Tuesday, September 13, 2005

"The trouble with the Blossers ..."

Bill Cork (in his blog Tischreden, Sept. 12, 2005) calls attention to a recent article by Thomas J. Herron in the latest issue of Culture Wars, titled "The Trouble with Converts," which offers an "all out assault" taking aim at Fr. Richard J. Neuhaus, Linda Chavez, Rev. Robert Sirico (The Acton Institute), Catholic journalist Rod Dreher, and -- good heavens! -- the Blosser family.

Commenting on Herron's article, Mark Shea writes: "Courtesy of Christopher Blosser of the Ratzinger Fan Club (who's doing some other interesting stuff too). Some of you all may have heard of the Blosser clan. Pappy Phil and his rootin' tootin' boys Jamie and Chris have been makin' a heap o'trouble with their uppity convert ways, according to Thomas Herron of Culture Wars."

What, according to Herron, seems to be the problem? He writes:

All the converted members of this family appear to be rabid supporters of the current American occupation of Iraq and, to varying extents, have adopted the neocon habit of name calling people with whom they disagree like "Pat 'isolation above all else' Buchanan." ... The members of the Blosser family, as relatively new members of the Church, may be excused for not seeing the battle at National Review as just one campaign in the on-going Catholic-Jewish tribal war in America. ... It is obvious to anyone that, at present, the Jewish "tribe" has beaten the Catholic "tribe" and taken over the Bush administration, the Republican Party and the "conservative" media with the result being America's headlong plunge into never-ending wars in the Middle East ... while the moral decay at home continues.

The distortions here are of such sublime pretension that they almost made me forget who I am. What was it that Hitler used to say -- the bigger the falsehood the more people will believe you -- something like that. Son Christopher offers a point-by-point rebuttal of Herron in his post, "A Response to Thomas J. Herron" (Against the Grain, Sept. 13, 2005), showing how Herron consistently lifts things out of context and misinterprets them. The only thing I would add to Christopher's remarks is the following. Christopher suggests that Herron might have come to the assumption that the Blosser family has uniformly supported the war in Iraq from my article, "War and the Eclipse of Moral Reasoning" (presented at the Tenth Annual Aquinas/Luther Conference held October 24-26, 2002 at Lenoir-Rhyne College), as well as from Christopher's own occasional blogging on the topic. However, my article, as anyone who takes the time to read it will see, is a general treatment of the topic of Just War Theory, not an attempt to apply the theory to our war in Iraq. In fact, I don't even mention Iraq. While it's true that most of us (I'm proud to say) vociferously opposed the candidacy of Sen. John Kerry in the last presidential election, it is hardly the case that any of us can be described as uncritical bedfellows with the Republican Party (see, for example, my post of Sept. 17, 2005, "Pro-lifers: sold out by Bush?" as well as my post of July 27, 2004, "The disappointment with Jimmy Carter," in which I explain why, after being a die-hard Democrat for decades, I could no longer in good conscience support the party of Clinton and Kerry). And as for Herron's remarks about Jewish "tribalism," well, just see what Christopher has to say about that. Would that our worthy opponents would get a better grip on their facts before launching into untoward defamations of la famiglia e la cosa nostra.

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