares from other New Prolife Catholics. I'll get to some of the other fantastically bad, ignorant, and downright apologetics for evil I found from others. This is what leapt out at me on Alt's Twitter (again, I'll leave his clash with Armstrong to others to care about):
Wait. What? Please tell me just how Fr. Pavone is wrong. I get that he's playing on words and I'm not sure emphasizing that abortion is killing a baby delivers much punch today. After all, the big pro-abortion tactic nowadays is to be pro-abortion, and not just pro-choice. Admit it's killing a baby, boast in the fact, and rejoice in the fact that the divine vaginal does give you power over life or death, or those sexist men ain't getting any tonight (which appears to keep most men in their place where saving babies is concerned, ahem).
But how is Fr. Pavone wrong? I read that, read it again, read it a third time, and finally read it once more, and I can't see how he's wrong to the point of dumb. So please dear readers, comment below and tell me what I'm missing. It might be so obvious I'm missing it. Perhaps my deep suspicions about anything Alt writes is blinding me to the obvious. But I would dearly like to know
I see birth as the natural end of a pregnancy. Abortion interrupts that natural end to pregnancy so the pregnancy never ended. It was interrupted before ending naturally.ReplyDelete
The most charitable interpretation is that he is objecting to the "abortion does not end a pregnancy" bit by trying to pretend that Father Pavone means that after an abortion the mother carries the corpse of her child in her forever or something. That's clearly not what is meant but he might be pretending that it is because he doesn't like Pavone's politics.ReplyDelete
That's the most charitable assumption. The other possibility is that Alt is objecting to the idea that abortion kills a child.
I went to the tweet to try to determine what was meant by the responses, but those didn't help. The responses in support of Alt were of the usual form of feigned disbelief of Pavone being so stupid, without explaining why. "Maybe his MAGA hat is on too tight!" sort of stuff. So far only a couple of people have defended Pavone, and they have explicitly said why he is right. If this goes like previous things with leftist Catholics, I expect Alt and his followers to never really give an explanation but only imply that the explanation of the problem is too obvious to need saying. For example responding to "what's the problem with what Father Pavone said" with something along the lines of "If you can't see the problem with it, there's no hope for you!"
Pretty much this. I'd only quibble that Pavone is perhaps wrong on a technicality (pregnancy would seem to end both ways) but he could be using some definition I'm not familiar with.Delete
For example responding to "what's the problem with what Father Pavone said" with something along the lines of "If you can't see the problem with it, there's no hope for you!"
The ostentatious moral concern provides a path to prestige, but only if dissent from the commitment to the golden, transformative future, and it attendant claims about the world, lacks prestige. Indeed, the more dissent is taken to involve negative-prestige (i.e. moral shame or malice) the more prestigious is the ostentatious moral concern.
Conversely, if alternative views are legitimate, there is far less prestige to be had from taking any particular position. There is thus strong pressures and motives to pass off the attendant beliefs of progressivism as being what the smart and good people believe. So, if you dissent, you are clearly either not smart, not good, or neither smart nor good.
The delegitimisation of dissent from the noble progressive concerns then provides a path to dominance: to destroying the reputation, career, standing, the ability to participate in public discourse, of others because they are clearly morally shameful or malevolent in failing to embrace the intent that flows from embracing the golden, transformative future. All of which makes it easier to increase the standing of, and resources flows and opportunities to, people like you.
On the other hand, once can unequivocally state that abortion is not the end of any pregnancy. As a noun, "end" can mean not only cessation, but also purpose.Delete
I could have sworn I typed, "one can unequivocally...."Delete
Is it bad or good I don't actually know who either Alt or Armstrong are? But I cannot stand the uncharity directed at others personally and not simply their words or ideas. It's just petty and looks petty. What happened to "if you can't say anything nice about someone don't say anything at all?" It grieves me deeply that some who call themselves Catholic almost seem to publicly delight in others' mistakes or falls. I'm pretty sure there's something by St. Paul that explicitly says love does not do that. And if we are known by our love, then woe to us if this is the example others see.ReplyDelete
As far as I know, one of them is a key on my keyboard, and the other is either the first man on the moon or a great trumpet player.Delete
Anonymous, we have the same understanding, LOLDelete
The worst part? Not a few of those who act this way were once the ones who spoke out so loudly against those on the Internet who act this way. Years and years ago, that was a common theme among St. Blogs - don't be like the gentiles! Don't sink into the childish and hateful behavior and name calling and calumny. It's something I try to be mindful of myself, in case I might slip down into the pit.Delete
Bacicaly, Fr. Pavone made a well-intentioned but somewhat confused statement. Eric Alt then made an obnoxious critique which was mean-spirited enough to make Fr. Pavone's dumb comment look intelligent by comparisonReplyDelete
That seems to be the best take. I get what he was doing, but I don't think it was going to achieve what he wanted. Again, the 'be proud of every abortion' movement doesn't care about it being a murder or not. But Alt's 'your mama' response makes Fr. Pavone's post look credible and thoughtful by comparison.Delete
Ah, Alt. A name I hadn't heard for a long time, and just as well.Delete
Recall "A Christmas Story"?
Alt is the intellectual equivalent of Scott Farkus' short sidekick--he doesn't do a very good job of standing on his own.
He used to be a big defender of Mark Shea. I don't know if he still is. But for a time, if Mark was wading into something and encountering pushback, you could see Alt come storming in on his outlets to defend Mark. When I was at Patheos, in fact, there were a few who had that Farkus and his sidekick thing going on.Delete
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Yes, three years back he was a regular "I, too, agree!" guy who enters into arguments. Not so much white knighting as...white squiring? White saddling? And with an incurable case of papal positivism which makes him too predictable.Delete
If he strains, he can sometimes reach a 5 on the "High Dudgeon" scale, but that's about it. Not a lot of value added.